A Buzzard Tale, and Aphids
It’s going to be a bad year for gardeners and a good one for aphids, if you go by what’s happening right now. The pictures show aphids both present and absent from a common weed in our yard, the sow-thistle (Sonchus sp.). These insects build up a population so fast it seems to happen overnight! My friends with the carefully planted and nurtured tomato plants had better be prepared. Sometimes I guess you have to resort to chemicals if the situation is bad enough, but I learned a trick from my father that is worth knowing, at least I think so. Aphids will try to avoid strong light if they can, and usually will try to stay under the leaves if possible in the brightest part of the day. The trick is to put pieces of aluminum foil under the plants. Apparently the foil reflects the light up toward the underside of the leaves and the aphids try to go around to the other side, where they meet even stronger light. Now, I don’t know why stronger light should bother them, but whenever I have done this, there are always a lot fewer aphids on my plants. And I don’t have to use chemicals when only a small number of aphids are on my tomatoes. So, it’s me and Reynolds Wrap this year, not me and Monsanto. I think I see lacewing eggs among the aphids, so maybe I’ll get some good pictures of lacewings (and ladybugs) eating aphids this year. The lacewing eggs are individually on little stalks, kind of like tiny parking meters stuck to the plant stem. I think you can actually see some on the plant that is bare of bugs, on the stem in the upper right corner, little parking meters.
The river is at 3.1 right now on the Butte La Rose gauge. Hard to believe. It didn’t get much lower than that when it was SUPPOSED to be low. But, water is on the way. It will be at 7.1 here by Monday – that’s a fast rise of 4 feet! The Ohio is still pumping up at the rate of about 2.5 feet/day and that will do the crawfishermen some good– get them traps ready.
Rise and Shine, Jim