It seems that farm life is a constant struggle to live harmoniously with nature while still being able to provide for our needs. Each Spring brings the gift of new life and the challenge of keeping that new life from consuming our land. The local wildlife is procreating and with that comes the task of teaching their young to hunt. And, once again our ducks and chickens are at risk of becoming prey. Millions of gypsy moth caterpillars are erupting from their tent-like nurseries in the trees and setting out to eat their way into adulthood...consuming every green leaf in their path.
This poses a bit of a problem for our blueberry and fruit tree orchards. Our only defense is to manually remove the caterpillars, burn their nests, and spray our trees with BT (a harmless, organic bacterium).
I can remember the excitement I felt as a child when I would find a caterpillar. They seemed like such furry, friendly creatures. I would keep a few in a jar and feed them leaves, hoping to one day see their metamorphosis. I only wish I could still look at them with the same sense of wonder!