The Bugs Have It!
by Jeff Steinborn on 06/19/17 07:39 AM

Submitted by Art and Barb Straub

It’s tough not thinking past gnats and mosquitoes these weeks, but there are wonderful experiences going on with Old Mother Nature when and if you dare the out-of-doors. First, though, the negative. The Sylvia and Sylvan cygnets on Coachlight pond dropped to four out of five the evening of June 16, and has remained there since then. Might the cause be giant snapping turtle, bald eagle, lagging behind brothers and sisters, natural causes or perhaps human intervention??? You may think human intervention wouldn’t be part of the scheme of things, but a couple of folks sent a drone out over the trumpeter swan family and caused deep consternation on the part of the ever-watchful parents. (When DO the stalwart guardians snooze?) Also, recalling when the Canada geese began to use the Coachlight Pond years ago, one evening all of the goose eggs disappeared, and human tracks led to and from the muskrat nesting abode. Hmmm, who would desire a pet swan, and of course, a totally illegal pet swan? Two ‘schools’ of newly hatched wood ducks circle about the swans, eighteen in all, under the guardianship of the female ‘woodie.’

Speaking of the lake to the north of the Coachlight. A huge ‘chunk’ of out-dated technology was dropped off at the Bucks’ Lake landing this week, along with assorted black plastic bags, bottles, etc. Such folks don’t read, so we can mention the dark deed. Perhaps they were the same spoilers who left the dead bullheads and entrails at the lake’s edge about the same time? The spot is an easy and safer place to take kids bullhead fishing, but first one needs to clean the area of each week’s accumulation of broken bottles, trash and yukk.

While at the aforementioned landing, we were attacked by a number of different species of beautiful butterflies, which had a fascination for blue Frances the Focus, and our bodies. One attached itself to my timepiece in attempt to discern when the nearby milkweed would be in blossom. Have you never smelled the aroma from a flowering milkweed? Bend over; breathe in a more than pleasant odor. Interesting…bitter milk, wonderful perfume. One can’t judge character by looking at the outside cover can one? It’s the soul or spirit that dwells within, eh?

Thrill of the week was certainly the photo of the Polyphemus moth that nephew Bryant sent along. The battered body would indicate the storms and windy weather the insect experienced the past week, but no doubt the little beauty laid her cache of eggs and is ready for her next energy experience.

Steve (Mary) Nesgoda captured a Click Beetle this week, carefully saved it in a plastic pop bottle which Steve placed by the roadside entering our property. We promptly ran the plastic container over, thinking it was a discard, but the bug with the false eyes survived and will be a learning experience for Nature Neighbors beginning June 19th. Thanks, Steve and Mary.

One must concede to the wisdom of Roger (Lorraine) Just. When we mentioned that the white-tailed deer fawns were stooping to eat our young tomato plants, Roger said “I’ve never heard of such a thing.” Roger was right, while I was in error. Young woodchucks are large enough now to roam about by themselves. (Would you call a young one a ‘chucklet?”)
How many tomato plants can a woodchuck chuck when a woodchuck can chuck tomato plants? Eleven thus far. Measures must be taken. Would you suggest steel wool, chicken wire around each plant or illegal fireworks? Once upon a time, firecrackers frightened deer from the garden, but also left this male writer forever deaf in the left ear.

Are ‘your’ hummingbirds as busy as the ones in the Henderson Hummingbird Garden? Young hummers must be at the “Mummy, mummy I need yummy for my tummy”stage, as the energizing brew disappears in a hurry. The HHH garden crew meets on Tuesday evenings to challenge the rain-fed mosquitos and remove weeds, and always are welcoming to volunteers. Contact Linda Rist (Loren) or Brenda Kotasek (Chuck) for further details.

Leaping deer, attempting to escape the vicious mosquito outbreak by retreating onto breezy bean and cornfields, are finding their flights interrupted by speeding autos. Beware; you may be the next unlucky winner of dent duress!!!