Aw, the horn worm. I can hardly complain about their presence this year since we probably picked at least 30 pints of incredible cherry tomatoes before their arrival. But, there are a few things I must say about this despicable creature.
For one, I have always been completely disgusted by them. When I first started noticing eaten branches , (see below), I knew exactly what the problem was. However, despite their enormous size they are so incredibly camouflaged that I had a lot of trouble finding them. In fact, I couldn’t find a single one! I was so bothered at the thought that I might accidentally touch one, that I hardly went near the plant without a thorough inspection.
Finally, I took to the computer to learn a little bit more. It turns out these creatures don’t appear by “magic.” (I always thought their arrival was so strange!) The hawk moth purposefully lays its eggs on tomato plants. Well, duh! I also learned they like to come out at dusk and dawn. When I spotted my first one, I was both appalled and thrilled. Appalled because it was bigger than my largest finger. Thrilled because I knew it had to exist and I wanted to get rid of it. (Lucky chickens have developed a taste for horn worms!)
I’m no longer quite as disgusted as I once was. I’ve now found several of these gnarly creatures and I no longer even scream. (Does that mean I am becoming a gardener?) You see this dying grass area… It is the future home of more planter boxes, more bumper crops of tomatoes and other yummy goodies (hopefully), and quite possibly more worms.
On a side note, I was thinking quite a bit about these worms as I stood searching for them every day. A few things stood out to me that I now think about every time I pass the tomatoes. For one thing, the horn worms are huge and yet very difficult to find. God put on my heart that they are a lot like sin in our lives. Sometimes it is difficult to see because it blends in so well. We don’t even want to look for it, because we are a bit disgusted at the thought of what we’ll find. But, we know we have to and fast, or the entire plant, (i.e. our bodies), will be eaten away! We see the devastation and the skat and know they have to be around, but sometimes we don’t feel like looking for them because the thought of pulling them off the plant is a bit too much. They are ugly. Sin is ugly. They devastate. Sin devastates. They are camouflaged. Sin likes to be camouflaged. I’m not sure why God put it on my heart so strongly, but I do love how His Creation speaks of who He is; and He is an amazing God!