The day before yesterday, I was out in my greenhouse checking my tomatoes, when I spotted two stick insects making beautiful love on the wall of the house.
Now, anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE all creatures great and small. Okay, mosquitoes, flies, fleas, and ants don't actually make it onto that list of loves, but I'm so bio-diverse that I'm happy to share my house with the odd daddy-long-legs (until it starts looking like the Musters' place, and I do a clean sweep)
So there I am in the garden, next to said tomatoes and gushing over stick insects, going, "Go, stickies. Make beautiful babies. Bring more beautiful stickies into the world," before happily tootling off to visit my mother, go to work, write a book...you get the picture.
So this morning, I go out to view my crop of tomatoes, only to find they have been almost completely defoliated. Every. Single. Branch, just a twig. I'm aghast! "What the h...?" I say.
Then the image of those two stickies snaps into my mind. As anyone would, I run to my computer and immediately Google, "What do stick insects eat?"
No really incriminating evidence returns. Mostly lists of leaves of various persuasions. Nothing to imply that the stickies ate my tomatoes. But I don't believe in coincidence, so I go back to the greenhouse and run an accusing eye over the greenhouse.
Then I spot them both, one hanging trussed up in a spider's web like something out of Lord of the Rings and the other with three legs missing and dangling from a shelf, his feet covered in spider web.
So I do the only thing I can - I take this photo of him and release him into the rosemary. What else could I do?