Wednesday, July 22, 2015

My nemesis has arrived...

There were a couple times where I noticed something missing on our mountain.  The thoughts usually just passed through my mind when out in the garden.  Then yesterday I really let it settle in my mind.

So, it's been raining here since JUNE mind you (about 7 inches and counting) and it really never even became a thought that stuck until yesterday, when I innocently thought...I wonder where all the mosquitoes are this year?  

Well... they let me know they were here last night. 8 bites.  EIGHT!!!  And me without my mosquito net.

I'm a member of that group of people (they say it's mostly women) to whom mosquitoes are deeply in love.  We give off just the right smell and we, in turn, receive all of their attention.  

For years in the valley, that place of swarms so thick that they can block out the sun (figuratively speaking), I lived in fear of them.  I would develop a short-lived hate of my husband yearly because he could sleep next to me and not get even 1 bite, while I received 10.  Hence, I'd put a floor to ceiling net around the bed and check it nightly for any mosquito inside its confines.  No door was allowed to stay open for more than the instant you could get through it.  My ears could hear one in the next room.  

Anyway, who in their right mind would EVER forget their tools of torture?  This person did.  I mean, if I've collected over 7 inches of rain in my gauge, so did the ground and grottos and low places of the mountains.  That's not even counting the human-made collectors of rain...pools, watering cans, buckets left around.  Not MINE, which I empty religiously, but others out there.

It's all I can do to not panic as I run out to take care of the girls, or harvest.

Speaking of harvesting (notice that swift change of topic), I just had to show you that my lettuce harvest is back to normal after finding that gardening "recipe" that worked against my leaf-eating antagonists.  We are back to salads and toppings for tacos.  I didn't realize how much I loved the lettuces of summer, until they were almost gone.

Here, Effie is following me around as I turn the compost pile.  She knows that a grub, or two, will be turned up as I work.  She has become even more bossy, if that's even possible. She runs the others off if they try to find a grub while she's there.  

An aside on the grubs: looks like they are the larvae of the North American Rose Chafer beetle, that beetle I showed on another post.  THAT is what's eating my green beans and squash to pieces.  Many thanks to Melissa, who pointed me in the correct direction.  Online it says the beetles and larvae are poisonous to chickens.  I don't think my girls know that.  They dig up and eat the larvae with abandon.  Anyway, I guess I shouldn't indulge them in their obsession.  I'll just have to dig them up and destroy them.  Sad that they aren't good for my girls, though.  They SO love them.

Dinner tonight was Korean Beef, which I found on Pinterest.  It starred my own green onion and carrot.  The carrot is my invention.  Funny anecdote here: I diced the carrot and thought to par-cook it in the microwave before adding it to the dish.  You'd've thought there was metal in the carrot.  Sparks everywhere. So, with shaking hands, I took it out and just added it to the skillet.  It was good, despite the fireworks.

Been sitting here after dinner contemplating the chickens. I wish there was a way to get them to catch mosquitoes

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