84. V is for Victory

Victory Quilt Block in the Bible Sampler Quilt project. Please allow me to diverge from scripture in today’s post.

My long absence can easily be explained, I’ve been otherwise engaged in the gardens.

I wouldn’t describe it as gardening, rather, it’s hand to hand combat. First it was aphids vs. greens, , then it was grubs vs. vegetable starts. And the squirrels and gophers and voles are an ongoing struggle. Lately it has been a down and dirty battle for the grapes: Me vs. June Bugs.

I was anticipating this skirmish because I suffered a complete loss last year. I like to leave fruit on the vine until fully ripened, so all the sugars have flowed through the stems into the juice. Well, June bugs don’t share my delayed gratification skills, and they descended on my grapes in legions right before I planned to pick. Any attempt to rescue even a cluster was met with a full frontal attack. They bombed me with something really stinky as they ricocheted off my head and shoulders. It’s not what I signed on for when I planned and planted my “grape grotto”.

So this year I struck back on two fronts. (I also tried the bug bags, and the buried jar of molasses, but those were a bust). First, I found a box of knee highs from my working days, and encased the developing grape clusters within reach. I really dislike wearing nylons, and was surprised that I still had them hanging around.

Next I concocted a spray using oils and soaps. I was ready.

Today was the day. And sure enough, as I began picking my grapes, June bugs would suddenly burst from the leaves, buzzing and bombing me in chaotic flight. This time I struck back. Armed with my spray bottle, I kept them at bay. I took only two hits to the face. In my triumph, I sprayed over all the vines in a proactive measure. Then this fell at my feet.

It was a lot bigger than it appears here. Really.

What did a tomato worm think he was doing in my grapes? Not now! I am fully engaged in June bug warfare. Tomato boxes are next in the bug wars.

I’m done. But I will say that today, victory was mine.

The first of many sinkfuls of hard won spoils of war.

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