Weekly Homestead Report 10: Oct 17, 2016

As we try to keep our anxiety about the upcoming election at bay, it is good to be able to walk in the woods and notice flowers.

Indian tobacco, Lobelia inflata, is blooming again, although it already has mature seeds.

Maple leaf viburnum, Viburnum acerifolium, has ripe fruits. Charley says that they’re technically edible but not worth it.

Japanese barberry, Berberis thunbergii, is (regrettably) also fruiting. Not prepared with gloves, we pricked our fingers pulling up barberry on a walk off of our usual trail where we’ve pulled most of the invasive plants already. Japanese barberry is one of our least favorite invasive plants because of its spines and the fact that it readily sprouts from seeds that the robins poop (along with multiflora rose and bittersweet).

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This was the week of the first frost (10/14) and the first fire (10/16).

Well, it wasn’t really that frosty, but I didn’t get a photo before it was gone, so I found one from last year. We covered our strawberries and raspberries with sheets, and they still seem to be in good shape.

Of course the frost meant that we went out the day before to rescue the last of the tomatoes, tomatillos, and peppers… thus more hot pepper jelly, tomatillo salsa, and a batch of enchilada sauce.

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One of our older hens died, so I put the carcass out in front of the wildlife camera. We were able to add a new mammal species to our yard list for the first time in a year or so: grey fox! We also got photos of a red fox, a coyote, and a couple raccoons.

In honor of Charley, and because we led an insect tracking walk today, I give you Coptotriche fuscomarginella (or possibly a closely related species). It’s the leaf mine and larva of a moth in the family Tischeriidae. What a beauty!

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