Monday, May 29, 2023

Tent Caterpillar Infestation!

Our island is experiencing and infestation of Tent caterpillars. It’s truly an infestation. They are everywhere. You cannot walk a trail without killing several of them with every step. Three times a day I go out and flick them off my Apple trees. 

They are born in webs that form in the trees. The trees look like they are covered in balls of cotton candy—but it’s grey-brown cotton. The caterpillars mature inside the web and then burst forth, just bazillions of them, and they rain down on me as I walk. There are tons of them everywhere, but they don’t last long. They die or become butterflies very quickly. 

Saturday was unbelievable. I did relatively nothing because my left hip/leg is killing me. I have new rules: have Ibuprofen as soon as I wake up, and lead with the right. I dare not step down with my left foot because the leg will give way and it hurts like a hammer on my nerve. Life is going to get much more expensive if this doesn’t get better. I’ll be having to pay for wood services to get the splitting and stacking done. 

In cub scouts, we got patches for diverse experiences that we’d sew onto the sleeve of our uniform. I still think of a patch for all my life achievements. Today, I earned a patch: it’s a triangular patch, silver with blue tread, and the print along the top of the wide side of the triangle says, “welcome.” And underneath it is embroidered a walker.

In the afternoon, I went over to Jay’s. He gave me some starter Virginia Creeper plants. It’s a fast-growing ivy-like plant that I plan to put along the wall of my house that faces the setting sun.

Sunday began with Ibuprofen and then I was out flicking Tent caterpillars off my Apple trees. I can hardly wait for this infestation to disappear.

Her Highness and I went for a lovely morning walk and then I started shlepping wood from the back of the lot into the woodshed. This task will end this year’s wood. I’ll have enough wood I figure, for next Winter, and I was happy, as I began, to be ending the wood stacking for another year. But man-oh-man it is tiring. I’d stack a bit, then heave myself into the jungle of branches and split wood so that I could throw the wood from the back closer to the shed.

Did you pick up on that word, ‘throw.’ I may have ruined my shoulder forever with that move. Some pieces were mighty heavy, so I took a break every half hour. It was heavy, hard work, but at least I was able to work in the shade by starting quite early in the morning. On breaks, I practiced my monologue for Friday’s performance in Victoria.

I was surprised at how much I could do in half an hour. Each session was the same: stack the wood I’d thrown close to the shed, and then go to into the jungle of bucked tree trunks and broken branches to throw more split wood close to the shed. Then I’d take a break and come into the house panting like a racehorse.

I worked without angst, knowing that I had tomorrow to work on it as well. Tuesday is a day off when I go to Chemainus to have a bone density test. And Wednesday is for drenching my beds so that they survive until Saturday when I return from Victoria. 

By 1:30, my body was saying ‘no more!’ I stopped and had a rest, but I decided to finish the job completely, and with one more cycle, and the biggest pieces, I was done. It’s over for another years. All my wood is stacked. Then it was time for a spa before our afternoon walk together. And Sunday was done. It was time for the couch, then dinner and a movie.

Leslie is coming this way today. I’m not sure what that means, but we’ll get together somewhere, here or on the big island. It’s exciting for me; I love Leslie. She held my hand to help me through a challenge way, way back (late 70s), and we’ve been friends ever since. She’s a sister for me.

Today is, yet again, brilliantly sunny, but it’s not hot. It’s perfect weather, and it’s been this way since April 26th. There’s no end in sight, either. I’d love a day of good heavy rain. It’d be good for my hip and my gardens.

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