I was hand watering a few plants this morning while it was cool and comfortable. While admiring a nice potted red bud tree, I looked up and noticed some chewed leaves. "What the heck??" I said. "Something is eating you!" As I looked a little closer I saw a few plump caterpillers munching away. When they saw me they froze~ pretending to be twigs. "Yeah, right. If you don't move, I can't see you...." So I went and found a bucket and started picking them off the leaves, one by one. The more I looked, the more I found, and I patiently dropped each one into the bucket.
I don't ordinarily let insects in the garden bother me. I strongly believe in the natural order of things. They may make a few ragged edges and sometimes they can be bothersome, but for the most part, I leave them alone. In fact I enjoy seeing the balance of nature in progress. But these guys can eat literally EVERY leaf on a small tree like this. So I collected every one that I could find, feeling a little guilty, but determined to save my tree from further damage.
"Well, the hens need protein, don't they?" I said to myself. I dumped the bucket full of wigglers into the coop and BOY did they love the treat!!