The Enemy – Popillia Japonica
Yes, it’s that time of year again. The battle is on with our old garden enemy, the Japanese beetle. One of my early memories of working on the farm, is helping our Grandmother pick Japanese beetles off of the grapevines. We would carefully pick them off the leaves, then put them in the old can that she carried. The can was about half full of kerosene. My weapon of choice is the common glass bottle, which may or may not contain a little soapy water depending upon how much of a rush I am in. It is best to attack early in the morning when the beetles seem to be groggy. If you wait until the temperatures warm up this can become quite the challenge as they are more likely to quickly fly away.
As with most things on the farm, and in life in general, it is not a matter of having time but is really a matter of making time. It is a time to slow down, observe, connect and reminisce – about Grandmother Lena, childhood, farm and family. A quick word of warning… don’t daydream too much, as it becomes quite easy to mistake a bee for a beetle… a painful lesson learned.