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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Notice: garden closed due to armored bug takeover

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The mosquitoes have staged a hostile coup.
They are massive and ravenous, these Psorophor ciliata monsters.
They hold all veggies hostage in the garden fortress.
No weapons are effective against them.
We sneak in to aid the escape of ripe tomatoes, then flee.
You will find us in the house freezing heirlooms, Romas and whipping up gazpacho until further notice.




64 comments:

Andressa said...

amazing pictures for a saturday!

Maureen said...

The bugs seem to be bad everywhere this year. They've not been pleasant here in Va.

Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

Gazpacho is a fine way to sit out the most vicious of sieges!

California Girl said...

For once, our mosquitoes are elsewhere. Much as I look forward to summer each year, the bugs are just awful. You have black flies up where you are do you not? They are bad but the mosquitoes are worse. I must be spoiled. I don't recall but an occasional mosquito in LA.

Elizabeth said...

How we love nature

until it is just TOO much!
in the country for a week
with yes, mosquitos, raccoons, possums, chipmunks deer etc etc.
and weeks and things!

ellen abbott said...

one thing about the drought here in Texas, no mosquitos or stink bugs. Your garden looks lovely. Ours is down to okra and peppers.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Andressa, the rain that makes the mosquitoes thrive also makes everything lush and green!

Ruth said...

Maureen, all the variables seem to be right for the best, biggest and most prolific crops of bugs.

Ruth said...

Lorenzo, it's chillin' in the fridge while we chill in the house . . . listening to some 'Kind of Blue' from Flamenco Sketches. ¿Apt, no?

Friko said...

Keep covered, and, if possible, under cover.
For evenings - if it ever gets warm enough here to stay outdoors - I burn citronella tea lights or candles.

Ruth said...

California Girl, this is the worst I can ever remember. When we go out, they swarm, kamikaze style. We have deer flies, and Don had taken to wearing a hat in the garden, they were so bad. It's this humidity that the skeeters love. I'm about ready to join my son in L.A. I'll take the scorpions we had in Pasadena over this. :-)

Ruth said...

Elizabeth, we are having the most glorious reprieve from the horrendous heat of July, and we have enjoyed it a lot. I realize that every day that it's outdoor-livable we just have to be out in it, because you don't know how many days like that you'll get. But we can't now. Riding bikes is OK; the mosquitoes don't seem to keep up.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Ellen. I know, we had heat and drought for a long while this summer too, and bad as it was, we were grateful not to have the mosquitoes then. I'll tell Don what you said about the garden. He does all the work, and I cook. This is one end, less than a third of it. In there, trying to survive the shade of the volunteer sunflowers, are green and red peppers, Hungarian wax peppers, beets, turnips, Rutgers tomatoes, purple carrots, kale, and some other stuff I'm forgetting. It needs some work, but that's not happening today!

Ruth said...

Friko, we're safe for now, thanks. We've tried those candles, but in this bug climate we pulled out the big guns and sprayed. Don didn't want to spray the garden though, and that's why they've congregated there while we're bivouacked here in the house.

Shari Sunday said...

Ruth, charming post and charming photos. Thank you for visiting my blog and your encouraging words and your amazing story. I have always wanted to write, but I never knew what to write and I never liked what I produced. Until now. These blogs seem to have unlocked the flood gates. I may never find a way to make any money with my writing, but it is very satisfying to create a family history and to put my thoughts and feelings into words. Feedback is the icing on the cake and I value your opinion more than you know. It has been great getting to know you and all these little parts of our lives that we share.

ds said...

First, I am overcome by your sunflowers--magnificent! Second,am now thirsting for a bowl of gazpacho. If you must "bivouac" inside your house, that seems the best thing...

VioletSky said...

I keep hearing references to these kamikaze mozzies, but haven't seen many around here - and they usually really like me!
I think I might have enough tomatoes on my small, deprived, plant for one bowl of gazpacho.

Barb said...

Looks like you're already enjoying a bountiful harvest! The sunflowers are as high as the sky! Bzzzzzzzzz!

hedgewitch said...

