Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Recovery

Back on May 23 I wrote about an uninvited guest in our yard -- the viburnum leaf beetle. That day I suddenly noticed small beetle larvae munching their way through one of our highbush cranberry bushes. Every leaf was chewed on about one-third of the plant. Within a week about two-thirds of the plant was bare. Then the chewing stopped and the larvae were no where to be found.

The larvae may have all crawled down into the soil to pupate. If so, the adults will emerge in mid-summer and start chewing the leaves again. I did notice something else though that makes me think of a different outcome. One day as I stood looking at the highbush cranberry, two tufted titmice called from the shrub. I had not noticed them hanging out there before. I wonder if these birds ate all the larvae. Wouldn't that be nice. Coincidentally, or not, I saw a titmouse in the highbush cranberry in the backyard. And that bush was only minimally defoliated.

Now, two weeks later the highbush cranberry is recovering. New leaves are emerging. If I see no new viburnum leaf beetles this summer, I will be convinced that the tufted titmouse saved the bush.

fresh leaves of the highbush cranberry
emerging after defoliation by the viburnum leaf beetle

1 comment:

  1. Ellen,

    I hope you will recover from what I've just done, given you a 'Beautiful Blogger' award. I'm not really sure what this is but have seen various blogs I read given it. With no effort on my part I was given one the other day, with the request that I then award it to four other bloggers, who then award it to four others, etc.

    I've been very hesitant about this because I'm not sure if it's a blessing or a curse. But I do really enjoy your blog and so thought I'd take a chance on awarding it to you. I'm not sure if any of my recipients will be happy with it.

    If you are you're supposed to include the 'Beautiful Blogger' image in a post and then nominate four others, along with 10 random facts about yourself.

    If you're not interested I understand. I've had to say this to each of the people I've awarded it to because I fear that they really might not want it. But who knows?

    Best wishes,