Saturday, May 05, 2012

Of 2012 and bugs

kw: archaeology, pests, photographs

I am host this weekend to an itinerant archaeologist, who is attending a conference that kicks off the University of Pennsylvania's new exhibit, Lords of Time, about the Maya and the 2012 prophecies. He is the author of a book debunking the notion that the world will end in December this year.

Meanwhile, I have an apocalypse of my own to avert. I have been battling privet rust mites for a few years. I have about 300 feet of privet hedge. For three years I have sprayed in late May, and sometimes also in June, with horticultural oil. That is apparently too late.

This morning I took leaves from several places on the hedge and resorted to my trusty microscope. Here is one image of the result (magnification, about 50x in this image, more than 100x in the image you'll see if you click). Basically, the entire hedge is infested again, probably because I didn't treat it all, from end to end, in the past, only where the leaf curling and silvering were visible. This leaf and the others I looked at show no symptoms, yet!

I have a couple of jars of oil so I know what I'll be doing this morning, right after I get the archaeologist to his train.

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