B stands for bumble, and honey……hornets, and wasps….they are alive and very, very active. Last week, we had a moment of warmth. The temps rose to the low 80’s and those flying things that carry stingers came out to play. The first on the list, bumble and honey, are my favorites….I don’t fear them at all. They have my permission fly around me, and we all live in perfect harmony.
Their friendly counterpart, mason bees, (above) are also on that list of welcomed pollinators….they are so cute.
However, the hornets and wasps are unwelcome in my little world. Seriously, who wants them around? As the warm weather continues, and they become abundant, they make it almost impossible to enjoy a summer picnic or meal outside. I know they are beneficial to keep pests at bay….but really, I’ll take a few more flies in exchange for less or these aggressive predators. In preparation for the warmth we saw coming, Tony hung up the hornet/wasp traps, seven of them surrounding the 5 acres we do most of our living on, a few days before the queens came out from their winter hiding places. This has truly worked to manage our wasp population…capture the queens, and soldiers can’t exist. Still, some manage to escape the attraction of the pheromones within the bright, yellow coffins…..that’s okay……we will capture your soldiers!!! BWAHAHAHAHA
B stands for blackberries. I am so excited!!! I cannot wait for these beautiful gems…..
…..my affections for them go way back. When I was growing up in the SF Bay Area, we would go visit my grandma and grandpa in the north eastern hills of California. They lived in a couple of different places, but always, there were blackberry bushes that they would pick from. Those poignant thoughts of jams, and cobblers, and fresh picked berries from summers, and Christmas gifts with my grandparents, are fast in my memories. The blackberries I harvest from our vines taste even that much more delicious because of it.
I have two main wild vines that I take the time to prune, and baby along. Yesterday was pruning day. I wear gloves that go up my forearms, and long sleeves, but still, the thorns find skin. I tore little holes in my shirt, and my fingers were quite sore last night, but it is all totally worth it.
The vine above is smaller, and younger….it gives the more delicious fruit of the two.
This, older woodier vine gives more volume, but the fruit is seedier. Not a problem for jam since I strain out the seeds…a little less desirable for cobbler. I only prune this vine as far as I can lean in and reach with the shears….that is also how I harvest this bush…minus the shears.
It’s a harsh briar, with a cherry tree growing up right in the middle, and is good for leaving fruit for the birds and deer. I also leave a lot of thorny, older wood at the bottom because little quail families like to hide out in there.
It’s all about balance….we love the wildlife, they are welcome here.
B also stands for barns….but that’s another story.
Thank you for visiting the wilds of the farm today. I enjoy spending time with you!
Your friend from Oregon,
#wildblackberriesoforegon #pruningwildblackberrybushes #howdoyougetridofwasps