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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ants In My Pants!! Yes........really!!!

I know God will not give me anything I can't handle.  I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. 
We're starting out slow and easy this morning at Harmony Acres.  It's a little damp and cool outside today and no one (the cats and dogs) wants to get up, yet.  This will give me time to meditate (smoke cigarette and drink coffee) on the front porch as I watch nature slowly awaken to a new day.  The morning sunlight filtering through the trees gives a dappled effect to the canopy of life co-existing in harmony here (birds, rabbits, squirrels, cats, dogs, etc.).  We are at peace.  Simple Living at it's best. 

Roses always make me smile.
But there are chores to be done today, also.  So, of course, I must make a list and prioritize because I am just one little (well, not so little) not so old, limping (the ankle you know) lady with a lot to do.
My most pressing issue today is  Eastern Tent Caterpillars (first thought they were bagworms) in my Red Delicious apple tree.  Wouldn't you know that the year we decide to start a mini-orchard is the year every pest known to man decides to attack us.  I need to read the instructions on the fruit tree spray and seven dust I bought to see which, if either, will get the job done. 
After doing some research, I have discovered that I have to remove the squiggly, squirmy things by hand.  Oh, Yuck!  Double Yuck!  Anybody have a Haz Mat suit I can borrow?  I hate worms and their not so distant cousins, snakes!!!!
This is what I found in my precious apple tree!

There was a nasty little surprise waiting for me inside the web!
So I gear up to do battle with caterpillars (plastic bag, plastic gloves).  I am expecting to see squiggly worms when I puncture the web (worms are big enough I don't need my glasses to see them) but I see nothing at first but all these little round egg looking things.  And then:  an army of black ants are running all over me (I was about ready to shuck my clothes and didn't care who was looking) and the tree was instantly covered in black.  What! What!  What the heck! Nothing I read said ants would be in the web. So I run and get the spray and try to drown them (my first thought was "ants can't swim, can they?"later I read not to spray them but in my moment of panic that was my gut reaction).  It's too early in the day to deal with such things.  I need to meditate (smoke cigarette and drink more coffee) to recover from this unexpected attack.

After recovering from the savage ant attack, I decide to do some research.  I love books but when I need information fast;  I always google. 

This is what I discovered: 
There are all kinds of home remedies for ant invasions.  Baby powder, petroleum jelly, cinnamon, curry powder are just a few.  I use commercial pesticides reluntantly and only when there is no other choice (have you ever read Rachel Carson's Silent Spring?) Most of the things listed, I already have on hand.  The next four days have a chance of rain included in the forcast so I can look forward to the little beggers attacking my inside living space again.  There should be a rule that stuff outside stays there.  Oh Darn!  There is a tick (filty blood sucking little beggers) crawling on me.  Shoot! Shoot! Shoot! Hold on a minute till I can do a tick assassination.  Ah....the splendor of country living.

I have learned a valuable Simple Living lesson today.  Never assume that Nature will act or react in a manner consistant with my experience.  I know nothing! Nothing I tell you!   

When written in Chinese the word "crisis" is composed of two characters - one represents danger and the other represents opportunity.  ~John F. Kennedy, address, 12 April 1959

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