The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
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email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works as gregjacksonedlp@gmail.com too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Bente's Historical Introductions,
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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Night School for Gardeners

This stealth horse cannot be found at night.
We stepped outside this morning - Sassy immediately headed for Almost Eden. Sassy spotted the dog Opie and her owner, Almost Eden. Sassy is quite considerate now. She kept checking with me about whether it was OK, and it was. Almost Eden laughed about that and said Opie wants to come to Sassy's house all the time.

We took a tour of the wild area growing on his enormous mound of topsoil. The dogs played tag and had a great time.




I was thinking about night inspections of the garden, which I carried out last year. Why was one Butterfly Bush and one vine barely alive? I took a bright LED flashlight out a number of times and saw the culprits - slugs. The slugs kept those plants small enough that their leaves were like fresh lettuce to them Slugs rasp vegetable material into their bodies, so they are more proficient on juicier targets.

I will save you time - there is no good cure for slugs except to reduce their favorite places. Beer in a bowl helps the conscience but that only puts a nick in their population growth. As stated before, last year boasted record rain falls and a yard turned into a shallow pond most of the time. I reduced vegetation all around the AC unit, which one slug knocked out, giving up his miserable life in the process. I let the straw bales rot into the soil in the sunny garden, giving me an even richer soil and fewer pockets of rot for the slugs. I still find them in the kitchen at midnight, usually one fat tiger slug at a time. I would rather air launch them into the backyard than mess with them indoors.

What's chewing on my prize hybrid teas?


Roses at Night
I examined the roses many nights and saw the night pests at work - shamelessly peaking out at me, daring me to do something. These were the allies of the day-workers, the aphids, chewing the flowers and leaves instead of sucking the juices dry, as aphids do.

Seeing red is a good expression. I was outraged. My newest and favorite hybrid teas were being devoured at night and drained during the day. I wanted to bomb them with pesticides but waited for beneficial insects to take over, which they did on the next bloom.

I theorize that the white John Paul roses and almost white Peace roses were hardest hit because they offered the clearest profile at night. All night blooming flowers are white because color has little meaning at night and is not attractive to night pollinators.

Viceroy butterflies pretend to be bad-tasting Monarchs.
Camouflage is from French - to deceive.
Many creatures use clever devices to ward off predators.
How they created and engineered them with so much
knowledge of their opponent, according to evolution,
is a a continuous marvel to me.



Bats
New Ulm had ferocious mosquitoes at night, but they also had clouds of bats arriving at twilight. I enjoyed sitting outside waiting for the bats to arrive. We could see them come out of the Methodist Church from the parsonage picture window.

In the yard, the bats swooped around with their leathery wings, not scary at all. I learned that the bats in the church basement could fly at my head and veer away with their sonar. They are as frightening as butterflies but not as colorful.

Slugs like the cabbage family - and I do too,
especially these little Brussels Sprouts.