Thursday, May 30, 2013

I Am Fearless!

Well, actually I am NOT fearless. I am filled with fear. Which is why I was forced to commit this ultimate act of bravery. 

As I blogged earlier in the week, the tent caterpillars have arrived in our neighbourhood and I am taking whatever steps I can to prevent them from eating my weeping birch tree and keep them from covering my house and deck.

I took this photo the other evening as I was walking home from a visit with my kidlets who live 6 doors down from us. Their house and yard are crawling with the little vermin: 

Daily I have been giving my two infested trees a soapy shower with a hose sprayer attachment filled with Dawn dish washing soap. Here is the results of the first soapy shower when the caterpillars will small and still tenting at night: It's really quite amazing how quickly they die when they come in contact with the soap. There is no wriggling and squirming to possibly evoke slight pangs of guilt for torturing living creatures. There is no thrashing about to possibly have them fall from the tree and thereby landing on me. It's just like instant electrocution. Creepy yet awesome. 

I love my weeping birch tree. It's branches are long and flowing and drag on the ground. It's leaves are hardy and remain green and clinging to the branches long after all the other trees turn yellow and drop their foliage in the fall. It often remains green until it gets covered in snow. And if you crawl underneath it is the coolest natural fort you can imagine. 

Every day I pray for my birch tree's protection from the caterpillars. Oh, I know if they attack and strip its leaves, it will rebound and regrow them. I think it's an emotional thing with my tree.

I am also hoping if I can ward them off from full attack on my yard then perhaps my house and deck will emerge unscathed. So far we are still able to sip a glass of wine in the evening sunshine without fear anything crawling on us.

So while I am depending on God to help me in my fight, I'm doing what I can. My husband, while supportive of my efforts, suggests that it's probably easier to just let nature take its course. And I may eventually have to relent and admit defeat, but I refuse to go down without a fight!

My fight included giving the tree a haircut so the branches don't touch the ground. This takes away the million little built-in ladders should the creepers come crawling by.

The word "fight" is defined as to harm or gain power over or defend against an adversary. And it takes bravery and courage. And having bravery and courage doesn't mean you have no fear. It means you conquer your fears! And you do what you gotta do to harm, gain power and defend. 

And as such, with a gazillion caterpillars in my neighbourhood, I reached out with my bare hands and parted the birch branches and crawled underneath! Bravery at its finest! 

I wielded my weapons of tinfoil and vaseline.

 And as an extra measure of defense, I sprinkled a ring of cinnamon around the perimeter of the tree. It felt like some sort of spiritual ritual of exorcism and I'm sure the neighbours all thought I was crazy. Or perhaps they were jealous of my bravery.

My final line of defense and protection to ensure vermin-free deck sitting was another ring of cinnamon around the house, should the critters make it past the birch tree.

I am counting on my tactics to be successful. However should they fail, I'm fully prepared to move out to the lake for 3 weeks and live among the blood sucking mosquitoes.

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