Sunday, July 21, 2013

Quote du jour/Gladys Taber

One lovely thing about the February landscape is that I can look out and not see one solitary Japanese beetle anywhere on all our acres. And last summer the air was black with them. We did all the usual things to control them, and if we ever sat down to relax, a million more would begin champing their jaws on whatever they missed before.

We felt very bitter, for the Japanese beetle is a newcomer in our valley. I for one feel the Government should make a war on this burden of mankind, allocating taxes and using the Army. One less bomb might be dropped in the ocean.

Gladys Taber
Stillmeadow Seasons 1950


Yuck 


An example of the destruction


Two minutes work last evening - I brushed them off into hot, soapy water.

30 comments:

  1. So happy to find you again - didn't know that you were posting again, guess I'm late to the party! Wonderful! I have lots of posts to catch up on-
    We have the dreaded Japanese beetles too - not too many, but if you see one, well, you know.
    Best wishes,
    Mary

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    1. You are so kind. I'm sorry. I should have let you know. When I stopped writing, I lost track of many bloggers, and am gradually finding them again. Thanks for stopping by so I could add your blog to my list.
      And you are so right - 'if you see one' :<)

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  2. Poor Gladys, poor Nan. We probably have them here too but I've never seen one up close. The pictures show their destructiveness. Back when Gladys wrote that, if the government had tried to do something about them, it probably would have harmed people too, don't you imagine?

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    1. I think she was being humorous, not serious. Though there are eradication policies for bugs that I've read about- for example, mosquitoes - but that is more for the disease they carry, I think. I had a much worse time last summer when I grew hollyhocks.
      http://lettersfromahillfarm.blogspot.com/2012/08/todays-poem-by-edgar-guest.html

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  3. I dopn't think we get those scary looking beetles here.

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    1. Do you have trouble with snails?? When we stayed in Wales for a week, we'd go out every morning and see the destruction they had done to the garden.

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  4. Tis the season for insects to gnaw on us and the plants and the animals.... which leaves me longing for frosty mornings and woozy socks.
    Happy Summer to you none the less~ and much luck with your buggy battles! :))))

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    1. Yeah, I've been looking forward to fall and winter, too. It's been a funny summer. Hot, and very rainy.

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  5. We have a few, but nothing like what you are experiencing! Yuck is right!

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    1. They don't like every plant. They are quite choosy. Rosa rugosas are a big hit.

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  6. They're in northeastern PA too. I just killed a few the other day. Apparently yours didn't appreciate the soapy bath you gave them. :)

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    1. Thank goodness there is a way to get rid of them. Wish ticks were that easy! Though they do slow down this time of year.

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  7. Nan, Here it has been cucumber beetles... black and yellow striped tiny monsters. (Actually, they're sort of pretty, but the damage undermines their cuteness!) They have visited all of my vining plants EXCEPT the cucumbers... hitting my zucchini particularly hard. But, like you, I am a "hand picker" rather than a sprayer. I read that I could plant purple datura (a flowering annual) to distract them. Apparently, they love those leaves WAY more than the cucumbers, etc.

    Sorry for the damage the Japanese beetles have done in your gardens. :(

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    1. I remember cucumber beetles years ago, and just this year I see the leaves have been eaten so they may be back. I'll make a note of the purple datura. Maybe the Japanese beetles will like it too. I did see they were devouring the creeper vine that crawls up one area of lilacs.

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  8. They're terrible destroyers of plants!! What good do they contribute to anything? Just curious....

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  9. Yes, the rotten things are flying about here too. Grrrr....
    Your daylily on the header is gorgeous.

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    1. I wonder how much Gladys was exaggerating when she wrote of the air being black with them. Double yuck.
      The daylilies are having a fantastic year. I've never seen them better. They must like all the rain we've had, and are still having.

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  10. They are just beginning their mass destruction here on the Cutoff now, Nan. I keep jars of soapy water hidden here and there to brush them into (though one summer, I forgot one jar, and, well, the stench!).

    I tend to think of Japanese beetles as a rather new garden pest, but, here is our friend, Gladys, writing about it more than 60 years ago.

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    1. That's why I love reading old books. It is a great comfort in so many ways to know that what bothers us now, bothered those in older times as well. I love that 'our friend, Gladys' - she really is a friend. I barely believe she isn't alive down at Stillmeadow.

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  11. Japanese beetles...the one thing with the Japanese name that I'm not in love with! :)

    Have been meaning to tell you how much your comment meant to me (that you left in June) with its insight into my person about not feeling obligatory toward my reading. You've always understood me, Nan, and always encouraged me with your comments/perceptions.

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    1. Very, very witty!
      I ended up deleting the comment. I thought it was too ... something. I don't know. Maybe I thought I should've just emailed you. But glad you read it first. And I thank you for your words. You're very kind, as always.

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  12. Oh Nan I really think you may be Gladys re-incarnated! For at first glance I didn't see the title of your post and until I got to the end of the words, I thought you'd written them. Your pictures are graphic illustrations of the problems.

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    1. There isn't higher praise. Thank you so much.

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    1. A little poem about the awfulness of them. I loved it!

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  14. Soapy water is a fitting end for these wretched things! There seems to be a new crop daily.

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