{this moment} & eye spy…

I remember the first time I found one of these nasty creatures on my tomatoes. It was 2006. We had recently separated permanently from the Air Force and moved to Iowa to start our own company building and remodeling homes. We were living with my husbands’ parents while we made the transition. (It was supposed to only be for 3-4 months, but ended up being about 9, I think…) Anyway, that year I had my first massive garden on the edge of my father-in-law’s bean field. I have not had as nice a garden since, by the way. That year, I canned over 100 quarts of tomatoes and close to 100 quarts of pickles. Too bad I had no clue what I was doing that year and good thing I didn’t kill us all with botulism!

Anyhow, one morning I went out to my garden to find many of my tomato plants devoid of leaves. As I inspected them, I noticed enormous green pellets (poop) on the stems and the ground. I called my dad. He knows everything {almost} that there is to know about gardens. He told me it was most likely horn worms and I needed to find them because they would decimate my plants. I asked what they looked like. He told me they matched the leaves. I asked how would I know when I found one. He replied, “You’ll know.”

OH. MY. WORD. You probably could have heard my shriek of terror in Timbuktu when I found my first one. I begged my dad to get in his car and drive the 6 hours from Missouri to Iowa to kill it for me. I vowed to give up gardening forever then and there. My dad laughed and laughed and laughed but did not come to rescue me. Eventually, I got brave, found a pair of scissors, and just cut the nasty things right in half off the tomato branches. And it’s a good thing my garden was prolific and delicious that year or I might not have tried again! I tell you, I was traumatized by those nasty, nasty creatures.

Fast forward to 2011. I haven’t had one single tomato horn worm on my tomatoes since then. But this year they are back. And all 3 of my big kids are fascinated with them! Fine with me because I still don’t want to touch them. I still think they’re as nasty as it gets. I don’t care if they mess around with them, but seriously, I draw the line at horn worms on my dining room table.

If you click on this picture to enlarge it, how many of those blasted creatures can you find in the plastic container on the bottom left? (And don’t you love my 7 year old’s filthy, filthy fingernails?) Have you ever seen anything so nasty in your life? I tell you what, gardening requires dirty work sometimes. I’m thankful for my four children who do the grosser jobs for me now! 🙂

Happy Friday, Friends!

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    • Where's your sense of adventure??? ;-) We love the country. The kids flourish and find so many creative ways to pass the time. I think it's fabulous. Except for tomato horn worms. I still don't like them.
  1. The boys and I found one of these in the yard the other day, and were facinated with it - it was SO COOL! To look at. I refrained from touching it (can't say the same for the boys). We put sticks down near it to watch it grab and hang like a fat green sloth. DH was not so amused... he knew what a menace this critter was. Oh well. :-)

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