If you heard a loud scream at 7:20 p.m. central time tonight, that would have been yours truly. A couple days ago, I cut a lovely bouquet of sunflowers from the garden and put them in the main bathroom. There are flowers all over the house this time of year -- gladiolas in my bedroom, zinnias in the dining room, and so on. Anyway, the sunflowers were lovely, but the petals began disappearing. No, they were not falling off. They were disappearing into thin air. I thought this might be some strange sunflower phenomenon, since I have never grown sunflowers before, and I kept meaning to email my flower farmer friend in Iowa, Miss Effie. I also wondered if perhaps there was some microscopic bugs eating the petals.
Then the answer came to me this evening, as plain as the petals that used to be on the sunflower. I was staring at the emaciated bloom, and it looked like one of those little green things was curling up. Being a tactile learner, I reached out to touch it -- and it moved! And I screamed! It was a caterpillar that was exactly the same green as the sunflower stem. Now, I do want to tell you that I don't normally scream when I meet a caterpillar in its own environment -- as in, the garden -- but I certainly don't expect to find one in my bathroom, and I was startled, to say the least. I swear I could hear him crunching on the last little bit of a petal. Anyway, I grabbed my cell phone and took a picture, since the little bugger seemed to want to say "Hi!" to all of you. See him at about 11:00, waving at you?
This evening, when I went out to cut fresh flowers, I made sure to look all over the fronts, backs, tops, and bottoms to make sure I wasn't bringing in any hitchhikers looking for a free meal!