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Something strange is happening in my garden.

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Vinca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 01:06 PM
Original message
Something strange is happening in my garden.
There are almost no bugs . . . and I don't use any kind of pesticide. I've always been plagued by squash bugs, but there isn't a sign of one. I'm not complaining, but weird things are happening around the property. We have a honeysuckle bush that produces a huge amount of berries after it's done blooming. Normally the birds are all over it, but this year they aren't touching them. Same with wild blackberries that are getting ripe. Today I spotted a little mouse under the tractor running around in circles. Anyone else noticing odd things like this? I hate to be paranoid, but is there any chance radiation from Japan is affecting the northeast??? Almost forgot - today I picked some lettuce and noticed one leaf of lettuce had a couple of more leaves starting to grow out of it along the middle of the leaf. Bizarro.
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 01:56 PM
Response to Original message
1. Everything is a month behind in my garden, but lots of bugs
and bees and critters.

I had a squirrel running in circles and falling over last year, but that was probably a parasite thing.

:shrug:
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FloriTexan Donating Member (481 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 04:57 PM
Response to Original message
2. If radiation were to blame...
I think you'd be seeing Godzilla-sized bugs - Mothra perhaps. :rofl:
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-11 06:16 PM
Response to Original message
3. Dunno, don't have a garden. DC area.
PLENTY mosquitoes, when I walk neighbors dog in yard under trees w bushes, near park.
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trud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-11 04:56 AM
Response to Original message
4. yes, I'm sure it's radiation
The hospitals here are flooded with victims. Although someone told me they were BP employees playing a little joke.

Really, nuclear power is the only hope of even making the slightest headway against global warming, so I grind my teeth every time I read something like this. It's like birther stuff. It also makes me despair of science education in our schools.
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Vinca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-21-11 08:29 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. The radiation remark was a little tongue in cheek.
I'm really not that nuts . . . but something weird is happening. I checked again this morning. No bugs. No birds eating the berries.
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NJCher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-22-11 09:12 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. see George Noory
George has been complaining for quite some time now that "everything's crazy." "People are crazy; they're wacked out!"

He goes on and on and on and never shuts up on this topiic.

So now the plants and animals are crazy, too. :(


Cher

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beac Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-22-11 12:40 PM
Response to Original message
7. My oddity this year is that I have only seen ONE mature male hummingbird
at my feeder. Lots of females and immature males, but only one male with the tell-tale ruby throat.

Now, my housesitter didn't feed them while I was gone. I put nectar in the feeder the day I got back and w/in 24 hours I had constant activity but didn't even see that one full grown male until two weeks+ later.

Wonder if the dominant males are eating and fighting over a neighbor's feeder that's been in constant use and mine has become the designated "women and children" locale? :shrug:
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Denninmi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-22-11 01:39 PM
Response to Original message
8. I believe its related to weather.
What I've noticed this year is almost no butterflies. I've seen one monarch, one or two tiger swallowtails, and a red spotted purple the other day, plus a handful of small butterflies -- cabbage whites, sulfurs, a couple of red admirals.

Last year was butterfly central, there were TONS of them around, all kinds, constantly. And it was a very warm, dry spring.

Honestly, I believe that the wet, cold spring this year probably killed most of them in the chrysalis stage just prior to hatching. I think they are susceptible to fungal infections at that time under those conditions.

I suspect this is what happens to certain other types of insects.

I know weather affects others. Last year, few mosquitos because it was a dry spring. This year, lots of them because of the wet spring.
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Retrograde Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-22-11 06:45 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Long, cool, wet spring in northern CA, and no jays
I don't know if the little ones all died in their nests, but it was unusually cool in May and June. This is the time when I usually see young ones being taught how to raid my cherries, but nary a one this year. Lots of crows, though.
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LiberalEsto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-03-11 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #8
17. Few butterflies in Maryland also
Even my butterfly bush, which is usually covered with them, is devoid of winged life.
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Curmudgeoness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-24-11 08:11 PM
Response to Original message
10. Are you living in an area where they are fracking for gas?
Or where they might be disposing of fracking water? Weather could account for some of this, but that mouse is too weird.
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1monster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-11 08:44 PM
Response to Original message
11. I'm in Florida and I've been finding fire ants in the most unusual places...
in my potted plants, in the rubber seal of my car door, in the lawn mower cuttings, everywhere! But they they have few mounds and those are small.

I didn't think of radiation, but Florida has been getting a bit from Japan. I don't buy milk for my family any more...
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trud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-31-11 11:55 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. yes, terrifying.
Of course, the radiation detected from Japan is 1/100,000 of our natural background radiation, but I'm sure we're all doomed.

BP and Exxon must love this.
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1monster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-31-11 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. I'm not fond of BP, Exxon, or any of the fosil fuel industires.
It does seem that humans are bound and determined to destroy the habitats of thousand (if not millions) of species, including our own.

But nuclear power is a serious threat when things go even just a little wrong.

That's why I support solar, wind, kinetic, and other power sources that don't pollute and that are renewable.

BTW, are you in Florida? Did you see the radiation flow charts that came out ever before Japan admitted the huge size of the catastrophe? Those maps showed Florida getting a significant amount of radiation. And radiation has been showing up in milk samples all over the US and in Europe.
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trud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-31-11 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. wind
My state has okayed an offshore wind farm directly in a migratory bird pathway. Like Altamont, there will probably be tens of thousands of birds, including endangered species, killed each year. Wind farms are being built in the migratory path of the endangered whooping crane, of which only about 500 exist. They also slaughter bats. One severe hurricane, and this wind farm will be hunks of metal littering the ocean, due to the turbine blades tendency to be ripped off by high winds.

The Japanese situation developed. It didn't spring full blown accompanied by deception. And the crucial thing is what is the actual radiation level in Florida - the answer is, minute.

Three Mile Island is now a totally clean site, and extensive monitoring of the health of residents by the PA Dept of Health for eighteen years turned up no statistically significant increase in cancer, etc. The Exxon disaster and the Gulf site will probably never be clean. Oil will be there all the way down to significant depths forever. Those ecosystems will never recover.
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wickerwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-29-11 11:57 PM
Response to Original message
12. Rats of NIMH?
:D
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WhiteTara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-30-11 06:25 PM
Response to Original message
13. It's healthy. When everything is going well with the plants
the insects don't hang out. They like the sickly stuff.
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ellenrr Donating Member (619 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-01-11 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #13
19. I agree. When I first started gardening (no pesticides, lots of compost and soil amendments)
I used to get some bug damage which I would treat with detergent in water, or Neem.
After a couple of years, I noticed that I never have any insect damage. I have a lot of insects, which I like, but no damage.
It is as White Tara says (and others say, but at first I wasn't sure) - if your plants are healthy the pests will leave them alone.

The only pest I still get is early in the season aphids on the Blue Salvia - they are never on the pink, red, or white, only the blue. But after a while the ladybugs come and eat them and then we're all happy.
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Vinca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-06-11 04:49 PM
Response to Original message
18. I haven't been feeling like such a nut the past few days.
There was an article in the local rag last week about strontium 90 being found in fish in the Connecticut River about 9 miles north of Vermont Yankee, the nuclear power nightmare 10 miles from my house. The conclusion of the state of Vermont was that it wasn't known if it was from Vermont Yankee (which has been leaking the shit for some time) or from Chernobyl, the Japanese meltdown OR . . . get this . . . 1950's atomic bomb testing. I swear I'm thinking about getting a geiger counter for the ground cherries. LOL.
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