The mosquitoes here have burned up in the drought and heat, and even the flies are minimal(we live next to lots of romantic fly-producing horse and cow manure properties)
Unfortunately, so have the tomatoes. I would love a bowl of cold homemade gazpacho right now. Gorgeous sunflowers, too.

freefalling said...

The garden looks like a dream come true!
All rambling and wild and perfectly off-set by the greeny-blue of the barn.
Here is my favourite tomato recipe from our summer just gone - great with cheddary cheese.
http://cookingwithfreefalling.blogspot.com/2011/05/tomato-chilli-pickles.html

How is Don going now without all his chooks to look after?

At least over here, we can still garden in winter.
And NO MOSQUITOES.
It's a glorious winter's day today - about 59F.
I think I might fire up the barbie!

missing moments said...

What's been amazing this year is that we do not have as many .. no idea why!! Just thankful!

Arti said...

"You will find us in the house freezing heirlooms, Romas and whipping up gazpacho until further notice." I love how you deal with situations as they come... accepting, flexible, reaping the fruits of life, literally. Beautiful garden and I'm sure wonderful summer fun indoor as well. Love your leisurely pace. ;)

Marcie said...

They're saying that we're experiencing a new breed of mosquito this summer - the 'tiger mosquito'. Apparently - won't give up until it bites. Not much fun..at all!

Vagabonde said...

Your two photos are lovely – they would look good in a country calendar. As for mosquitoes – we have plenty of them here. For some reason they do not bite my husband so he goes out and waters his planters – I watch him from the window as they love my blood and I can’t get out. Sometime one mosquito will come inside the house when he comes back, then it is a battle through the house but the tiny mosquito usually catches me before I can smack it. If the weather stays mild here, we’ll have mosquitoes until December….

Babs-beetle said...

Ooh! Nasty! Thankfully we don't get many flying, biting insects here - mainly gnats, and they're bad enough.

amy@ Souldipper said...

You've just reminded me of one of the benefits of living on an island. The ocean breezes keep those monster numbers down.

I provide a little swimming pool for the hornets and watch them dive in, float for a drink, and dance about if the fresh water is too cold.

Hope you will remember to be suitably smug when winter menus calls for gazpaucho.

Terresa said...

Mmm, save some gazpacho for me.

Ginnie said...

Astrid told me the other day that we're gonna have a bad mosquito crop here in the Netherlands this year, Ruth. So far, no problem here where we live but the myriad campesites elsewhere have made the news. I'm with you. They seem to gravitate to me more than to others, so I'd be indoors, too!

Susan said...

LOL!!

erin said...

tell me you run! tell me tomatoes spill from your arms!

i know these battles well:)

xo
erin

Louise Gallagher said...

Mosquitoes were vicious early on in summer. And now, they seem to have disappeared. maybe they went east?

Beautiful photos! How lovely your garden looks

Brendan said...

Wimp. If you're going to eat from the garden, you had better be willing to have the garden eat from you. I sit out with our stray cat while she eats at 4 a.m. wearing boxers and a dago T and take my lumps (and bites) for love.

Jeanie said...

Those skeeters are bad dudes -- I'm told they have super-bites. I don't want summer to be over but...

cathyswatercolors said...

Amen sister! The mosquitos are unbelievable! I let Ruby ( the pup) out and whirl my arms round and round. I'm sure it's a lovely site,especially in my nightgown:) It is only semi effective. I need to weed!

Ruth said...

Thanks, Shari.

Most writers never find a way to make money with their writing, that's the straight fact. Thankfully that doesn't mean there aren't skilled writers out here. I'll say it again, your piece about your experience at the press, and Archy and Mehitabel was one of my favorite blog posts ever, anywhere. Thank goodness for our blogs. I had virtually stopped writing before starting mine.

Please keep writing.

Ruth said...

The sunflowers and Don thank you, ds. Actually, you can thank him for leaving the sunflowers, not planting them. They have all grown, and regrown, first from birdseed, and then volunteering on their own. It's been a decision whether to take them out and let the peppers and beets thrive, or leave them and look magnificent. I think they're over ten feet tall.

