I have divided the original Home page into several sections as it was getting cumbersome to copy. At this time there are Home (this Page), Archive 1, and Archive 2
- I have back ups for most of my old information and will fill in the gaps from Dec to the present. (May 21,2018
June 1, 2018
Hot and muggy, and we did have a pretty hard rain last night. Clear and sunny today probably have storms this afternoon. Serious damage from flooding on the Natahalla River where I like to fly fish and I expect several other rivers in the mountains have seen lots of flooding. The town of Ashville really was flooded badly and more heavy rains expected. All of this reminds me of the fact that I think climate change is real. Our 25 and 100 year floods have now become 500 and 1000 floods. There is so much documentation about this.
Lots of rain should be on its way from Tropical storm Alberto??. A storm does not become a hurricane until the wind speed reaches 72 miles per hour. Any storm including a Tropical Depression can deliver lots of water When ever there is 3 inches of more of rain, there will be flooding to one degree or another. If the drainage area is large and one gets 3 to 8 inches of rain the results can be devastating. I live about 40 feet above Sugar Creek that runs through Freedom Park. I measured the difference with an anemometer which tells the exact feet above sea level. I do not think we are at great risk because the flood plain around the creek where we are is quite wide. If one is anticipating buying a home, it is always a good idea to check out the flood potential. What used to be 100 year flood comes often and a 1000 year flood can happen. We who live in the Charlotte area were lucky that the flood in 2016?????? that clobbered South Carolina, just missed the lower part of Charlotte. In fact I 77 down close to the South Carolina border was flooded. Keep your eyes open and have an emergency plan.
April 18, 2018 I expected to see cankerworms today but did not. They should be out, but we had a very weak infestation in this area (Myers Park). If anyone out there has information, let me know. I went fishing over a long weekend and could have missed the hatch. BTW I always enjoy the mountains this time of year. The green spring foliage was on the lower mountains but not at any higher elevation. it was interesting how much more green was visible on the way home four days later.
April 11, 2018
Spring is here... Several days ago (April 6, 2018) I happened to stumble upon a short article I wrote back in April of 2000 which is 18 years ago. To me this has been a rough winter, but plants are starting to bloom on exactly the same schedule. I thought our weird winter would slow things down. I would say that azaleas were out in full bloom yesterday, April 10th.
Take a look:
April 4, 2000
Every year I wonder where we are in the spring as compared to last year or the year before. Below are a few things happening right now which gives us an idea as to what will happen next year also.
Trees flower about 3 to 4 weeks earlier here in Charlotte, then they do up north in areas such as Rochester New York. Washington is about 3 weeks behind.
To day the boxwood leaf miner came out. I have seen the little orange fly emerge as early as the last day of March and as late as the 15th of April. Most azaleas are in full bloom or will be in a day or three. Daffodils are mostly gone, only the latest varieties are still hanging around.
Willow oaks in full leaf although some of the young trees in cooler areas only are partially out. The tassels of the willow oak are falling but have not reached their peak. They are a real mess and pollen from the oaks and pines will coat everything soon.
Sweet gum pollen will turn ponds dark coffee color. We actually spray them soon to keep the sweetgum balls from forming. This works well if you are interested. It beats cutting down the trees and the balls are really a pain.
I will continue to post as plants come into leaf.
I observed the azaleas in my own yard starting to flower and even took a few photos which I will post here.
March 29, 2018
It feels like spring out there today.... finally. So far we have missed the rains and tornados that are racing in from the midwest. I did miss the nasty weather of a freeze, rain, and snow that was here a couple of weeks ago. I was fortunate to be in South Africa where is was early fall, nice weather, but a severe drought in Cape Town. Here is what one of the large reservoirs looked like from the Air. Part of the issue for Capetown is that they have had double influx of people in the last several years and that has put a real strain on infrastructure.
Lake near Capetown with very low water_0029
March 28, 2018
I am back from a little time off and have reached a turning point in that I have a different focus on life. Maintaining a business property takes work. There are taxes, property to be maintained and unexpected things that happen because of weather or other unforeseen things. I plan to maintain these pages and keep my Observations to continue to add content to the site.
