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 ...