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Even though I don't currently have any space to garden, I do love walking around my neighborhood to see, smell and enjoy all the early spring plants that are blooming. The irises are especially lovely with their regal, royal purples and deliciously sweet smell.

With plants come insects, some of which can harm your garden, or even you. When I had a garden, I made sure to plant strong-smelling herbs like lemon balm, basil, and spearmint both for their culinary benefits and also to repel nasty mosquitos that love to take up residence in the undergrowth of plants.

In addition to walking the neighborhood, I also started following a few Lubbock Gardening pages, to live vicariously through my fellow Lubbockites. Some local gardeners have been reporting an "infestation" of a rather adorable and totally harmless kind- Hyles lineata, aka white-lined sphinx, aka Humming Bird Moths.

Dang, they are so cute. Looks like a Pokemon.

Richard EH Barnes on Youtube
Richard EH Barnes on Youtube

These fuzzy critters have a pink band on their wings and are called hummingbird moths because they are huge- with a 2 to 3-inch wingspan. They also fly and hover in a way that reminds one of a hummingbird. These lovely adults might eat an occasional flower, but prefer the nectar within, making them excellent pollinators. They tend to feed nocturnally; however, you can still spot them flying around during the day. They are particularly attracted to flowers like Columbine and Honeysuckle and prefer white/light-colored flowers the most.

The larval stage (aka hornworms) is also pretty cute, in my opinion. Note: Hummingbird moth hornworms are not the dreaded "tomato worm" that is incredibly destructive to tomato plants. Learn how to tell the difference here.

Richard EH Barnes on Youtube
Richard EH Barnes on Youtube

Here is a very nice video about the life-cycle of the HummingBird moth.

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