Beautiful little seedlings
planted with great care
and hope
have been disappearing
overnight.
Digging in the soil,
I have found the culprits:
gray, mushy-looking cutworms
which I take to the chickens and guineas.
These moth larvae
live in the soil during the winter
and wake up hungry in the spring,
then cut fresh seedlings at soil level
during the night.
Devastating.
We now plant our seedlings
inside toilet paper rolls
to trick the cutworms.
There is quite an infestation
this year.
And so, there is a huge population
of moths.
Moths of endless shapes, sizes and colors
(after all, there are 160,000 identified species,
with thousands yet to be identified)
are flitting all over the farm.
They fly in front of us
as we walk.
Yesterday, digging in the soil
to plant more seedlings,
I found a few more cutworms.
The guineas got those.
The trick is to keep the seedlings alive
until the cutworms hatch into moths.
Thankfully,
there’s only one generation a year.

Another thunderstorm blew in late last night
and brought another almost two inches
of rain,
in addition to the almost two inches
the night before.
This morning,
when I opened the front door
dozens of fluttering moths
showered my head.
These youngsters must have found shelter
from the storm there
between the screen door and the inside door.
Surprised at first,
I then was delighted
to have such a blessing:
more cutworms have wings!
Now they are busy
pollinating.

Moths and Honeysuckle