The horror story comes later in this post, first I am doing the lead in.

We used to grow some native tobacco species for their fragrance.  They are tall  gangly plant you put behind other plantings but at night they would open up the floodgates of this really heady fragrance.

They have  naturalized in our garden beds and come up in early summer as a weed. We let some grow here and there and this year I even transplanted some into the end of a bed.

Tobacco is  used as a natural insecticide so I don’t mind having it around, though I have never used it in that way. The species types can’t really be smoked as they have much higher nicotine content then the commercial varieties and would poison the smoker, but I have made tobacco twists in the past and given them as gifts to Native Americans to use in ceremony. They use them in tobacco ties or offerings to the Earth.

A couple days ago I was walking through the garden and noticed about half the leaves had been eaten off the transplanted tobacco. I immediately felt my heart sink as it was eaten off high like a deer would do and I was afraid some macho deer was leaping my should be too high for deer fence.

I didn’t have energy to deal with it so I filed the observation under anomalies and went on with my day. The next day I was in that section of the garden and saw practically all the leaves were gone and hanging on the bare stems were two tomato horn worms.

tomato hornworm

I stuck my finger in there for contextualizing the size. Incidentally, it is really hard to take a steady picture with a digital camera only using one hand. :-)

Now to the horror story which will require clicking this link. I have observed the parasitized tomato horn worms in my garden in the past and let them alone so the beneficial wasps would proliferate but it has been so long ago I imagine the Braconid wasps are no longer in my environment.