I have just spent a couple of hours playing 'field the toddlers' in our back yard. Amazing how children have no inhibitions about eating stuff. Ragwort for example. Or caterpillers. In this case, those black and yellow caterpillers that live on ragwort and turn in to cinnibar moths. I actually think they are quite pretty and I don't mind them eating the ragwort as I am going to pull it all up shortly anyway in my quest to turn the bombsite that is our yard in to a garden. And they do look quite fat and tasty.
I like to think that I have a 'live and let live' relationship with most garden pests. I am happy to contribute to the ecology of the garden by allowing slugs, snails and assorted aphids and caterpillars eat some of my plants, so long as they don't actually start killing things. At that point I adopt a more extreme policy - last night I was out at midnight with a torch picking small green caterpillers off the geraniums in my window box. Middle age is clearly approaching - ten years ago I would have been vomiting in someone else's window box at midnight on a Friday night, which I suppose is a method of caterpiller control to bear in mind.
We are off camping in the Wild Country for a few days, with friends and aforementioned toddlers. Bad time to start a blog as I am not anticipating having phone coverage, let alone an internet connection. Us females have managed to score on the creating a campsite front however, by sending the Ray Mears devotees on ahead with tents and children and following them a bit later with the rest of the kit. With any luck by the time we arrive the pavilions will be up, the mammoths will be caught and the firepits will be dug. Thank you Ray!