Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Plague

I mentioned in my last post the stresses and turmoil that people on the farm face.  One of those is that, although they may be closer to nature than most of us, they are also more subject to the whims of nature and the weather.  

This summer the farm in Pennsylvania was hit by a plague of grasshoppers/locusts.  While maybe not of Biblical proportions, they were quite destructive to the very localized areas they hit, including the farm.  This one is munching on one of my mother-in-law's hosta plants.

They did not eat everything is sight, but were somewhat selective.  They ate so much of the grass in the hay field that my brother-in-law must consider selling several head of cattle because he won't have enough hay to feed them through the winter and can't afford to buy more.  Just a few weeks ago this was a very healthy green lilac bush.  It, along with the crab apple tree, a dogwood, and many others, is now stripped bare and we don't know if it will survive.

They ruined the garden too.  Corn was stripped to the stalks, and they may have even eaten some of the stalks.

I believe this is the remnants of the potato vines.  Hopefully the potatoes had developed enough that they can get something of crop when they dig them up for harvest.

While comforting in a black sort of way, the story was told that they also ate some of the poison ivy and as a result died.  I'm not sure how true that is, since dead ones could be found everywhere, but at least some of the poison ivy was fought back.


ShEiLa said...

oh my... they should be re-named. No more grasshoppers (too nice). 'destruction deviants' is a good one.


Rob said...

I had no idea the destruction these pests still cause.