Friday, June 15, 2007

One earwig is just a bug...

But hundreds of them make a horror movie! But we'll come back to that later.

Visited Sara Swinks ceramic studio this morning. She's having a show at Guardino this month and I wanted to do a piece on her for the Portland Open Studios blog. Spent the afternoon writing. It's amazing how long it takes to write a short little 3-4 paragraph thing on someone else's exhibit or creative process. Her work is gorgeous. Looks like 3 more people with shows in July, so more writing coming up. I haven't put in my own little blurb for the Rake show yet, but since I'll be in 2 more shows in July, I thought I might wait.

And we tried yet another new restaurant tonight, 2 in a week, how can we stand it? Pho Nguyen's, a Vietnamese noodle place, obviously. It was decent, fairly similar to most pho places, but not as exciting as Pho Van's, still the best place around town.

Back to those earwigs -- I went out last night with a flashlight, and found that the veggie starts were covered, I mean COVERED, in earwigs. Earwigs everywhere, on the leaves, on top of each other. It was a truly disgusting scene. I went to the Oregon extension services web site, and they didn't even list earwigs as a common vegetable garden pest. But if you look up earwigs, you do find that they can be a pest in the veggie garden. Suggestions for control? Put out pipe segments to collect them, I guess they like to crawl into dark places, and then dunking them in hot water. I put out pipe segments, but now I think other bugs might go in there too, so I probably won't use this method. Same with the rolled up newspaper. Other suggestion -- catching them and drowning in water; although the person suggested this said it took days for them to drown.

So I'm opting for squishing them, probably the most humane way to kill them. So that was what I did tonight. I'll probably have to do this every night for a while. There were lots of other bugs crawling around, but I didn't see them eating the veggies, so they're probably ok.

So here's a photo of my bug eaten bok choy. This and the rest of the photos were actually taken last night, after 9pm, with my cell phone camera.

The poor little bok choy. This actually reminds me of a famous (fictional?) Chinese woman from around the turn of the last century. Her nickname was Xiao Bai Cai, which means Little Bok Choy (bok choy is the Cantonese pronunciation of bai cai, meaning cabbage). It sounds much more endearing in Chinese, really. I can't remember why she was famous now, but she was probably a beautiful orphan sold to some family, and she probably fell in love with the wrong guy, and had a tragic life. Chinese stories involving women tend to be that way. But seeing how a baby cabbage is rather vulnerable, maybe the name had some symbolic meaning that I hadn't realized before. Who knows, maybe I'll be painting bok choys and earwigs next...

Here's my little 10" tall mountain laurel, Red Bud.

My climber, Coronation, leaning into the weeping blue atlas cedar...I think that's what it is; when I'm not working in the garden very much, I tend to forget the names of the plants. But they all come back once I'm back in the garden again.

I got this garden bench in 2004, brand new, for $19. That's right, less than $20. I thought it was a great deal. But now that it's been sitting out in the elements for a few years, the wood looks quite worn, and I'm afraid to sit on it, I think it's going to break.


Sundry said...

Good grief! That's a truly horrifying bok choy devastation there! Earwigs! Earwigs? Aaah. And I thought snails were bad! Good luck!

I did see something online saying you could toss them in gasoline to kill them, rather than squishing them. I use strong saltwater in old containers I'm going to toss for the snails.

Anonymous said...

Earwigs are eating my bok choy too!they burrow down in the creases where the leaves attach to the stem. EEEK they creep me out! and my poor baby bok, there's just not much left of them :(