squash vine boring that is by the squash vine borer (SVB) larvae. i was hoping to escape infestation this season with a late start in squash planting, but alas that would not be the case. when i was inspecting the squash yesterday there were no eggs; this morning i found 2 dozen scattered throughout the stems and leaves and flower buds. it was the large blooming squash flower that attracted the SVB. the weird thing is it laid eggs on the smaller nonflowering squash as well; how it managed to find that one is a mystery.
i promptly removed the eggs. i tried to catch them in a small bowl (scraped off with a butter knife) to be disposed of elsewhere instead of just knocking them into the dirt, for fear of the eggs hatching the larvae crawling back onto the squash plants. still, a few did fall to the ground, i hope those won't be a problem.
it also laid eggs on the cucumber plants; apparently they're not very smart and got confused by the large yellow cuke flowers. SVB don't normally feed on cucumbers but i removed the eggs as a precaution.
there's no definitive way to prevent SVB from striking. conflicting methodologies suggest that nothing is 100% effective. at this point i'm just going to inspect the plants for eggs and spray with a Bt solution so that if a few missed eggs do hatch, the larvae will (hopefully) ingest the Bt on the plant surface and hopefully die before they can borrow into the stems and do any serious damage. if they do get into the stems, i have a Bt-filled syringe waiting for them. the squash plant is so big at this point i don't think a few wilted stems will stop it from growing and producing a lot of zucchinis throughout the summer.
besides looking nothing like its relative the chicory during its early stages of development, the radicchio has another characteristic that's all its own: it's blue flowers, though resembling chicory flowers, only open in the early mornings. by late morning the flowers have wilted, never to open again. in this way they're like morning glories. i had my suspicions because i would always find wilted flowers and only today just a single blossom that was only half wilted. then my father told me that when he came out into the backyard this morning, there must've been 20+ blue flowers on the radicchio stalks. when he came back in the afternoon he was surprised they were all gone.
there was nobody home when i showed up in belmont around noontime. hailey was sleeping in the basement and i had to call her in order to get her to come back upstairs. i came via bicycle because i heard it might rain later in the afternoon. i put my computer bag and my camera bag in the rear baskets, a perfect fit. even when i had my milk crate i never did that because i was afraid the bike vibration would damage the equipment. so i've always traveled with the two bags strung across both shoulders, which makes for some uncomfortable riding. but today i decided to give this new arrangement a try and found that i like this way much better. i can ride unencumbered (felt like the shackles have been removed) and i won't suffer from deep shoulder indentations anymore. vibration-wise, i've traveled these roads so often, i know how to avoid the pot holes or the uneven surfaces.
i tried to go even slower than yesterday; i think not having to carry heavy bags on my shoulders helped. i made it to belmont relatively unscathed. i did have to take a shower later, after working in the garden a little bit (removing SVB eggs).
my sister was helping out at the cafe while my parents were getting supplies. my father mowed the lawn when he got back, even though the sky looked like it'd rain and a few drops did fall. it'd rain a little bit afterwards, just enough to wet the ground but not enough to fill the rain barrels. i put a piece of reflective tape on the back of my rear fender. the first time i placed it wrong and when i tried to remove it, ended up ruining the tape so i had to cut myself a new piece. not sure if it'll do anything, but i like having an added level of night time protection in making myself that much more visibile to cars. i may also put some tape on the fork ends. my only concern is the tape is white, so it might confuse drivers into thinking i'm heading towards them instead of away.
we had another barbecue for dinner, our 4th of july tribute (even though independence day is actually tomorrow). i rolled my blue cheese burgers; my mother originally bought 4 lbs of ground beef which i thought was too much, so i decided just to use have; but i ended up taking a little more because there didn't seem to be enough ground beef, so probably closer to 3 lbs. i made 8 patties.
bram wasn't home when i got back. i was almost afraid to use the bathroom for fear of discovering some new defilement. he wore his shoes into the bathroom and tracked mud all over the carpet (i had to do some night vacuuming). then when i went to go take a shower, i noticed he failed to completely close the hot water knob so it'd been leaking for god knows how many hours. just one more month!