During a temporary burst of gardening interest a few years ago I planted chrysanthemum bulbs around my garden. I’d bought the package of bulbs at Costco and there were two colors in the pack: a lovely peachy color and a sour lemon color. I hoped they’d be mostly the peachy ones and the first year that’s what came up. The next year and ever since, all that appears are the icky lemon yellow ones.
Even worse than their color is the fact that they are bug magnets. Whole colonies of tiny black ball-like bugs appear on the stems and inside the flower, between all the petals, which took forever to wash off before putting them in the bottle. Yuck!
I’m pretty sure the bugs are aphids, which are farmed by the ants that also hang out on these plants. I gained new respect for ants when I learned that they actually raise and protect herds of aphids and then milk them for the “nectar” they produce.
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Speaking of ants, that reminds me of the very bad morning I had last Friday. I woke up with a nasty migraine and when the first cup of coffee didn’t get rid of the headache, I went out to get a latte at Peets (which usually works).
When I returned home an hour later, I walked into the house and discovered that my crazy calico cat had barfed at least once in every room of the house, managing to hit every throw rug. After I cleaned up the floors and threw the rugs in the washer, I discovered a swath of ants marching across the studio and had to clean them up too. All this before 9:00 a.m. and still with a migraine.
I couldn’t figure out what had so badly upset Fiona’s stomach until, when putting the newly laundered throw rugs back on the floor, I found sesame seeds under my bed. Then I remembered the box of Ak-Mak high-fiber, whole wheat crackers I’d found on the kitchen floor when I came home from work the night before. I thought I caught her before she ate any, but the sesame seeds under the bed meant she must have been snacking on them under the bed before I got home.
She’s been fine since that morning but I bet it’s just a matter of time before she goes grazing in the cracker/cereal/pasta cabinet again. She’s ripped open and sampled boxes of Cheerios and dry pasta, carried a bag of split peas to tear up under my bed (lots of fun to clean up) and her favorite, corn cobs, which I’ve also found under my bed.
I’ve got to figure out how to install baby latches. I tried once but couldn’t get the two parts lined up right and then stripped the screw when trying to remove it. So now it’s just limply hanging there, getting in the way.