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Bug on the Bridge of Flowers! Emerald Ash Borer

"Emerald Ash Borer"

When a 5 foot tall bug appears on the Bridge of Flowers we all take notice. Especially when it is a shimmering shade of emerald green

"Emerald Ash Borer"

I wasn’t the only one taking photos of this beautiful creature. But beauty is as beauty does, and the Emerald Ash Borer is no beauty infesting and killing ash trees. The USDA Forest Service has created a website with full information about how to watch  ash trees for damage. These bugs are only half an inch long with  metallic green backs. They lay their eggs only in ash tree bark where they hatch and eat their way to an exit hole. Watch for extra woodpecker activity and damage, as well as sprouts from the root of the tree and branches dying from the top down.

Fortunately, no one has found the Emerald Ash Borer in Massachusetts yet, but infestations are in the adjacent states of Connecticut and New York. We all have to be aware of threats to our trees before the damage is so great that the only cure is the wholesale removal of our trees which is happening in Worcester, Mass. due to the Asian Longhorned Beetle.

The Emerald Ash Borer is not a native insect. It originated in eastern Russia  and northern China. No one knows how it arrived in North American, but it probably came as ash wood used for stabilizing cargo is ships or in crating for heaving products. The Emerald Ash Borer and the Asian Longhorned Beetle are not unique invaders. The Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health has an excellent website naming hundred of invasive insects, diseases, plants, fish and more. We must all be on the alert, and not complain when we have to take routine precautions when we have to wash the bottom of our boat when moving it from place to place.

Do you battle any invasives where you are?

While Watching the Snow Fall . . .

Tarankanische (The Terrible Cockroach)

I’ve been browsing through the online Creepy Crawlies exhibit of children’s books from the Cotsen Children’s Library at Princeton University. These books date as far back as the 1744 edition of Tom Thumb’s Pretty Song Book.

The Terrible Cockroach by the Russian Kornei Chukovski and illustrated by Sergeii Chekhonin, published in Leningrad 1925, tells the nonsense tale of a threatening cockroach who is so fierce that he terrifies all the animals who are out to enjoy a picnic. Even the elephants are helpless in his presence. Until, that is, until a sparrow comes and gobbles him up.

Other stores include snails, bedbugs, dung beetles, and a caterpillar garden in a variety of styles from the cartoonish to the scientific.

Creepy crawlies remain a topic for children’s book writers and illustrators. Jim Aylesworth’s Old Black Fly published in 1992 is a case in point.

Old Black Fly by Jim Aylsworth

I have Garden History Girl to thank for this wonderful link which includes other virtual exhibitions.  She know a lot about gardens and all the things you will find in gardens.

Looking at these illustrations is more fun that looking at the sastrugi in the Sunken Garden.

Sunken Garden 2-26

Can you imagine how long it will take the 6 foot drift to melt in the spring?