|The usual morning scene|
Frankly it sucked. And all because of the bugs: everywhere. First, there were the ever present grasshopper babies. I've enlisted family members to smoosh them and feed their parents to the ducks and yet still a multitude is perpetually munching. Next, an aphid discovery. Those little plant vampires completely infested my rainbow chard and my happy and exuberant watermelon vine. Its not enough for them to suck the life force out of my plants but they also attracted a horde of ants, hundreds and thousands, an army in fact. Also caterpillars! They were eating their way through the leaves and flowers of my beautifully trellised birdhouse gourd. And lastly, a new-to-me insect called scale on my favorite shade tree. These little suckers, (literally) attach themselves to the branch bark, and slowly sip the sap, draining my flowering maple of her sustenance.
|aphids on watermelon|
So I got mad and fumed about it for a bit, followed by several moments of self-pity. Then I paced around and grumbled, this always helps tremendously. I even threatened to quit the garden. (Sometimes quitting just feels like the most reasonable option). And then, finally, I got to work. I trimmed off the aphid infested leaves on the watermelon, muttering curses all the while. I swear I heard them laughing at me, that is until I covered them in a lacerating powder from fossilized seashells. "Ha, Ha!". I scoffed, "take that!"
Next I cut back all the chard, it was unsalvageable. The ants had entirely moved in with the aphid population. Laying waste to the chard forest turned into Ant Armageddon. As I hacked back the rainbow stemmed leaves, ants were fleeing left and right, crawling up and down my arms and legs, searching unsuccessfully for safety and retribution. At the base of each plant were mounds of aphid and ant bodies. It did actually make my feel sad to destroy their insect civilization. They had a pretty posh set up living together symbiotically under those lush leaves. But choices had to be made, right?
|scale on my flowering maple|
|hacked away chard|