Saturday, October 20, 2012

Saturday

Looks like Mother Nature is up to some of her clever tricks again.  This year she has unleashed an unexplained ravenous surge of little caterpillars that LOVE these pretty bushes.  





 It didn't take very long for these critters to practically destroy the plants.

 



  I noticed this same type of bush under attack at a couple different sites around the park so wrote to Jim Dawson for his input and advice.
  

I'm posting his reply here because there could be quite a few residents who face the same problem.

From Jim:
 Hello everyone ! - for the first time in many, many years - a caterpillar which normally feasts on the Mescal bush (Sophora secundiflora) is destroying the foliage on some of the cultivars from the Tecoma spp. The Tecoma family includes Cape Honeysuckle, Yellow Bells, Orange jubilee Bells of Fire.   It will all pass in time but will be unsightly. Now that it is cooling down, I would suggest that the bushes be cut back substantially. There will be a new flush of growth and this new growth should not be attacked again. There is a product that is used for Caterpillars on plants that is relatively safe. It is called Bacillus thurgenensis. It is sold at most Retail Nurseries. The Caterpillar ingests the B.T. and gets a deadly stomach ache. This would take numerous applications of the B.T. to get the job done. Keep in mind that most of the Tecoma family is very fast growing even with our Fall temperatures and if you get them cut back now - you will be able to enjoy them during your stay. Thx Dawson
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I never thought about a caterpillar having a stomach ache.  :)

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At Jim's invitation, we walked over to the pickleball courts this morning.  This lucky? man drew the job of caulking around every post on the whole court.  Whew!  



They're obviously starting to surface the concrete!  The whole east side has its first base coat already.






Here's the ramp down to the sunken courts and in the background you can see a parking area for golf carts.


The ballfield posts are being straightened and set in concrete.  The whole project is coming along nicely!  


It won't be too long.....



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