The Gardens - In the Beginning

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Bag Lady

An upbeat tale of bagworm annihilation...is that even possible?  Here goes...
Days bagging bagworms...many, MANY days bagging bagworms.  Seven plastic dishpans of those munchin, crunchin, hoggy little beasties.  I'm beginning to feel a little guilty about all this death and destruction, but the thought of my half dead juniper of hefty proportions turning into a brown, dead juniper of hefty proportions convinces me I am on the right track. Plucked them little suckers like pickin blackberries from the vine...fingers, hands, arms, poked and cut, nights of itching and scratching, and juniper still covered with those dangling dang cones from hell.  To not poison juniper berry eating birds, I read up on those little bags of destruction as I am clueless of their history.  What luck!  Natural predators - tiny parasitic wasps smart gardeners love with a passion, their attractor being flowers of the aster varieties. Not so lucky...other natural predators are humans crazy enough to pick them little suckers hours on end until legs and fingers cramp, backs ache, and bodies are afire with itching; and any worm in its sleeping bag that's missed......well, let's just say one has to admire the tenacity of this glutinous caterpillar.  If those 7,000 (conservative estimate) bagworm abodes had remained unpicked, if 1000 (fair estimate) eggs had been laid in each of those 7,000 bags, then 7,000,000 would be in a feeding frenzy come next spring.  Oh! My! God!  Securing loan to buy out every nursery's stock of native asters this fall to squeeze into every square inch of real estate that's mine.  Satellite images of thereabouts come next summer...view that square lot of solid, vivid, eye blinding purple and you'll know the true location of little fourth acre gardens.   

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