Saturday, May 8, 2010

Oddity at Springwood

On April 24th I saw 3 very large gray spots (about a foot in diameter each) on the concrete driveway outside the greenhouse. It was a gray day, and I thought at first it must be a mold growing on some daylily bloom juice that had acidentally spilled onto the driveway. On closer inspection, the spots were "throbbing" - hmmm, I thought maybe I was watching mold grow before my eyes - like the white and yellow foamy mold that grows on bark. About that time, friend Kyle Billadeau drove up to see the new greenhouse blooms and her sharp eye noticed that they were insects. Out came the bug spray, as they were too near to the greenhouse for comfort. Kyle sent a quick e-mail with the photos to Sue Bergeron - who is an expert on almost everything plant and insect related - and Sue indicated that it was a springtail swarm - insects that feed on decaying plant material. Perhaps they were attracted to the decaying daylily blooms sitting in buckets outside the greenhouse waiting to be taken to the compost pile. I understand a springtail sighting like this is a rare occurrence - and the first time I've ever seen anything like it - and hope not to again:-)

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