Monday, July 16, 2018

overabundance starting early

The proliferation of zucchini has started! These squash produce so much, it is really incredible! So far, I've fried them, cut them up for burritos, and eaten some of the most tender ones raw. I still have a giant pile of them to eat.



Next, maybe I really will start leaving them on the doorsteps of unsuspecting neighbors....

Sunday, July 8, 2018

rainbow snippets on my current work in progress

I can't believe I haven't done a Rainbow Snippets in over a year, but I checked, and I haven't! Shame on me for not being more active. But I have had a lot on my plate this year, so I am forgiving myself.

Here are six sentences from a currently untitled work in progress:

Romance is dead, Kyle thought. He didn't know if this romance was dead, but it certainly seemed that way at the present time.

He watched his partner, Brodie, across the table as he played with his cell phone. Kyle couldn't see the screen but the flicks of his fingers indicating scrolling, scrolling, scrolling. Whatever Brodie was looking for wasn't being found. So, both the dinner company and the cell phone were not engaging his attention.

I'm currently about 2k in and at a point in the story where I have to make some decisions about what is going to happen, so of course I am procrastinating as much as possible!

The link back to Rainbow Snippets to check out the posts from other artists and writers: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets

thoughts on hiking, and photos

I went hiking this weekend -- just a short hike, nothing too demanding, although I'm always tired by the end -- and I have a couple pictures to share of some interesting views on the trail.

While I do like hiking, recently I've met some people who are *seriously* into hiking. Like, week-long or two week-long trips along trails are regular occurrences in their lives, because they *love* it. It made me think about Pyresnakes ( https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/pyresnakes-by-tray-ellis-8608-b ) and my hiking-enthusiastic characters in it. While I definitely enjoy a day hike, all that business about sleeping overnight in the woods, even if there are shelters built along the way for stopping at, makes me both confused and impressed. The tug and pull between those two styles of hiking was part of how I'd started to think about Aran -- if you loved hiking, what could possibly keep you from going on these overnight trips?

I don't think I'm ever going to be an over-night kind of hiker. I participated in camping when I was younger and I'm so done with sleeping on the ground. I really like beds and mattresses and having working plumbing nearby. But, that's what writing is for -- to enjoy all the hiking without ever leaving home. :)

Ah, and here and the photos:

Friday, July 6, 2018

Fifty beetles

I collected over fifty beetles this evening (I did brave the wasps, which appear to be goners, although I didn't go close enough to really know for sure) -- included two of the spotted beetle variety. With an infestation this severe, I am now considering just taking down the fronds. It would mean that the bed probably wouldn't survive, but with this many beetles for such a little patch (seriously, it's about 3' x 2' total, it's rather small, I was only eating a handful of spears a year) I'm wondering if I'll get any asparagus next year anyway, and I'll have spent quite a lot of time policing the spot. I can always re-establish in a few years.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

now, wasps!

So...during the extended battle against the asparagus beetles, another enemy was spotted. A wasps' nest, right behind my asparagus patch! It's been sprayed, but now I'm cautious about returning to the field of battle against the beetles. I don't want to get near any errant returning wasps.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

again with the beetles

I am aware of three main super annoying beetle types in my area (I know there are more, I discover more types every time i try to grow something different).

First: lily leaf beetles, which attack Asiatic lilies. I have fought those buggers before and made them rue the day that they met me. Then I moved away, and I no longer had to care for the lilies in the flower bed.

Second: cucumber beetles. I hide my cucumber seedlings inside until the middle of July to wait for them to pass. Or I don't grow cucumbers. I grow squash instead. This year I'm trying squash, although my seedlings are not doing well after transplant this year. They usually grow like gangbusters and I have more zucchini and summer squash than I can eat, even when I'm only growing a few vines. My experiences with the proliferation of squash spurred the creation of my story Operation Wild Thumb in the Dreamspinner anthology Simmer, which you can find here: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/simmer-5594-b
Last year I grew three plants and was getting squash off them well into late October -- multiple squash. I had them piled up on the counter.

Third: this new beast, the asparagus beetle, of which there are two kinds -- the spotted and the common. I found this guide very useful: https://naldc.nal.usda.gov/download/ORC00000268/PDF I've got both beetles in my garden. At the moment, I'm barely holding my own. I picked FORTY beetles yesterday. I got 8 this morning. I will head out again a little later. They are apparently more active in the later afternoon, so I will show up again with my jar of soapy water.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

beetle update

Beetle update: For four days, I went out and was catching between a dozen and two dozen beetles. Today the number dropped down to six. The heat wave is here so I'm not sure if that is because the temperature change affected the insects, or if I finally got to the point where I've gotten most of them, and I'll only find the newly hatched ones from here on out. Or, maybe it was just an off day and tomorrow might spike up again.

I also saw the first Japanese beetle today. Those always go to devour my yellow roses. So, I'll be out policing both my asparagus patch and my yellow rose plant now.