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How is it the week goes by so slowly and the weekend flies? I will have to ask Doctor Who sometime, I am sure he has a perfectly logical explanation.

Grapes!

A warm weather week continues to make the garden happy. Not much in the way of rain though so we will have to tap the rain barrels in the morning to give everything a drink. I picked the first zucchini and managed to catch it before it got huge! Woo! I am still getting peas but they are beginning to slow down. And the lettuce is about to bolt. I harvested all the garlic too. Some of the bulbs this year are a little small, but overall not a bad bunch. It will keep us going at least into the winter months. The raspberries and currants are done. Now I just have to figure out what to do with the currants. There aren’t enough red ones to make a proper jam but maybe I can make some sort of jam-like spread that will cover a piece of toast or two. It’s the same for the black currants. The bushes are still small but I still got quite a few in spite of that. Maybe a red and black jam combo? They are all in the freezer until I figure it out.

Earlier this week Bookman noticed there were a whole lot of Japanese beetles on the honeycrisp apple tree. They had made a pulp of a couple small apples and were turning lots of leaves into lace. What to do? Traps apparently don’t work, serving only to draw more beetles rather than to get rid of the ones already there. And pesticide is out of the question. So it was me and a dish of soapy water. I spent about 30 – 45 minutes catching beetles. The ones that were having sex were easy, just hold the dish under the leaf they were on and tip them over. The singles took more work, I had to catch them in my hand. While they don’t bite, there is still a bit of creepy-crawly factor about them with those hard shells and strong legs. And sometimes they could see my hand coming after them and off they would fly.

Nonetheless, I managed to dunk about two dozen. I took my dish out to the chicken garden and the Dashwoods came running to see what I had. We use nontoxic soap so I had no worry about giving the bugs to the chickens. I dumped the dish over and as soon as the bubbles soaked into the ground and the Dashwoods saw all the beetles it was a feeding frenzy! The beetles were gone in less than 30 seconds.

Today I found several very large beetles I have never seen before, maybe they are grape loving beetles? (yes! They are called grapevine beetles of course) Anyway, they were huge. Two pairs having sex. So much sex going on in my garden, a veritable orgy! I didn’t bother with the soap, I just got a cover for my dish, knocked the naughty beetles into it and covered them up. I took them immediately to the Dashwoods who got so excited about them. These beetles were so big they couldn’t gobble them down so they grabbed and ran.

Mrs. Dashwood got hers down and I think Margaret missed out entirely, but Elinor and Marianne were still running around with big beetles in their beaks so Margaret and Mrs. D made a chase of it so see if they could nab a beetle. I wish I could catch one of these chases on video sometime but I never know when they are going to happen. They are completely hilarious to watch. The one with the food runs around, frantically trying to get the too big whatever it is down while keeping away from her pursuers. The chase is sometimes one, sometimes two or three, and they can be calculating in their attempts to trap the one with the food in her beak. If the one with the food panics it is even funnier because she gets a worried look about her and starts to squeal. Who needs TV or video games when chickens offer such great entertainment?

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