Saturday, January 2, 2010

Sparrow Procrastination and the Green Menace



For many gardeners, green cabbage moth caterpillars are the ultimate pain of springtime existence. They hide well, camouflaged by a shrill green that blends perfectly into the lush surroundings of spring and early summer foliage (except perhaps in the balcony garden where wilt induced brown seems to be the new green.)

I have had my fair share of run ins with these little fellows. The moths make nightmares for Miss J. Hurricane J threatened to eat one once, (he actually may well have eaten it, but gullibility alerts lead me to think otherwise) and at one stage the Chard and I played a game of 'let's see who can launch the caterpillar over the street the furthest' (luckily no trams, pedestrians, motor cars or other miscelanous passing objects other than the pesky green caterpillars were hurt in this activity.) But in the comfort of my study-at-home seat (which tehcnically should be in my study but the dining room table has become my ersatz at home work space, I even brought my comfy desk chair out here), where I have spent the last millenium of my life getting a handle on this thesis, I have found a new friend in the fight against this fluroescent green foe - the sparrow!

Today I have seen two birds (or alternatively possibly the same one coming back for seconds) bounce around the balcony, taking occasional swipes at the greenery that is left. On no less than 5 occasions did this game result in the procurring of a wiggly green snack, eaten, every time, up on the ledge. That is 5 less caterpillars to make holes in my garden (and 5 more than I knew I had!) We don't get much wildlife on the balcony garden, a bit of a blessing when possums and other birds make meals of your fruitful vegetables, but these little blessings can visit anytime they like. Not only do they keep the garden relatively free of the green menace, but they let me procrastinate from my horror of a thesis for a few minutes or so! Win, win, I say. Now if only I could get a photo of one ...

8 comments:

Grace Peterson said...

Hi Prue~~ I believe, is how it's supposed to work. If you kill the caterpillars, the birds lose out. If you kill the birds, the caterpillars take over. A fine balance. You're very lucky. Kudos to your feathered friends.

Dan said...

Must have been cool to see the birds using your balcony garden. Nature always prevails.

Kate said...

Hi, Prue;
I'm laughing at your 'horror of a thesis' line. Hits home since I am on deadline for a food article this afternoon and am alternating staring out the window and visiting blogs, rather than tackle my own nightmare project. Sounds like the birdies are doing you a very nice favor. :)

prue said...

Grace - hehe you are right, ode to the circle of life.

Dan - it is cool, but also kind of addictive! Not that I am much of an ornathologist

Kate - deadlines are never fun, hope you got your work done. I have a month to churn out 20 000 words after a shift in focus, scsry but hopefully achieveable, that's if I ever stop watching the birds!

Lisa said...

I am so sad...I have protected the veggie patch from sun and possums using our lovely netting structure, but the green menace has taken over now, as the birds can no longer get to the nasty little shits.

I also have pear slugs on the pear tree, which are DISGUSTING. So I sympathise...

prue said...

Lisa - spray them? At least it is keeping the pesky possums at bay. BTW your sunflowers are beginning to look like teenagers who have outgrown their school uniform!

Lisa said...

OK, I'll come get them :)

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