This summer 2020 has been ROUGH! #COVID19 global disruption and impossible heatwaves. Now we can add wasps, mosquitoes, and a blight to our list of complaints! The bees have virtually disappeared from Mezzacello. Replaced by a swarm of wasps who apparently now own the airspace above the aquatic ecosystem (AKA the pond). The wasps are not aggressive, just annoying. I (Jim) am terrified of wasps and hornets, clowns, and little yappy, biting dogs. Ah, childhood memories that become phobias!

We have been searching for the best way to deal with the wasps without introducing chemicals into the ecosystems. What we came upon was recreating a wasps nest close to the pond. Rick placed a paper bag out by the pond. I’m pretty sure it’s just a Wendy’s take away bag her found out in the alley. The wasps will never know! We’ll determine if this works over the next week. Wasps are not good pollinators. They have a role to play in the ecosystem (we all do) Their role is more predator than pollinator. So let’s hope the bag trick works.

Fake wasp’s nest. Jim Bruner | Mezzacello

The mosquitoes are also tragic this year! I cannot find the source they are thriving in. I treat the rain barrels and I turn over anything that holds water and is shallow. I am going to just have to bite the bullet and buy a bunch of mosquito dunks. It is so incredibly annoying! They are relentless this year. Anyone else suffering along with me. And I keep imaging Zika or West Nile Virus. It’s just distressing. I suspect they are coming from the construction sites of the alley puddles behind Mezzacello. Everything is getting treated ASAP. I suspect the wasps and mosquitoes are a threat this year for the same reason as the last threat this summer: bacteria, fungus and pests not dying off over a too warm winter. I will keep you posted.

The mild winter and the HOT summer has introduced What I believe is a a fungus. It is attacking the trees in the southeast corner of the formal garden, and many trees in the hornbeam allee. It has nearly killed the Brown Betty Magnolia tree. We think it’s a combination of the mild winter, and the fact that a lot of microbial and fungal threats didn’t get killed off. I had predicted this. I predict that all of these issues are related to the ongoing climate crisis. But I need more data.

What are your pain points this summer?

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