Wasps, fire and other things

Yesterday was a day of running into town a couple of things, but I did manage to get one important – if rather late – job done in the evening.

I burned a fungus.

I really should have done it earlier in the year, but just didn’t have the chance until last night. Mostly because of winds. Yesterday evening was finally calmer. The fungus seemed to be growing anew on the remains of a stump, so I really wanted to get that burned away. Because this was under tree branches, I used the sheet of metal to prevent the flames from getting to high, even though I kept the fire small. It ended up being handy. I found that, by moving it around, I could basically direct the fire to around the stump area more easily, making sure to get all the fungal bits.

I had found the fungus almost a year ago, while taking photos of various mushrooms around the yard. The ones growing on the old apple tree stumps were so pretty and unusual, I looked them up – only to find out they are a deadly disease called Silver Leaf, and likely what is killing our crab apple trees. To get rid of it, at its worst, it is actually recommended to take out the tree, roots and all. I have no way to take out the roots – and this stump is in between two other trees, which are so close together, I wouldn’t be able to do so without damaging the other trees, anyhow.

The larger stump I’d burned earlier shows no signs of growth on it. I still need to burn it the rest of the way down to ground level, just because it’s sticking up so high. I could cut it flush to the ground, but this way, I can also burn the stack of diseased branches we’d pruned away, too.

Reading up on this disease again, I find myself thinking of the fruit and nut trees we intend to plant in the area, in the relatively near future. We might have to get brutal to eliminate the disease, and simply cut down any tree that shows signs of the disease. This includes inedible crab apple trees closer to the house, where several have already died. Even the plums (also an inedible variety, but one that my dad used to make wine out of) show signs of it.

*sigh*

That would be a job for next year. For now, we will just burn away what we can, including the pruned branches.

This morning, I headed over to do a meter reading on our power pole. I’ve stayed away, since it’s got a wasp nest under it, so I haven’t actually looked at the nest for a month.

Hhhmmm.

It… looked pretty quiet in there.

Was that spider webs I was seeing in the opening???

Yup.

There was a dead wasp in the opening, too.

I am guessing this nest, being as exposed as it is, did not survive that frost we got not long ago. The tree by the house is still buzzing, so the wasps inside it are still active, but I can probably remove this nest safely, now.

I don’t want to destroy it, though, so I’ll think about how to take it down with as little damage to the nest as possible. I should be able to peel it away from the box and the post easily enough. That power cable it is built around will require greater care.

There was also a snoozing moth next to it! 🙂

In other things…

The reason we had to go into town a couple of times yesterday was because the girls had arranged for a vet visit for Leyendecker. The boy is now snipped!

It still blows me away how expensive it is to get that done – and it costs twice as much for females! Thankfully, the girls are taking care of that, as they are able.

I took advantage of being in town to pick up some scrub brushes, including for just outside stuff. This morning, I finally was able to give the outside cat water bowls a thorough scrubbing. I was even able to scrub the bird bath. I’m amazed we got another year out of that thing! It developed such big cracks in it over the winter, and yet it still holds water!

Oddly, this year I have found a couple of drowned frogs in it. We’ve been seeing a lot of little frogs in the garden plots this year, which is great, but why would we have drowned frogs in the bird bath? I keep a brick in it, so the smaller birds can more easily reach the water. Plus, with all those cracks and not expecting it to hold water very well, I haven’t been keeping it as full as I used to. Any frog should have been able to get out of the water, easily.

I’ll have to keep a closer eye on it, now that I’ve cleaned it and refilled it. So strange!

The Re-Farmer

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