A week ago yesterday, our daughter was married. In Florida. Needless to say, we traveled down there, both to help out ahead of time and to attend the wedding. Rather than hurry back, we decided to stay a few extra days and relax, which was...relaxing.
There was one big problem with this agenda. After months of almost no rain, it rained here the day after we left and then again several more times while we were gone. In fact, we received more rain in the 2 weeks we were gone than we'd received since the start of the new year until the day we left.
Not too surprisingly, then, we came home to a jungle - or as close to a jungle as it gets on the Kansas prairie.
The vegetable garden looked particularly disastrous - the spinach, lettuce and many of the broccoli and cauliflower plants had bolted and the weeds had literally appeared as if by magic. Pigweed - which I hadn't even noticed germinating before we left - was over a foot tall. Crabgrass - which had barely started to germinate - was a 4" tall carpet of green in areas.
Things are looking a little better, but far from where we want them yet.
Meanwhile, we discovered that we'd had a MAJOR hatch of grasshoppers while we were gone. There are grasshopper nymphs everywhere.
But wait! One of those isn't a grasshopper!
Good eyes. It's not a grasshopper, it's a wheel bug nymph. With a grasshopper meal on its mind!
The wheel bug nymphs are everywhere and, much to my delight, I found a couple of them snacking on baby grasshoppers.
Obviously even an army of wheel bugs won't be able to handle the hordes of grasshopper nymphs that we are currently hosting. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that continued wet and cool will help with that problem, but meanwhile the wheel bugs are giving me great pleasure as I notice them skulking throughout the yard. Terminators, baby!