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This Veterans Day, purchase a buddy poppy from your local Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter and support a World War I memorial. Watch this video and remember those who fought for our freedom a century ago.

 

In Flanders Fields
by John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you, from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow,
In Flanders fields.

World War I Memorial

This year, Veterans of Foreign Wars posts across the U.S. will be selling buddy poppies to support the new World War I memorial in Washington DC. Dedication will be on November 11, 2018 – 100 years after the signing of the Armistice. When you see a VFW member offering poppies, please consider donating to a very worthy cause.

And, if you are eligible for the American Legion or VFW, please consider joining!

 

Fall garlic plantingMid-October is the time to plant garlic here in the mid-Atlantic. I purchased a half pound of mixed soft-neck garlic. Garlic from a seed supply store comes in large bulbs. You break apart the bulb into smaller cloves, and plant the cloves about 2 inches deep with the pointy end up, then cover with soft soil. In the picture I haven’t covered the cloves yet. This batch will grow all winter and spring, and be ready for harvesting sometime around early August next year.

Garlic is easy to grow  – try it!

Katydid’s last song

Cicadia

We were walking out to make sure our culverts were clear, preparing for a potential storm this weekend, when we heard a katydid, or cicada, call from the ground. Walking over we saw this guy seeming to call out his last buzz of the summer, winding down after serenading us most of August. I didn’t realize they were quite so colorful.

Anyway, he buzzed a few times, then seemed to stop. We figured he had moved on to that great locust tree in the sky, a good omen for cooler autumn weather.

Then the dog came by and ate him.

Gorgeous garden spider

Garden Spider

I about bumped into this lady in the garden today, and scared both of us!

This female garden spider was about 2 inches long claw-to-claw. Garden spiders produce a venom that is harmless to humans but immobilizes insects that are caught in her web. The zig-zaggy web below her is called a stabilimentum. The purpose is not known, but some suspect it is a warning to birds not to fly into the web.

She may or may not be in the same place tomorrow. These spiders have been known to eat their web at the end of the day, and re-spin it the next day.

Isn’t it a fascinating world?

Snails?

Snail colony?

I’m not sure what is going on here. We walked up to the barn a couple mornings ago and saw this patch of tall grass with dozens of small snails clinging to the blades. Feeding? Escaping something? Looking for love in all the wrong places?

Squash bugs

.squash bug.jpeg

Each summer we are invaded by an evil creature: squash bugs. These damn things plant small eggs on zucchini, pumpkin, squash and similar plants. The eggs grow into nymphs, the nymphs into bugs that destroy plants. Last year we lost our entire pumpkin crop and most of the zucchini.

There doesn’t seem to be a good solution to controlling them. North Carolina State University posted an article on various methods – pesticides, predator bugs, co-planting repelling plants, but none seem to be very effective. Some of the more effective pesticides are also quite efficient at killing pollinators (bees) so we don’t want to use those at all.

Anyone have any home remedies?