Sunday, March 6, 2011

Spring Cleaning Part 1 Taking A Second Look

I only thought I was getting a head start on my spring cleaning list this year.  At first glance, my cluster of wild plum trees still appeared to be skeletal.  However, with a second look, I saw that, while yet unopened, the blossoms had already formed.  I still had time, but barely, to rake all of the dead leaves out from under the tree and prep the trees for their spring debut.  After two afternoons of raking and burning leaves, it was time to really get down and dirty.
If you take notice of the country roadside, you will see that wild plum trees frequent the fence lines.  Now my personal theory is that birds eat plums.  Birds sit on fences.  You get the idea.  Upon closer inspection you will notice that most of the time only portions of the tree cluster is still producing its sweet meat.  Look even closer, and you’ll see the cause of the problem: webbing in the fork of the tree limbs.  But it’s not the webbing that’s the problem.  It’s what is inside the webbing, or, rather, what was inside the webbing.  Hundreds of baby caterpillars.  Hungry ones.  And what do you suspect that they eat, this mass of hungry baby caterpillars?  Blossoms and leaves.

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