October 1st, 2013


Coping with Stone

Well, the government has moved into spoiled brat mode, and there’s not a damn thing I can do about it. So I’m gonna go build something with stone.

I have a nice load of rough cobbles at a manageable size, should be just enough to put up a swale. I’ve been wanting to build a swale. Today seems like a great day.

Tomorrow I pack. Day after that, I get up at the crack of godawful and go fly to the wilds of Upper Peninsula Michigan. (Gallery Boheme! Calumet! October 4th! Be there or be someplace that isn’t there!)

The air is particular fine today.

Originally published at Tea with the Squash God. You can comment here or there.


Spiny Oak Slug

Dude! Dude! Check this guy out!

I’m a Spiny Oak Slug! If you touch me, you will regret it!

Happened to be looking in exactly the right spot while building my swale and went “Wait a minute, that’s not a normal leaf…”

This is Euclea delphinii. He will turn into a brown moth with big green spots on his wings.

While trying to learn more about him, I ran smack into the wall of our vast ignorance. He probably eats oak. Probably. Maybe some other stuff. Nobody’s sure. And I literally cannot tell you if they are as common as dirt or desperately endangered, because their conservation status has never been evaluated. (My guess is that they are reasonably common because—well, obviously, I’m seeing one! And there are plenty of sightings on the various websites about bugs.)

We do know that they sting, and if you put your hand on one, you will need to use scotch tape to extract the spines from your skin. And if you’re very unlucky, you will have an allergic reaction and need to head to the hospital or at least load up on Benadryl.

Still, this kinda thing honestly freaks me out a little. That there are things so common that they are in my garden—and yet, we know almost nothing about them. Do they need to be protected? Can they live in cities? How far do they travel? What all do they eat?

Well, a new one for the yardlist, anyhow. So that’s something.

Originally published at Squash's Garden. You can comment here or there.