Aphid Infestation Alert

leatherwing beetle (1)

Two Pennsylvania Leatherwing Beetles mating on a cosmos flower.
Garden Tip:

We plant cosmos (among other flowers that help gardeners with nasty predators) around our vegetable garden every year to attract the Pennsylvania Leatherwing Beetle (Chauliognathus pennsylvanicus). They showed up in force last week, in the nick of time! A day earlier, I noticed aphids in our green beans. Three days later the aphids were nowhere to be seen; they were all eaten up!

These sap sucking insects I found in my green beans (aphids!)  are members of the “superfamily Aphidy oidea,” which farmers and gardeners have been cussing about for eons. Honestly, they can destroy a garden rather quickly!

This versatile insect, the Pennsylvania Leatherwing Beetle (PLB), is a gardener’s best friend, and it is also the inspiration for this week’s haiku. Enjoy!

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Silver Lining


In “A Prayer of Moses, A Man of God,” we learn that “… the years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty,” and if you read 5 lines down, he sends out a plea to God: “So teach us to number our days / that we may get a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90). In Psalm 139, the psalmist explains how the Lord has formed our days and written them in his book, “… when as yet there was none of them.”

Whether you have given your assent to biblical truths and trust in them is beside the point. We’re all destined for bodily (and/or mental) decay, and eventually a terrestrial death.

I’ve been thinking about quality of life issues in my elder years (I’m not quite there yet), but also thinking about how joyful life is at age sixty. How long will I continue to to experience this great peace and joy? I hope to have it up until my final (most glorious) day, which will definitely be eternal.

These are the thoughts that inspired this poem, “Silver Lining.” Enjoy! Continue reading

Marmot News: Hot Off the Press


marmot news

With Marmot Day approaching, I have stopped lamenting over the evils of the world: poverty, a dark malaise over the upcoming presidential general election, horrendous terrorist shootings, corrupt government officials, my own corruption, and the radical depravity of humankind. Nope: my thoughts and attitudes have been magnificently transformed, all for the sake of an exceptional marmot. Marmots the world over are talking about CE Marmot!

He is from France and his name is Cé Marmόt, pronounced “Say Marmoh.” He spreads love and cheer where ever he goes, and he is making his annual pilgrimage to Owosso, Michigan this Monday for Marmot Day, a special day he sets aside for Covenant Eyes employees and their families to meet for lunch, tell marmot jokes, play games, deliberate over whether summer ends on July 25th or continues for another six weeks, and eat lots of ice cream!

Stay tuned for the outcome: will Cé Marmόt stay out of his hole, or will he drive off into the sunset and thus bless us with another six weeks of summer?

Lets hear it for Marmot Day and Cé Marmόt! Continue reading to see my haiku dedicated to all marmots, and of course Marmot Day.

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