THE PENITENT by May Lattanzio

I have a 4-tomato garden this year. Everyone said – grow them in pots. So I did. I got two varieties – one would bear fruit in 70 days, the other at 90. They have been fertilized and despite my efforts, the blossoms fell off, the tips folded and shriveled and they are starting to gasp.

I found one grasshopper and moved it into the blackberries.

Yesterday, I was looking for whatever was killing my plants. They are nearly as tall as I am.

Then I found this.

When caught munching, it promptly hung its head and folded its hands, no doubt, begging for mercy.

How could I pluck it off its leaf and squash him?

Then I found its cousin and the baby.

Leave them alone – the damage is done.

Maybe next year I’ll be out there with the dust – but not this year. Too late.

(Besides, they’re pretty.)

Bayou George, FL
Sony W50

Author, poet, freelance writer, rescuer of dogs and cats,
animal welfare advocate, hookbill owner, occasional wildlife rehabilitator, chaser of bugs who just loves photography.

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  • BonnieWoodson
    BonnieWoodsonover 4 years ago

    Very nice dof and the colors are gorgeous☺

  • Carla Wick/Jandelle Petters
    Carla Wick/Jan...over 4 years ago

    I get these every year? But have yet to have my poor tomatoes die because of them.
    My potted plants have only given me 4 tomatoes…and very SMALL ones at that. But all my ground growing ones I can’t keep up with.
    Love that you’re willing to give this amazing moth the chance to grow beautiful!

  • eithnemythen
    eithnemythenover 4 years ago

    Wonderful detail..

  • Enivea
    Eniveaover 4 years ago

    Bless you May for your tolerance and understanding. Yes, they too have their place in the world. Next year, don’t dust – it poisons you and the environment. Just give your plants larger pots with more humus and feed them organically and the pests won’t be a problem.

  • Trish Meyer
    Trish Meyerover 4 years ago

    An excellent capture May!
    This looks very much like our Hawk Moth Caterpillar

    which prefers plants other than tomatoes.

  • Trish Meyer
    Trish Meyerover 4 years ago

    Well my link didn’t work … never mind … I have a few in my portfolio if you would like to view.

  • jesika
    jesikaover 4 years ago

    Beautiful image, lovely caterpillar which will become an equally beautiful moth. I NEVER use pest/insecticides in my garden.

  • MissyD
    MissyDover 4 years ago

    Fantastic find and capture!

  • walela
    walelaover 4 years ago

    Excellent shot!

  • Lorraine  Stern
    Lorraine Sternover 4 years ago

    Wonderful image and wonderful attitude to nature!
    I never use pesticides either and seem to have a lovely balance, the ladybirds eat the aphids, the lizards eat the snails, wasps eat the spiders and the spiders eat the moths!

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