Friday, June 17, 2005

I Feel So Scientific!

While digging under the cover crop in my veggie garden, I found a number of crysalis (crysali? cocoons?) and wondered what they were. Were they beautiful butterflies or damaging nasties? I took them to "The Bug Guy", David Pehling at the WSU extension office. [Aside: What a wonderful resource your local extension office is for so many things. Be sure to check them out, either online or in person for a wealth of free information and expertise.] He thought it was a cutworm (a nasty bug) but wanted to be sure, so he took the time to RAISE MY COCOON TO ADULTHOOD--how wonderful! Anyway, I got an email from him stating that it's a new insect in the Pacific Northwest. Of course, it's a nasty pest insect, but still, I feel so proud. Here's what he said.

"Eric LaGasa, Chief Entomologist at WSDA tentatively identified it as a recently introduced foreign species, “The Greater Yellow Underwing”, Noctua pronuba. This insect is a potential pest of several crops and ornamentals as the larvae have a very broad host range including: strawberry, potato, tomato, beets, carrots, cabbage, lettuce, grape, Anemone, carnation, Chrysanthemum, Dahlia, marigold, primrose and also assorted weeds and grasses."

"The Greater Yellow Underwing", Noctua pronuba.  Posted by Hello

There's really no way to get rid of it other than hand-picking the larvae, or using BT. So, I guess I'll just have to put up with it. It is beautiful though, so that's a consolation.

Monday, June 13, 2005

What Kind Of Knitting Needles Are You?

I found this fun, quick, little quiz to take if you're a knitter. (I am bamboo, which is very appropriate, since that's my favorite type of needle to use.)

What kind of knitting needles are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

You are bamboo.
Warm, cozy, and thoughtful, you take your time and
enjoy how things feel, smell, and taste. You
love the craft and beauty of traditional
things, and you value the comfort and
experience of knitting as much as the results.
But while you are reveling in your warm cozies,
don't get stuck. Warm is wonderful, but so is
the whole wide world!

I've also decided to use Elsebeth Lovold's Silky Wool in a beautiful heathered blue to knit the Branching Out scarf. I hope that it will be equally at home on a night onthe town as with a pair of bluejeans. Here's a fuzzy photo to try to capture the color.

Slightly Fuzzy Photo of Silky Wool in blue. Posted by Hello

Friday, June 10, 2005

Insects have become an issue in my life...

Let's hope I get to them before the slugs do. Posted by Hello

Between the slugs eating my ripe strawberries, to cutworms eating EVERYTHING THAT COMES UP in my vegetable garden, I'm about ready to kill something. (It's almost enough to make me dream of pesticides!) My green beans, radishes, squash, carrots, and parnsips have all been munched to the ground. But, I will not be defeated. I'm now growing new starts in my mini-greenhouse and will plant them out with their little stems surrounded by cut up pieces of toilet paper rolls! Sounds classy, huh?

My kind friend and neighbor left some TP rolls on my porch for me to use, but my husband, thinking they were garbage, chucked them in the recycle bin. He also took the one that I'd thoughtlessly left in the kitchen. Here I am thinking I'm not only recycling, but ensuring gardening success and he's thinking I'm a nut case leaving TP rolls all over the place!

On another note, I just found a beautiful scarf I'm going to try. I've never knitted lace before, nor have I knitted using a chart, but there's a first for everything. I also found a wonderful blog called Knit The Classics It's a bunch of folks who agree on a classic piece of literature and then they all listen to it on tape while knitting their chosen project. Both the knitting and the literature are discussed online. What could be better?

Monday, June 06, 2005

Yellowstone -- You've Got To Go!

Here's the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone Park. Posted by Hello

We spent a week on a road trip to Yellowstone. We were able to watch deer, elk, moose, black bear, osprey, pelican, trumpeter swans, bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope (did you know that they aren't really antelope, but rather the last of an almost prehistoric grass-feeding animal species?), and of course, bison! It's lovely to be able to see all these wonderful animals up close in their natural space.

She doesn't look too happy--good thing we weren't too close. Posted by Hello

While the temperatures were a comfortable 60ish, there was still a lot of snow up in the higher elevations. The lake was beautiful! The upper parts were blue, and the lower portion had so much ice on it, that it looked like you could walk across it.

There's still thick ice over much of Yellowstone River in June. Posted by Hello

We rested, relaxed, and enjoyed ourselves. If you ever go, try the East side of the park. Much less "touristy". We stayed in a great place called the Absaroka Mountain Lodge.

The Absaroka Lodge Posted by Hello

It's run by a family from Iowa, who have managed ranches out West for the past four years. This is their dream, to own their own ranch, and we had the priviledge of being their second paying guests! Since we were there before the season "officially" began, their wonderful staff got to practice on us. They were warm, friendly people, and offered truly great cabins, horseback trail rides, campfires, wonderful meals, and beautiful views. Imagine sitting in a log swing by a rushing river in the evening and watching the deer come out to graze. Ahhhh.

The dining room at Absaroka Ranch--charming and cozy! Posted by Hello