Monday, June 16, 2014

The garden "plot"

I once saw a cartoon which featured a man and his little girl in the garden.  He was explaining that the disease and bugs and other varmints were all out to get them and that's why they called it a garden "plot."
I can identify.  The Japanese beetles have made their arrival.  They are loving my white crepe myrtle.  I was quite shocked at church yesterday to see the sweet potato vine in the planters had their leaves made into lace by the Japanese beetles.
I have a Virginia creeper vine on the fence that the Japanese beetles like, too.
My tomato plants, which are looking fairly good overall....

 ...have a few places that look alarmingly like blight.

I'm fighting a losing battle with poison ivy, as well.  I don't use a lot of chemicals, but two weeks ago, I did spray some weed killer on some poison ivy here and there.
  I've also pulled up quite a bit by hand.
Whenever I go through the yard, I manage to pick up a few ticks.  I guess we can attribute part of that to the rodent problem, which seems to me as if it shouldn't be so dire, given the neighbor's cat and our snakes.
Yes, we have snakes (even in the house) but still have plenty of mice, moles, and rabbits.  We have moles, which supposedly eat beetle grubs, but you would never know it.  Now, the snake pictured was under the awning by the back door last Wednesday (just looking in at me in the kitchen eating my snack!!).  But the one that really gave me a start was one I saw the Wednesday before that.  I was doing some cleaning up around the heat pump, and I thought it would be smart to turn off the circuit breaker that is at the end of the house.  I opened the door to the breaker box and tried to push the door into the open position.  There is a bit of finesse required sometimes to get it into position to hold itself open.  I kept meeting with resistance, so after a few attempts, I bent down to see underneath the door, and there was a snake.  Boy, was I startled!  When I came back with my camera, the snake had gone behind the panel.  I lifted the panel off, but the snake had disappeared.  The only evidence in the breaker box was a bit of dead snake skin.  There is a good-sized hole that all the wires feed through.  It must have gone through that.  (So it's in the wall of the house or under the house.)
I also saw a good-sized snake skin by the shed in the backyard.  Do you think the snake thought "shed" was a verb and not a noun?  Wink


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