March 3, 2018
I guess we need to get back to the business of dealing with things that did not get sold at my sale. We got rid of a lot of small things, but some of the larger items are still here. I am moving stuff from the property as the new owner takes over soon. I intend to remove the photos of what is gone which means that if the photo is still there, so is the item available. Give me a couple of weeks to get that done as I have other priorities.
February 23, 2018
Since the timing of the cankerworm seems to be on schedule I think we can assume that the emergence will be late March or early April. The eggs are laid in the top of the trees and after the first cankerworms hatch, they will be green and about 1/16th of an inch long. It used to be that you could see small cankerworms on the Tanglefoot trap, but since there are so few females, I have seen very few egg cases on the trunk. We will have to hear from others in areas where there were heavier infestations. So much for now..
February 18, 2018 I have not seen any cankerworm for a week. I think they are done for the season. Since I have not heard anyone come up with a better thought as to why there have been dramatically fewer cankerworms, here is mine. We had a drought just before the big freeze. It was below freezing at sometime during each day for 10 days or more.
I saw plants die this year that have not before. At my office I have had three separate ten gallon containers with three types of water lilies in them. They have lived happily for 15 years in those three containers and all of them froze oout this season. The cold might have been the critical factor but the drought could have added to it by weakening the cankerworms just below the surface of the ground.
February 11, Sunday 0 cws today total cws for the year 46. .
December 19, 2017 Tuesday
I got a call today from the North West Charlotte that 4 cankerworms were spotted on a “pin” oak tree. I suspect that the tree was a willow oak in that the long leaves of the willow oak often confuse people who have heard of the Pin Oak which has deeply indented leaves and has a more traditional oak leaf shape. The pin oak also has the bad habit of keeping its leaves on most of the winter. In other words you will have to rake leaves all winter long.
I put up my trap last night with no Tanglefoot on it. see more
December 17, 2017 Sunday
Looks like we will get a little rain over the next few days. We need it, as we are in a drought which is not good for trees and shrubs going into dormancy.
December 13, 2017 Wednesday
Yesterday, the cities contract crew banded about 1/2 of the city trees along Queens Road West. This morning about 10:30 am I took this photo. It was windy and this is not the entire trap, but here within 24 hours there are a significant number of leaves in the trap. Please note that there are a lot of leaves on the ground and invariably the city will send out a bunch of leaf blowers in a few days and really blow the leaves up on the trap.
On the way back down the road, I saw that a lawn care crew was just finishing up cleaning a rather large yard, There were three men with blowers and they did a really good job of getting the lawn clear of leaves. You can see them in the background in this first photo below. The cankerworm trap is ruined. see below
Hold off a few days from putting up your cankerworm traps and watch out for the leaf blowers.
It’s not just leaves, it is dust and other debris that clogs up the glue on the trap. Look closely and you will see what I mean. These traps have to stay on the trees until mid April ...4 months.
December 12,2017 Tuesday
Don’t be in too much of a hurry to get the traps up. I see city traps with tanglefoot full of leaves already. In much of Charlotte, the trees still have lots of leaves. There are more details on the cankerworm page. The cold front should arrive tomorrow and that has delayed the real cold that we need to bring them out to crawl up the trunk. more on cankerworms
December 10, 2017 Sunday
The temperature only dropped to 28 last night; I expected 26. I started thinking about the cold weather coming and all the other things I needed to do this Christmas Season. About 3:00 Am after a good sleep I woke up and realized I had not protected several outside faucets. One in the back yard is a copper pipe that stands up from the ground about 24 inches. If it freezes and burst, it is a pain to fix. Fortunately, I know a little about soldering copper, and if I were to not take care of this I know I would have a broken pipe.
At the same time I have 3 hoses in the front and back yard each of which has a spray nozzle. If they are drained they are not affected by the cold, but if there is water inside them they will break. I gathered the faucets up also and went back to bed and slept
December 6, 2017
The leaves are flying from the trees, and with the coming cold front and wind, I think most of the trees will be rid of their leaves soon. If you are doing the banding yourself you should put the bands up now, but do not put Tanglefoot or other sticky material on the band. (see more on banding).
When I used to rake my yard, I realized that it would take about 100 leaf bags to clean up all the leaves. It did not matter if I raked leaves once a week during the leaf falling time, or if I raked once a month, or waited until the end of the season, it always took about 100 bags. I have fewer willow oaks now, but my neighbors might not. All of these leaves came from one yard.
