Not a banner week. Great reminder that no matter how smart we think we are we really don’t have control.
Went out to get some beet greens for lunch on Monday. The first leaf I cut had funny black dirt all over it. Didn’t think much of it; figured it had drug in the dirt when we watered. Moved to the center of the plant and cut another leaf. Black stuff all over it. I gingerly touched “the dirt” – it was soft and squishy. YUCK!!
Well, I learned something new this week. Who know that aphids come in black. My only up close and personal experience with aphids were the white ones on our roses and hibiscus plants. I also learned that aphids are also called plant lice . . which explains the squirmy crawly feeling I got!
I guess the increase in ants should have given me a clue. But it has been so dry that I just figured they were out looking for water. Never occurred to me they were setting up their own personal little farm on my beet patch.
No time to send of for Ladybugs, so we pulled out the Fels Naptha based insecticidal soap and gave the plants a good wash. Problem (at least temporarily) solved.
The real excitement was our night visitor (visitors). Probably visitors since these creatures are herd animals. An average herd has 8 to 9 animals each weighing somewhere between 30-60 lbs.
Javalina! Is this one of the ugliest creatures you ever seen; or what?
Even though they look like pigs, they are peccaries. Different from pigs, even if the distinction is lost on me. Besides being ugly their other notoriety come from their huge appetites. They pretty much eat anything that grows – cactus, flowers, green vegetation and insects; as well as things that don’t grow like garbage.
Think of them as really big, really ugly raccoons who don’t bother to wash their food.
They did some damage to our tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins and squash. You’ll have to take my word for it since I was too pissed to get pictures. David on the other hand has much better coping mechanisms than I. He coped by making a bunch of comments about picking a peck of pickled peccaries.
We walked the fence and think we found the place where they go in. David spent time patching it up and we moved the more vulnerable plants into a “safe location”. Gardening is always and adventure.
And just so you know, I (the life long vegetarian) am actively hunting recipes for roasted peccary. Got any?