Lunch guest

[kitchen table show ‘n’ tell]

Today during Lovingly Prepared Lunch #168 (in the Age of Coronavirus), a chubby caterpillar was discovered crawling up my kid’s T-shirt.

And my kid, who discovered it (“What is THAT?”) then suggested I clear the table *before* the next Lovingly Prepared Lunch.

At every meal, I scoot acorns and plants and whatnot out of the way, to make room for Blue Willow china, so I figured we were okay supping among seasonal treasures. But we all have our limits. His limit was a larva during Baked tofu.

And then:
1) I photographed the caterpillar and released it into the Black-eyed Susans.

2) I tried to ID the caterpillar, but like many of my Lovingly Prepared Lunches it was not “distinctive.”
Codling moth larva? Acorn weevil larva? I had just shucked corn, so maybe a Corn moth caterpillar?

[mystery guest]

3) I photographed the offending tablescape as a record of Seasonal Sidewalk booty.

Swamp white oak leaves and young acorn
Black oak leaves (and fuzzy gall!) and acorns
Shagbark hickory
Bitternut hickory
Pignut hickoryi
Black walnut
Crinoid fossil
Passionfruit big and small
Cicada husk
Spanish needles seed-head
Bittercress seeds
Honeyvine milkweed pod
Anglepod milkweed pod

[Pignut (see the snout?), cicada, Bidens bipinnata]
[Wooly oak leaf gall on Quercus velutina]

4) And now,
I have to clear the table.


Joanna Brichetto is a naturalist in Nashville, the hackberry-tree capital of the world.

My Instagram posts are 100% nature, and most of it the Sidewalk kind.

I’m not fond of facebook, but some people are on it who aren’t on Instagram, so I post nature things there from time to time.

I write about everyday natural wonders amid every habitat loss, and my essays have appeared in Creative Nonfiction, Brevity, Fourth Genre, Hippocampus, The Hopper, Flyway, The Common, City Creatures, The Fourth River and other journals.

My current project is a book of linked essays called Paradise in a Parking Lot.

Dream: that more homeowners would ditch traditional lawncare and DROP these things: leafblowers, weekly mowings, irrigation, pesticide, herbicide, fertilizer.