Sixty Three ( 63) Bags of leaves from one residential yard on QRW.
December 2, 2017 Saturday
It will several more days before we see female cankerworms start climbing the trees. The 10 day
forecase for Charlotte shows us getting into the 25 and 28 degree range by Saturday December 9th. Shortly after that I would expect to see some activity. There are certain areas around Charlotte that are not as affected by the heat of the city, and they might experience colder temperatures sooner than we do. I have several people who report when they see cankerworm activity and that is a big help to all of us. I still see lots of trees loaded with leaves.
Big Willow Oak
I photographed this large willow yesterday (Friday Dec first), and as you can see there are many leaves to still fall. At the same time a light wind was blowing leaves out of the trees, and we are expecting rain soon. If that is the the case then certainly on large trees the leaves will fall, and it would be ok to put up traps I is ok to put the band on the tree now, but do not put the sticky material on until we 3 good cold days.
Personally I would wait a few days to put Tanglefoot on because I always put a very thin 1/2 inch band on my lone large tree and will not put up the remaining tanglefoot until I see modest activity.
I also recognize that lots of people hire tree companies to put up the Bug Barrier trap and the way it is made to shield the glue this trap can be put up earlier than the traditional Tanglefoot trap. There are other reasons I don't care for the Bug Barrier trap and you can read about that here.
November 3, 2017 Thursday Thanksgiving Day
It is close to the cankerworm migration up the trees. I read an article a couple of days ago in the Charlotte Observer that this week and next were the appropriate time to band trees for cankerworm.
I take issue with that because the willow oaks are loaded with leaves. We need a good rain, and wind to rid the trees of leaves. Back when cankerworms first became a problem after Hurricane Hugo in 1989, the timing for putting up cankerworm traps was about Thanksgiving. Each year it seems to start later and now is later in December. See this link
It takes a good Hard Freeze to get the cankerworms crawling. What that means is that it needs to be 27 degrees F. or cooler for about 3 days in a row to get the female canker worms moving.
If you band too soon you will have a lot of leaves captured in the Tanglefoot. If you use other products that protect the sticky stuff you are probably ok. The wind will tend to blow leaves under the Bug Barrier trap. Actually the other day I heard about 6 leaf blowers all making tremendous noise at the same time. There were 3 going two houses down from me and a like number up the street. I had to put on a head phone like ear protectors just to work in the yard.
Leaf blowers are really bad about blowing up leaves on to the cankerworm traps. It might be the operator who is careless, but in general if you put up a trap too early, the leaf blowers will ruin the trap.
Every year I watch the city band trees on the median of Queens Road West. A day or so later, the city or their contractor comes by and blows up so many leaves that the traps are covered. I will post a photo here later.
- November 18, 2017 Saturday
I am up and running at last. Just in time for the fall cankerworms it appears. Presently I am in Rochester New York. It is amazing how different the trees are here. It is especially obvious as we drive along the highway. I have been interested in the oak trees. They are in the process of turning from their fall colors to a blend of just brown. Conspicuously, the white oak are just brown, A few Scarlet oaks have retained their fall color. The Scarlet oak is one we don’t often see in the Charlotte area. Mostly we have willow oaks, white oaks, some Northern red oaks, water oaks, Southern Red oak ( this one’s leaf looks like a candle flame). Lesser seen are the chestnut oak and some mossy cup oaks that probably came from seeds brought down by a Dr. Tilley a dentist I think in about the 1930’s. There are some of these original trees on 7th Street, and I went by and got some great examples of their acorns. Photo here....soon. The name is Querscus macrocarpa which means large cap. I planted several of these over the years and one is on the property at Lake Norman Yacht Club. It is now about 50 feet tall and producing acorns for the past 10 yearsor so. More on acorns later.
- November 14, 2017 Tuesday (viewing on inspiron shows up on web most old potos on board . Still have to merge text from dec 6th to end of the year. Recover all photos and copy to Assets.
- November 06, 2017 Monday
In case you landed here today, notice that it is exactly 11 months since I have been able to update this site. It is far from done, but I will explain later.
