It had been a summer of darkness and light. First, the worms. We thought that by removing all the Styrofoam-like egg cases from tree branches and lopping off twigs with the early webs we’d gained a leg up on their summer’s advance. We thought wrong.
(Dark section of this tree's trunk is solid caterpillers.)
Soon we were surrounded, as the native woods endured the first round of attack and the familiar canopy of shade began to disappear. Having stripped the giant Alders, these voracious tent caterpillars moved on to new territory. For days, standing in silence at the edge of the yard, we heard the dropping of small bodies, or their droppings - we never knew for sure which - like the pitter-patter of a gentle rain. Seeing cherries standing out like rounded bright red sore thumbs on a nearly leafless tree and gorgeous full-blown roses on naked stems, I knew we were defeated. My husband swept the porch numerous times each day and resorted to spray, but it was a case of simply letting nature run its course. Our yard became noticeable sunnier.