Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Roses before all the rain.............

Roses! We have around 28 different roses: wild or species roses, old roses (some of which date to the Renaissance) and the rest are mostly Canadian super hardy roses. Although it hasn’t happened in the past few years, the temperature can get down to 25 below zero.

The photo with only one kind of rose is “The Milford Rose,” which dates back to the late 1700 and was brought here by the Pinchot family of Milford. It appears to have come from France and is very, very fragrant.

Behind the feverfew,the Apothecary rose is in the foreground, Nearly Wild behind that and a nameless very old rose in the back.

In the bottom photo, the white rose is Frau Karl Drushki; the pale pink is New Dawn and the red one is Blaze.

Luckily I got these photos before all the rain turned most of the blossoms to mush.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Hats and flowers

The flower gardens look nice now. Most have been weeded, but need to have over-large clumps of things divided. It had been so cool that the flowers have held on much longer than usual. Only problem with that soon the Japanese beetles will be out and ready to eat the roses that haven’t finished blooming.

I did get some knitting done. I tried a hat from Charlene Schurch’s Hat’s On - - a totally wonderful book available from Schoolhouse Press. I love the braided bands so I added one at the bottom of the darker hat and then used a slightly different pattern for the grey/white hat. I was amazed at how the hats blocked out. I thought the braid was going to pull in, but it is very stretchy.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Gypsy moth plague

I have neglected my blog, but I have a good excuse. Gypsy moth caterpillars were going to eat all our trees again this year. The photo is from last year when they were destroying a chestnut oak. All our oak, maple and white pine trees were stripped bare last year. Their favorite trees are oaks. Of the oaks the one they like the best is the chestnut oak then the white oak and after that the red oak. The leaves are arranged from left to right.

And then the moths laid more eggs than I have ever seen here. So I scraped egg cases off everything I could as high as I could reach and then when the tiny caterpillars hatched, I started spraying everything as high as I could reach with Dipel - - bacillus thuringensis.

We participated (translation: paid for) in the county spray program so that helped immensely. Two days after the county sprayed, the ground was covered with dead caterpillars from the treetops. Nonetheless, some of the trees on our two plus acres are dead or dying.

The battle here is over, but in the surrounding heavily forested areas we have driven through in Pike and Wayne Counties that were not sprayed the trees are bare of foliage and it looks like fall. This year we have seen very few squirrels, most likely because there were no acorns or pine cones for them to eat over the winter.

The gypsy moth was a fiber accident gone horribly wrong. A researcher trying to get them to produce silk accidentally let some escape.