Louisa Enright's Blog

Mainely Tipping Points

Oh No!

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Turkey Tracks: June 9, 2020

Oh No!

You know that pretty picture I posted with the blueberry bush with all the flowers on it?

At lunchtime I went outside to get some fresh herbs for my lunch salad and discovered it COVERED with brown tail caterpillars happily munching away at all the leaves on the two bushes. They have nearly been denuded.

I had just put diatomaceous dirt (which looks like a white powder) on the new blueberry bushes, which were suffering the same fate, and had dusted the new raspberry canes and the strawberries, which are blooming heavily and forming fruit. Yes, some of the new raspberry canes showed signs of being chewed, and I could see some of the caterpillars in the strawberries.

I brought the herbs inside and turned right around to get more diatomaceous dirt for the big blueberry bushes. LOTS of caterpillars on them. Ugh! I did my best. Now I just have to wait and see. I came inside to wash up (again) and found a caterpillar on my shirt. More Ugh!

Here was my reward, topped with fresh dill, chive flowers, chopped chive stalks, and tarragon. The lettuce is from my garden, too. The protein is roasted chicken.

I need to buy rosemary plants…

Written by louisaenright

June 9, 2020 at 9:58 am

2 Responses

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  1. Louise, are these like the gypsy moth catepillers that defoliated New England some years back? They were horrible!!!

    So sorry you have to endure this on top of everything else,

    Shirley Woods

    Shirley Woods

    June 9, 2020 at 12:44 pm

    • Thanks for reading my blog, Shirley. No, the critters are very clearly the brown tail caterpillar. We have had a devastating region-wide issue with them for the past few years. People have lost acres of hardwood trees. The caterpillars are…terribly toxic too. People are treating trees with systemic poisons that don’t hurt the tree and that put the pesticide into their leaves to be eaten, but it is horribly expensive. Like $700 a tree. Not going to do that. And spraying on my hillside property is not going to happen. It would probably make me and AC Slater doggie sick anyway. Down the road I may lose some trees around the house—that’s the scary part if they fall on the house. There is a natural fungus that can kill them that develops with cool damp weather. That got them back in the day when a similar situation developed. We have the cool, but not the damp right now.

      louisaenright

      June 9, 2020 at 2:15 pm


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