Current music.

Three dead rats (I believe Norway rats) in 24 hours. No broccoli this year. Half or more the cauliflower gone. And possibly 30% of the Brussels sprout plants beyond recovery.

This song’s for you.

I just will.

Hello.

It’s been awhile.

A full while.

A raucous while at times. A sobering while sometimes. A monotonous or wild while on occasion.

I won’t try to catch up all at once or fully ever.

I’ll just say hello. I’ve been thinking of you.

I call him Stinky Sherbert. (I’m open to knowing the actual name.)

Bye bye, Brussels.

Four “trees” in a row.

I saw the harlequin beetles starting months ago. An abandoned plot there with an overgrown radish. Another ignored plot that way with some once-beautiful brassica. I sprayed them with the hose.

They didn’t bat an eye. Or a wing, either, seeing as I’m not sure if they have eyelids.

They multiplied.

Eventually the left-alone plots were cleared out or cleaned up. Eventually the beetles were repeatedly carried with the best of delayed intentions to the compost box.

Eventually they went looking for fresher, living, brassicas.

Like my kale. I didn’t count the squirts and squishes today as I ended each beetle‘s attempted relocation plan. I did count the bucketfuls of kale lost to them (2.)

I took these Brussels home and we processed them in the front yard. I’m not sure how far they can fly in search of food, or how many stowaways I had left after the clear and present danger of my thumbs, but processing the trees in the front yard at least gave my back yard a chance to avoid transference.

Until next year, Harlequin. Or perhaps you don’t populate where I’ll be in a year’s time and whatever I’ve encountered will make me miss you. As you are, at least, kind enough to be easily spotted.

Bastards.

No, not those ones.

Not that one either.

The ones that did this:

Buried deep. Hopefully the stem hairs root in time.

Probably the same ones:

A wait and see game.

All this carnage right next to this beaut:

Ack!

The most rare helper of mine thought to play in the water she had asked to put on the peas. Soaked and turning hues of blues, we packed up our tools, turned off the hoses, and…

Ack! What is wrong with my cabbage?! What on earth is happening to that leaf in the middle? From farther away I’d seen the dark spots and thought the harlequin beetles were back. A little closer and no…

Just a sick little leaf from a far off tree.

Harlequin Neighbors.

There are some downsides to plots in a community garden. There are some upsides.

Taking a walk about for a stretch after a lot of weeding and we come upon this party.

I grabbed a container, captured as many as I could, and when drowning them without soap was futile, dumped them on some rocks to then squash.

I had seen one lonesome one on a cabbage of mine the previous week. After disposing of it and checking for eggs, I’d wondered where the rest were…

Two weeks under.

Flu is such a short word. Flu. Small. Simple.

Influenza sounding more flora. More weighty. Simply more.

I’m not sure I’ve ever been so under the weather. I lost days to it before losing track of what day it was.

The rain timed itself as keenly as it can this time of year.

Which did nothing to mature the palates of my pests from pea shoots and brassicae greens toward henbit or this star-shaped mystery.

Perhaps next year.