In mid-July, my hydrangea was a picture of beauty. It was the first time I had ever seen so many blooms. The lilies were full of buds and I eagerly anticipated their colorful arrival. The tiger lilies had already started to make their appearance.
Then one morning I went outside to admire my flowers and they were all gone. Half of the hydrangea bush was eaten, and every lily was chewed to the ground. I chalked it up to living in New England among the deer until I drove around town. That’s when I noticed that not everyone’s flowers get eaten. Some tiger lilies on the side of the highway don’t even get eaten, but mine do. No one takes care of those flowers. They should be a breakfast buffet for those beastly deer! But no, they come to my garden and eat my summer beauty that I lovingly sprinkle with garlic and hot pepper to thwart them. I don’t get it, maybe they like seasoning?!
With the warm weather we have been having lately, I have been out in the yard with the kids a lot. Some of my plants are still growing and some are still being eaten. Just the other day my hydrangea was attacked again; it was just starting to fill out too. They got the lily greens again and the azalea (weird). Oh yeah and the mums I had just bought! My neighbors have their mums, all pretty, and they aren’t dinner for wild animals! Why do the deer like mine so much?
A few weeks ago my daughter, Paige, was playing with a perfectly cute, fuzzy caterpillar. It was white with taller black hairs near the front and back. You’ve probably seen them around lately as they seem to be everywhere. And you probably think “How cute!” Well, who knew that a fuzzy little caterpillar could be so mean! Paige came running into the house crying that the caterpillar had stung her and hurt her hand. I took a close look at her hands and sure enough they were red and a little swollen. I gave her ice to hold to ease the pain and made a baking powder paste to sooth the stinging.
Paige woke up during the night saying her hands were itchy so I put poison ivy itch relief and hydrocortisone on her hands. The next morning she was getting dressed for soccer and I noticed hives all over her legs and tummy. I called the doctor’s office and spoke to a nurse who had never heard of caterpillar stings. She put me on hold and when she came back she told me she had spoken to the doctor who thankful said that caterpillars do in fact sting and that it wasn’t uncommon to have a reaction. “Just give her Benadryl until the hives clear up.” Great, if we only had Benadryl in the house! It always seems that you don’t have the medicine when you need it and it’s a mad dash to the store to get it!
Two weeks have passed since the caterpillar incident…hives are almost gone! Most people don’t know that some caterpillars sting. They aren’t aggressive as far as I know; it’s just if you rub them the wrong way they will let you know! The one that got Paige is called the Hickory Tussock moth caterpillar.
If you feel like reading up on it, I got some usefully information from this website: http://www.asktheexterminator.com/Caterpillars/Hickory_Tussock_Moth.shtml. Consider this a warning to parents who let their kids play with insects! And if anyone knows how to keep the deer away from my flowers, I’m all ears!