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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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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Buck Moon Tonight

buck moon

What on Earth?

This moon will not be fully visible until 8:00 p.m. tonight on the east coast; at this time it will be in its waning gibbous phase, but you won’t be able to detect it waning with the naked eye. The moon will be at its fullest at 6:57 p.m. EST.

So what’s this “Buck Moon” thing all about?

The “buck moon” appears when bucks (male deer) are beginning to grow their antlers, but wait! This is also called the “hay moon” because it appears when when farmers are beginning to store their hay, but that’s not all! It is also called a “thunder moon” because farmers are fighting with thunder storms to bring the hay in dry.

Whatever moniker you place on this beautiful sight, I hope you enjoy it, and I hope you enjoy my haiku dedicated to it!

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Gitche Gumee 2016

Gordon Lightfoot, best known as a folk, country and folk-pop songwriter, is a North American treasure. I was thinking of his song “The Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald” today whilst working in my garden (great song!).

We have had only .5 inches of rain since June 5th, and we received it on June 5th. Pretty dry! And I was thinking of the incredible amount of water we are surrounded by on the lower peninsula of Michigan. The irony is sort of ‘in your face’: Surrounded by water and not a drop to be had. An inspiration for this haiku. Enjoy!

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The Gospel of Johnny: Haiku and a Blessing

Ever wonder about Johnny Appleseed? He was born in 1774, in Massachusetts.

He was an American pioneer, a nurseryman, and a missionary. Also, he became a living legend!

Another thing cool about Johnny Appleseed: he had a special affection for animals.

Select the second line of this haiku (read below) and you can learn more about this extraordinary fellow. Also, see a Johnny Appleseed Blessing (by an anonymous author).


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