It's caterpillar season in Cape Town and Noah has found his new obsession. If I'd posted this yesterday, this would have been a post about how amazing and nature loving and gentle our child is. When he found a caterpillar eating our pomegranate tree, he figured it had plenty of food but maybe not enough water. So he took a lemon peel and poured water to offer the caterpillar, unbidden. I could think of other things to do the caterpillar, but I held back for Noah's sake.
|I use lemon and orange peels as mulch, to keep cats from pooping in our trees and plants.|
|Indeed, the caterpillar drank.|
Then today, when I picked up Noah from my parent's house, he re-enacted today's encounter with two caterpillars. It involved stomping and caterpillar death, at grandpa's suggestion. Which is to say Noah is a normal two year old, and is easily influenced.
One reason I like having chickens is that it gives us a positive way to dispatch garden pests. That way when we find grubs in the lawn or caterpillars on the tomatoes we can tell Harvey to feed them to the chickens rather than smushing them, thus not confusing the general principal of not killing bugs. Also, those tomato hornworms are way too big to want to smush by hand... you'd need a mallet or something!
(Also, great photos as always!)
I must say though...that is a magnificent caterpillar. Healthy, bushy, and bristly. A fine specimen of a mini-beast!
The good news is that it is alive and healthy, and eating it's way through our few little trees and bushes =). We actually brought a caterpillar in and fed it spinach leaves (which is ironic because I took it off the spinach leaves to stop him/her eating them) but he seemed to lack a certain joie de vivre after a couple of days, so I returned him to the spinach outside.
Noah seems comfortable that there are different norms in different households: at my parents, no shoes needed outside playing in the garden, you wear shoes inside. Caterpillars DIE. In our house, no shoes inside, shoes outside, caterpillars treated to food and water. Oh well...
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