July 26, 2013

Friday Follow-Up

This week:

-- I'm dealing with a plague of grasshoppers. They've killed a nectarine tree and a peach tree, leaving a peach pit still attached to the end of a stripped, leafless branch. They've nearly killed my only rose bush. They've killed a tomato plant and a pepper plant. As I walk through the horses' pasture, grasshoppers click and leap ahead of me; it's kind of surreal. I wish I could let my chickens out to free range - the grasshoppers would be gone in short order, but so would my chickens. (Although Cracker has never killed a chicken - that I know of - he does chase them away from home, where they are fair game for coyotes. According to Cracker, loose chickens do not belong here.)

-- My tomato plants have not set fruit, neither have my pepper plants. It's been a very strange summer. Do I blame this on the weird weather? the grasshoppers? the lack of bees? There are more 80-degree days coming, and we had 2.5" of rain Wednesday, with more expected today.

-- My riding buddy, Granddaughter, and I walked out to check on the blackberry thicket. The berries are quite late this year. The recent rain did them good though, thankfully. There were enough black ones that we could each snack on half a dozen or so. Splash, who Granddaughter was riding (I was leading him), decided he liked the slightly unripe ones, so we had to pick some for him as well. Cracker, the dog, carefully ate ripe berries right off the canes. I wonder if that's why there are never enough ripe berries when I check?

-- Juliet, the LGD who was on loan to me, went back home this week.

Felicity as a weanling

-- I finally fixed the fence where Felicity, one of the goats, was climbing over. She'd go over the north fence, snack on the tall weeds, and then cry because she couldn't get back in the pen. I am glad that I won't have to coax her back into the pen while keeping the others from going out the gate. I've also fixed the horses' fence in several places where they've been reaching over to the tall lush grass on the other side of the fence.

-- The buck, Phantom, is in rut. If you have goats, you know what that means. Breeding season has arrived a bit early this year, but as I've said before, this has been a very strange year.

What have you been up to? Leave a comment and let us know!


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9 comments:

  1. Sorry to hear about the locust!!

    We had a new peach tree lose all of its leaves due to Japanese Beetles.

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    1. I'm sorry about your peach tree, Sandra. Japanese Beetles are one bug I've not yet had to fight.

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  2. I saw one tiny grasshopper on one of the sunflowers yesterday and thought, oh no. They can really do some quick damage.

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  3. They surely can, Nancy. It doesn't take them any time at all to completely strip a plant. I hope your one tiny grasshopper isn't joined by the rest of his clan.
    ~ Kathi

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  4. Locusts. Ugh! Vile creatures! We haven't had too many around my house but it has been a very weird summer for the garden. I have never seen plants so huge - they are ridiculous! But they are all very late in bearing fruit. Even my sunflowers are over 12 feet tall with no heads!

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  5. Fruit is really late here in NE Texas too. Peaches are just now coming on.

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  6. It's so very strange, isn't it? This is really late for peaches. I've wondered if my tomato and pepper plants have gotten too much water since we've had so much rain. I remember my dad saying that if you water tomatoes too often, you'll have big beautiful plants but few fruits.

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  7. Between the over 100 degree heat and the grasshoppers, little black ants here I have lost a young rose bush, squash, bell peppers, and some flowers. They have eaten my marigolds that even the heat won't kill. Our mature apple tree lost the blooms early on to so no apple recipes this year. I hope next year won't be a repeat of this summer. I know i'm not alone in this. Everybody is having some kind of problems this year. jana

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  8. This has certainly been a hard year for just about everyone. I'm sorry that you've lost so much of your garden, Jana.

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