Posted in cottage life, loreeebee.ca, nature

What are Gypsy Moths and Caterpillars?

This story was posted last August…please visit the update at the end.

Gypsy Moth & Catepillar Damage

Gypsy moths, at least the caterpillars that morph into the moths, have completely defoliated many deciduous trees and devoured the tops of evergreens in Eastern Ontario.

The trees at our cottage on Palmerston Lake in Ompah, Ontario have not been spared.

What do Gypsy Moths Look Like?

First we noticed lots (more than usual) of these brown moths flying around our property…

what are gypsy moths

Curious, I googled them to see if they could be responsible for the defoliation of our trees.

Sure enough, the brown moths pictured above are the male gypsy moths.

The males fly around looking for the white, non-flying female versions to inpregnate. The females crawl on the ground, attracting the males with a sex hormone, after which the females crawl onto a tree trunk or any other vertical surface (including our garage wall) to lay their eggs.

what are gypsy moths

The eggs are enclosed in a oval-shaped, soft sac. Once the eggs hatch, the caterpillars crawl further up the trees to continue the destructive cycle.

what are gypsy moths
female gypsy moth with egg sac

Once we discovered what they were, my hubby went around the property scraping (the ones he could reach) the egg sacs off, letting the eggs fall to the ground for the birds and other insects to enjoy.

Perhaps we are tampering with nature, but the damage these caterpillars inflict on.our trees is incredible.

Here’s hoping the trees will recover!

Update

Fast forward to spring 2021…the deciduous trees have leaves and bright green, new growth is visible on the evergreens. Sounds good, except for the webs at the tops of many of the trees housing thousands of tiny caterpillars. Yuk!

Plan of Action

Apparently, simply knocking the egg capsules to the ground last season was ineffective. We should have destroyed them by putting them in a bucket of soapy water…

To try to break the destructive cycle of these gypsy moths, we spent the long weekend spraying the webs with soapy water.

Fortunately I have several of these sprayers for my landscaping business

what are gypsy moths

I purchased this brand at Princess Auto in Ottawa, but you can purchase a similar one on Amazon.

Stay tuned to see how successful we were with the soap treatment!

Posted in cottage life, loreeebee.ca, nature

Gypsy Moths Defoliating Eastern Ontario Forests

Gypsy moths, at least the caterpillars that morph into the moths, have defoliated many deciduous trees in Eastern Ontario. The trees at our cottage on Palmerston Lake in Ompah, Ontario have not been spared.

Gypsy Moths Defoliating Eastern Ontario Forests

First we noticed lots (more than usual) of these brown moths flying around our property…

Gypsy Moths Defoliating Eastern Ontario Forests

Curious, I googled them to see if they could be responsible for the defoliation of our trees.

Sure enough, the brown moths pictured above are the male gypsy moths.

The males fly around looking for the white, non-flying female versions to inpregnate. The females crawl on the ground, attracting the males with a sex hormone, after which the females crawl onto a tree trunk or any other vertical surface (including our garage wall) to lay their eggs.

The eggs are enclosed in a oval-shaped, soft sac. Once the eggs hatch, the caterpillars crawl further up the trees to continue the destructive cycle.

Gypsy moth egg sac (opened)

Once we discovered what they were, my hubby went around the property scraping (the ones he could reach) the egg sacs off, letting the eggs fall to the ground for the birds and other insects to enjoy.

Perhaps we are tampering with nature, but the damage these caterpillars inflict on.our trees is incredible.

Here’s hoping the trees will recover!

Posted in lorieb.com

Lanark Ontario, home of glorious hanging baskets

On the way to our cottage we pass through the village of Lanark in Eastern Ontario.  With a population of merely 800 people, Lanark is a quaint little town, known for its lilacs, maple syrup, Fitz’s Take Out and glorious hanging baskets.

Lanark

As a gardener, I cannot help but notice and appreciate that someone takes the time each summer to plant, hang and water numerous hanging baskets, overflowing with colorful flowers…

 

LanarkLanark

This is no easy feat this summer as we have had a record amount of hot dry days that have left many a hanging basket wilted and sad looking.  Not so these baskets, they have been gloriously beautiful all summer!

 

Posted in lorieb.com, nature, weather

Drought conditions in Eastern Ontario

On a recent trip along the 401 between Ottawa and Kingston in Eastern Ontario, I could not help but notice the toll that the drought conditions have taken on the trees.  Usually beautiful, lush green against the magnificent limestone rock cuts, many of the deciduous trees are currently a toasted, brown color.  The rocks absorb the heat from the sun making the high temperatures that much more dangerous for the trees.  The rocky landscape is not able to retain the limited moisture we have had from rain…

 

 

Even though this was mid-August, it looked more like October when the leaves have changed color and are about to fall.  Although we have had more rain this past week, I don’t think these poor trees will recover.

Posted in current events, lorieb.com

Christmas is coming soon according to Home Depot

 

Since Thanksgiving (here in Canada) and Remembrance Day are over, the calendar says Christmas is next.  Mother Nature has not been told yet however; we continue to have unseasonably warm weather here in Eastern Ontario, and I for one am not complaining.

Home Depot is ready though with lots of Christmas specials on…

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I usually wait until the beginning of December at least to start decorating, but I know lots of you do so sooner. Enjoy!

please be sure to visit my slightly more humorous blog YOUR DAILY CHUCKLE  It is guaranteed to make you LOL.

Posted in Canada, current events, nature, Ottawa, weather

Patricia visits Eastern Ontario

Tropical storm Patricia is visiting Eastern Ontario tonight, but she is not a welcome guest.  Of course I would pick today to drive from Ottawa to Kingston and back.  As my son and I left Ottawa this morning the skies were gray, but the storm had not hit here yet.  As we drove south and west toward Kingston, the rain started and the wind picked up, making the drive a slow one…

Although the Kingston radio stations were saying the worst of storm Patricia had not hit yet when we left there for the drive back home to Ottawa, the wind and rain had increased considerably.  Darkness had settled in as well, so the drive was not a boring one.

Although we are now home safe and sound, Patricia is still wreaking havoc outside my window. Hopefully when I get up tomorrow morning she will have left the area without leaving too many reminders of her visit.

Posted in current events, nature, weather

Palmerston Lake

 

We won’t be swimming anytime soon in Palmerston Lake.  This past Sunday we drove up to our family cottage on Palmerston Lake at Ompah, Ontario to check on the cottage and to see how much snow is left up there…

The lake is still ice and snow-covered; not very inviting.  The top of a birch tree on our property had snapped and fallen onto our wood shed; fortunately its fall was broken by two small deciduous trees, so there was no damage to the roof of the shed.

Like my gardening season,  cottage season (at least the swimming part of it) may be delayed a bit this year thanks to the long, cold winter we have endured here in eastern Ontario…