Thrips. They’re everywhere, on camellias, ferns, arbutus, loropetalum, et cetera et alia. My long-standing pacifism inertia is suffering a real test. And losing. According to experts, they don’t cause fatal damage but tell that to the ‘Taylor’s Perfection’ camellia in the corner, looking like a runt rooster. What to do? Google, of course.

Headline on Wikipedia. Thunderbug” redirects here. For the NHL mascot, see List of National Hockey League Mascots.  Not on the list of my confusions.

6,000 species, 776 genera and counting. The word is singular and plural, like sheep deer and moose. One thrips?  I doubt it.

Varying degrees of fidelity to a described host remain. Juicy way of saying, they’re everywhere. See above.

Anal secretions are produced in the hindgut. Which line is more poetic?

Several normally bisexual species have become established in the United States with only members of a single sex present. Hush. There are Republicans listening.

Planet Natural has a predatory mite for $76.50, and for $166.50 will dispatch The Minute Pirate Bug, a “diamond-patterned black and white predator with a distinctive sucking beak and an insatiable appetite. It stuffs its 3 mm length with large amounts of thrips, spider mites, and the eggs and the larval stages of many soft bodied insects such as small caterpillars.Sounds like college buds.

Neem oil. That was my chosen, if unimplemented strategy before I became educated, and will continue to be my strategy. I am not a scientist.

 I retain the unfounded notion that thrips are worse this year than most because of our long drought, that generous rains will give the plants renewed optimism and will to live. Like an old-fashioned movie, the kind our parents loved.

 Now we’re where we ought to be, talking about rain. The past week there has been day after day of depressingly gorgeous weather. I let us down. My rain campaign has suffered varying degrees of fidelity. Tefnut, Egyptian goddess of rain, insatiable and aggrieved, turns her beaky profile away. I promise her a moist ode within a week. In the meantime, here’s this, from Longfellow’s “Rain in Summer”.

How beautiful is the rain!                                                                                                        After the dust and heat,                                                                                                                   In the broad and fiery street,                                                                                                        In the narrow lane,                                                                                                                        How beautiful is the rain!




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