The gazpacho is delicious — is because I made enough for an army (and not of mosquitoes). Please come have some!

Ruth said...

Violetski, be grateful! (oops, one just flew in front of my screen; I have no mercy). When Don is around, they usually go for his ankles. But these attack us all without asking who's who.

May your [limited] tomatoes bring you joy.

Ruth said...

Barb, aren't they wonderful? And yes, we are at the beginning of the tomato avalanche . . .

Thanks for stopping by.

Ruth said...

Hedge, come on over, there's gazpacho left. As I told ds, I made enough for an army. I hope your heat is letting up, or will do so soon. I know it's been brutal on you. Ours finally let go of us.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Letty, that chili sauce looks fabulously melt-the-nose-hairs potent! But wait, I don't see any tomatoes in it, just the really cool tomatoes in the photo. Hmm. Help? I do like that recipe, if I can survive it, and that Sally link. Wowee.

Yeah yeah, you can garden all year. And yeah it's cool. And yeah barbie. Any other little treats you wanna tell me? I suppose you're looking at a beautiful sunset too?

I thought Don would miss the chooks. But nope. We were walking out behind the barn for a walkabout the other evening, and the yard looked so empty. I felt nostalgic for them . . . there was their jungle gym! I looked at him, and he just shook his head. For one thing, his garden grew great without their helpful digging. (Not that we can harvest anything now, mind you.)

Ruth said...

Reena, good!

Ruth said...

Thanks, Arti. We enjoy this farmy place and pace. I'm glad you stopped by.

Ruth said...

Oh, Marcie, I hadn't heard that term. I wonder if they're related to the tiger mom . . . :-)

Ruth said...

Thanks, Vagabonde.

Our mosquitoes are usually drawn to Don. If he is around, I am safe. But these hordes hound us both. They dive and attack, without hovering. It is panic-inducing, seriously. I'm hoping for some dryer weather, and wind, which usually blows them away. They have a life span of 7-14 days . . .

Keep your husband around, at least until December then. ;)

Ruth said...

Babs, oh gnats. They hover in front of your eyes, loving the moisture, I guess. These mosquitoes are so bad they are making the news everywhere here.

Ruth said...

Amy, island living sounds like heaven about now. I like your pastime with the hornets too. OK yes, when snow flies, I will be smug, and probably with tomato soup rather than gazpacho. Enjoy your island . . .

Montag said...

Gazpacho! Now there a topic worthy of a poem!

EcoGrrl said...

oh the picture is sooooo dreamy!

Ruth said...

Terresa, there's plenty left! I'd love to share with you.

Ruth said...

Boots, let's hope they don't get as far as Gorinchem! (did I get the name right?)

Ruth said...

Susie, we laugh, and weep, together, my dear friend.

Ruth said...

Yes, erin, that is how it is. :-)

Ruth said...

Thanks, Louise. The garden is all Don. I traipse in and nab the veggies and cook, and take pictures. It's a nice life for me. I hope you can finish the summer without further mosquito invasions.

Ruth said...

Brendan, yes, me a yella-fevered scaredy-cat. The big ones zoom direct to the arms and legs, no hovering. The little ones bounce around the eyes. They attack en masse all over the head. I literally start panicking!

Ruth said...

Jeanie, I know what you mean! I saw leaves falling from the walnut the other day . . .

Ruth said...

Cathy, did you learn that from me??

Ruth said...

Montag, I feel an ode coming on . . .

Ruth said...

Thanks, EcoGrrl!

who said...

If you can't get rid of standing water, put a capful of Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis. The animals can still drink the water, but the larva nursery get's the kibosh

Ruth said...

dusti, we do have a pond. I'll tell Don, thanks!

annell said...

Everything has a purpose? But I don't like them! And I'm not sure I would miss them. Would I say, "oh, but I really miss when they bit me?"

Lil Coyote said...

eeks!
it even looks mosquitoey!
nasty lil buggers
Rick

Loring Wirbel said...

Mosquitoes are banned at the border in Colorado. We have none. Of course, we have no fireflies, either.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Oh this is so wonderful.. everything about it.. and good things to eat in the end..