Ant Attack

Yesterday afternoon, in preparation for the cold spell, we brought in Nancy’s orchids. They don’t deal at all with cold weather so we collect them from hanging under the grapefruit tree and rehang them in the guest bathroom. Unbeknownst to us, hidden in the plants were big old carpenter ants and a few miscellaneous palmetto roaches. Not just a few ants, but zillions. So last night we’re watching TV and Nancy walks into the kitchen and noted that there were a few ants crawling around. She followed the trail to the bathroom and let out a blood curdling screech. I jump up knowing something bad has happened. There are ants everywhere. I ran for the home bug spray and sprayed down the plants and the whole room. We returned to our pre infestation spots in front of the TV. That was about 5:30. Then about 9 PM we looked down, well Nancy looked down, and saw a second wave of ants invading the living room. The both of us were running around stomping ants like we were stomping wine grapes. Nancy followed them to a self standing lamp and started banging hard around the base and twisting it around to get to the ones who were scooting under the lamp base. In the process, the base of the lamp unscrewed from the pole and the whole thing came toppling down. We eventually got it all under control but in the future, the orchids will have to fend for themselves. Tough it out. Darwin will prevail. The silver lining to the cold is that the bug problem is noticeably down.

Rabbit update – I mentioned that they had an affinity for peas. Apparently that was their first choice. The fire pit garden, without a barrier, was loaded up with cauliflower and broccoli plants that had gone untouched and growing beautifully. Not any more. Looks like a buzz saw went thru and mowed them down. Interestingly, the day before I had sprayed them with Sevin dust, which is a really nasty insect dust. Apparently the rabbits didn’t find it objectionable and the only solace I can take is that maybe they’re off in their hole dying of toxic poisoning or maybe becoming super rabbit in which case I’m in big trouble. Although the horse is out of the barn, so to speak, we put up a 4′ wire fence around that section of garden. I had gone to Lowes to see if there was some kind of rabbit repellant I could spray and the salesperson told me the only thing that worked was a robotic owl. It was battery powered and had a motion sensor so that it hooted and moved when it detected motion. $40. I don’t think so. Plus, last night I heard the real thing hooting close to the house so maybe mother nature is coming to my rescue.

Overall, the garden is producing more than we can handle now. We’ve had our fill of squash and still pick an occasional green pepper but the switch to winter veggies is coming on strong. Lettuce every day and a few leaves of swiss chard to spice up a salad; a couple of heads of broccoli every week, always radishes; cabbages about ready. I have several varieties of cabbage planted this year including red cabbage, chinese cabbage and a cone head variety plus the standard round style. Of course the kohlrabi is in full harvest mode. Next month will be snow peas and cauliflower. There are 5 varieties of lettuce so we mix that up. We love them all but one in particular, sylvesta, is particularly delicious. Down the road, beets and carrots. Without a doubt, it’s way more productive this year than last – a trained gardener this time around.

Gator etiquette. A while back Nancy bought me a pair of gator undershorts. I don’t recall if it was for an occasion or just a deal she couldn’t pass up. The question I have is should I wear them on game day? Or the day after? And if the day after, after a win or only after a loss? After the Alabama game, I think it’s important that I get it right for the national championship game. Should I wear them nonstop between the SEC championship game and the national championship game? And I guess I’ll be pulling for Utah to win the SugarBowl although it’s tough for me to break the habit of pulling for whatever SEC team is in a game. If it wasn’t that Boise State beat Oklahoma last year, I wouldn’t give Utah much of a chance but you never know.

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