Wood and Stone

A site to track our progress as we build our FirstDay Cottage Canadian house kit. Come on in, get a cup of coffee, set a spell and follow along on our journey or join in if you like. Check back for the weekly update (usually by Wednesday when things are going right) to see what we are currently up to!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Posted: Private Property

Hunting, Fishing, Trapping or Trespassing for any purpose is strictly forbidden. Violators will be prosecuted.

That is what our new signs, posted the morning of Memorial Day, read. We figured that we had gone through enough hassle getting clear title to the property because of unclear property lines and posted signs, that we should get it set where our lines are and who has posted them.

With hammer, staple gun and signs in hand, we set off the walk the boundaries once again. As we started into the property, I realized that there were webs hanging from the trees on the far side of the electric right-of-way. Thinking maybe we had run into a patch of spiders making their homes in the trees, I directed Wendy and the kids around, only to have them run into more webbing. Checking it out further, we discovered we have massive amounts of Eastern Tent Caterpillars.

The whole thing was rather disgusting. We kept walking into webs and dangling caterpillars as we made our way from the northwest corner of the property to the northeast and then toward the southeast. Somewhere along the east side of the property, Wendy got the bright idea to use a stick to clear the webs in your way (I had just been dodging them). This made things much better.

It took from 11 am til 1 pm to get about 24 signs hung, one every 100 feet or so. It was hot, buggy, sticky work even just walking, and by the end everyone was ready for a break. We headed to Grafton Lakes to enjoy a deserved picnic and the beach.

I have looked into the caterpillar mess and there is not much to be done presently. They are already at such a point in their lifecycle that any attempt at killing them is merely retaliatory. Soon they will crawl off to transform into moths or butterflies, and they will be no trouble for a time. Once they transform, the trees that have been hit hard will put out a second set of leaves.

The time to really watch is the late fall/winter when the moths lay their eggs. Apparently the egg masses look like molten glass. If you are diligent about scraping these things off of the trees and burning them, you can save a lot of headache. We are also near the end of a 3 year cycle of these caterpillars, so they may seem more prevalent.