Sunday, September 19, 2010

Brown Marmorated Stinkbug Plague!

I tried to paint today but I was assaulted by swarms of Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs. These horrible creatures are nasty. They sound like a wasp when they buzz you! Their armour-like exterior actually hurts on impact. They fly into your body, fly into your hair, fly into your home. If you kill them they emit a foul odor.

These ugly fuckers came from Asia. They've attacked our tomatoes. They are attacking our sunflowers. They have swarmed our siding and are looking for cracks to invade our home. The weather outside is perfect and I have to turn on the air conditioning.

These foul creatures have ruined my favorite time of year and I am not happy.

Finally, the humidity is gone. The trees are showing some color other than green. It is my time to paint plein air.

I painted for about an hour. I could have cried. I almost killed a beautiful butterfly that landed on my knee. I thought it was a stinkbug.

These fuckers have no know natural predators. Birds do not eat them because they smell and leave a foul taste. They are pesticide resistant. Help me.

Here is some biological information brought to you by the University of Maryland.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

The brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys) is a new pest in North America. Adult bugs are 14-17 mm and dark mottled brown. The last 2 antennal segments have alternating light and dark bands. The exposed edges of the abdomen also have light and dark banding. Eggs are light green, barrel-shaped, and laid from June to August. The young bugs (nymphs) are yellowish and mottled with black and red. Older nymphs more closely resemble the adults. The host list is long and includes many shade trees and woody ornamentals such as Paulownia tomentosa (empress tree), Buddleia spp.(butterfly bush), Catalpa spp., Rosa rugosa, Lonicera spp. (honeysuckle), and Acer platanoides (Norway maple). Feeding damage appears as small necrotic spots on leaves and fruit. These stink bugs can also be a nuisance in homes and buildings as they seek shelter in the fall much like Asian lady bird beetles and boxelder bugs.

Management: Prevent them from coming in the home by sealing up cracks with caulk, use weather stripping around doors and windows, remove window air conditioners, close all possible entry points. Inside shop- vacuum up the bugs and place in an outdoor trash receptacle. It should be noted that if many of them are squashed or pulled into a vacuum cleaner, their odor can be quite strong.

There are no chemical recommendations currently available for home use. For heavy infestations outdoors, contact a pest control professional.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Baltimore's Harbor View

Baltimore Harbor from the Marriott Harbor View. Our Priceline bargain during Otakon.

I was going to write about the Racist Tea Party, but I became angry. I felt my blood pressure rise. I viewed photos of Christine O'Donnell who magically transformed herself to become a twin of Sarah Palenut. Funny, I watched my sister-in-law start the transformation about two years ago. It started with the glasses. Opticians now carry more Palinesque glasses than you can imagine!

I started fuming about the stupid tea-baggers. Glenn Beck holding his rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on the anniversary of Martin Luther King's speech. My blood began to boil as students had their parents call in to prohibit them from listening to Obama's address to school children.

What happened to common respect? What happened to listening to the president's address just to hear what he had to say? After the address you can bash the hell out of it. You can disagree, find fault, make fun, throw darts, etc. We did this with the Bushes. We did this with Reagan. We even did it with Clinton. They are politicians for god's sake. They deserve to be questioned.
We've always made fun of politicians. That is expected.

But disallowing children to listen? Why? Because he might convert them to socialism? He might be a Muslim? He only wanted to encourage them to do their best in school.

No. I believe it is because he is black. I have never witnessed such sheer disrespect toward any American president. You can disagree with him. Just listen first.
Enjoy the photos while you ponder my rant. These were taken from an I-phone.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

One Flew Out of the Blackberry Bramble

My oldest child has gone off to school.

All of a sudden nothing else matters. I cannot paint. I cannot blog.
It is a life-changing experience for both of us. It is beyond my writing capacity.

My daughter is living in Center City Philadelphia attending the University of the Arts. She is living her dream.

She is living in a studio apartment with twelve foot ceilings and huge windows overlooking the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, the home of the Philadelphia Orchestra. I used to live two blocks away.

She is afraid to use the electric stove. (It smells funny)
She has a neurotic roommate. There are laundry facilities on every floor (but hers).

She discovered street vendors for breakfast and lunch. They see her coming and begin to prepare her lunch - egg, cheese and lettuce on a hoagie roll - $2.00.
(I told her that would happen). Marty used to have my poppy seed bagel with butter waiting for me every morning at precisely 7:45.

We gave Annelise a quick walking tour of her neighborhood. She is only about six blocks from the Italian Market. The street vendors are still there although most of them are Asian. There are still some institutions like DiBruno Brothers Cheese.

Twenty six years ago the old DiBruno brothers used to greet us and tempt us to taste all sorts of wonderful Italian cheese. When we stopped in with my daughter, the old guys were gone and replaced by mustachioed twenty-somethings. They could have been thirty-somethings. They are muscular and tattooed, wearing wife-beaters as a fashion statement. They look like babies to me. They were still friendly and helpful, but the old Italian accents are long gone and replaced by the Philly "Yo. (Adrienne)"

There is now a mural honoring the DiBruno family about one block north of the store. Okay, the old Italian guys are history now?

Okay. I'm in a funny place right now. A major transition with my daughter, an opportunity to reminisce about my twenties, the beginning of a new school year. I'm also in a funny place when it comes to painting. I'm not sure where I want to go.

I'm wondering if anyone is blogging anymore as I do not get many comments. Perhaps my posts are too boring. My paintings have sucked. Some bloggers have so many blogs within blogs that I gave up trying to keep up.

I miss the regular blogging circuit.

Perhaps Facebook has destroyed blogging.

Sometimes the Blogger site is glitchy. It doesn't let me comment or post.

Sometimes I just get too busy with my own life. I either do not have the time or the energy or the organizational skills to find photos for meaningful posts. It is entirely my own fault. I'm sorry.

Hey. I miss you bloggers. Drop me a comment. Suggest a painting. Tell me a funny story. Let's keep the blogs alive.