The bean beetles are early this year, and, combined with the drought, the beans are under stress.
We have few enough plants that we (read: I) can apply digital pest control: squishing the prickly yellow larvae between thumb and index fingers.
But if I miss a day, more eggs have hatched. And the squash: lots of empty flower stalks where yellow crookneck squash should be. Something is nipping them off before they set fruit.
Speaking of fruit–it’s black bear-y season. We were sitting on the front porch with our supper. We’d given the dog something to chew on to keep him occupied at the foot of the porch steps. Ann suddenly says: “Get the dog!”
I hadn’t heard any other dogs and didn’t see or hear anybody coming down the road on foot or by bicycle. What was the matter?
“Bear. Over there. See him?”
And as I followed her finger across to the pasture, a large black bear had turned (he had been heading straight our way when she first saw him–and the dog didn’t) and he was making tracks back in the opposite direction.
That little episode could have ended differently if the dog had seen the bear first.
I ran inside for the .22 and fired it once into the bank, just to discourage our visitor from our end of the valley. But we’ll see him again–hopefully in time to avoid a close encounter.