As you can see there is an overlap here. The data below is information I saved. The total number of canerworoms for the
As of February 17th, I have not seen any more female cankerworms. I do have some eggs on the trap where the male cankerworms were attracted to the stuck females. We can expect these eggs and the eggs up in the trees to hatch in late March. Keep your eyes opened and you will see small green worms on the traps. Ten days later you should see some defoliation.
February 17, 2017 Friday 3cw in TF today Total 248cw post later
February 16, 2017 Thursday 3cw in TF today Total 245cw post later
February 15, 2017 Wednesday 2cw in TF today Total 242cw post later
February 14, 2017 Tuesday 3cw in TF today Total 240cw post later
February 13, 2017 Monday 3cw in TF today Total 237cw post later
February 12, 2017 Sunday 4cw in TF today Total 234cw post later
February 11, 2017 Saturday 8cw in TF today Total 227cw post later
February 10, 2017 Friday 4cw in TF today Total 219cw
February 9, 2017 Thrusday 3cw in TF today Total 215cw
February 8, 2017 Wednesday 4cw in TF today Total 208cw
February 7, 2017 Tuesday 3cw in TF today Total 204cw
February 6, 2017 Monday 14cw in TF today Total 201cw
This was a surprise to me.
February 5, 2017 Sunday 5cw in TF today Total 187cw
Go down and look at the Feb 3 comparison from total count for four months. Note that this year almost to the end of the cankerworm migration I have counted 187 cws and in 2006 there were 5941 cankerworms trapped. There will be a few more cws added in the remainder of the month, but not many. That is almost 32 times more cws in 2006 than in 2017.
February 4, 2017 Saturday 3cw in TF today Total 182cw
Again all insects were from the shady side of the tree. It also is pretty cold, below freezing.
February 3, 2017 Friday 4cw in TF today Total 179cw
I did not it add to my message yesterday but today did go back through my records to 2006 which was the most cankerworms I counted. Here is the breakdown....
November 2006 = 26 female cankerworms trapped
December 2006 = 1987
January 2006 = 3901
February 2006 = 27
Total = 5941
February 2, 2017 Thursday 00cw in TF today Total 175cw
I will write more about this later today. I want to make some comparisons to previous years. I find what we have seen this year in terms of the overall migration to be very abnormal.
Today with 175 total cankerworms, how does this compare with earlier seasons. In 2016 in early February, I had trapped
February 1, 2017 Wednesday 4cw in TF today Total 175cw
Early February last year (2016) we had over 700 cankerworms on the same tree and trap. in early February of 2015 the total of cankerworms trapped was
January 31, 2017 Tuesday 7cw in TF today Total 171cw
Only 7 cankerworms today, that is a surprise. On the last of January in
January 30, 2017 Wednesday 20cw in TF today Total 164cw
II have not checked my trap since January 25th. I expected that there would be about 30 cankerworms a day. The actual count was 20 cws and 150 would have been the number if my guess had been correct. I also have noticed that the cankerworms have been coming up from the back side of the tree in this case, the shady side of the tree. In the past that has been an indication that the migration was slowing down.
January 25, 2017 Wednesday 32cw in TF today Total 144cw
This is beginning to look normal but arrival of female cankerworms about a month late. I am getting reports that the cws are out everywhere.
January 24, 2017 Tuesday 34cw in TF today Total 112 cw
January 23, 2017 Monday 2cw in TF today Total 78 cw
January 22, 2017 Sunday 4cw in TF today Total 76 cw
Heavy rain last night My rain gauge which is glass froze and broke a week ago. I was a little late gluing it back together last night. It had been raining several hours when I replaced it and it registered 3.5 inches of rain early this morning.
January 21, 2017 Saturday 9cw in TF today Total 72 cw
Finally another normal day for cankerworm movement. I counted 9 female cankerworms on the trap today. I looked back over some historical figures. In past years as the migration started, we would see days like this: 3,5,2,4,6,8 and then a few days up to 24. One year on Christmas day, there were 100 cankerworms captured. A few trees had 5000, to 8,000 insects for the entire season read more
January 20, 2017 Friday 13cw in TF today Total 63 cw
It rained a little bit last night but not enough to wet the bark and I trapped 13 female cankerworms. This seems to be more toward normal movement. Still we have seen a very late start to the cankerwom migration.
Also of interest, is that most of the city trees I have seen are showing few cankerworms. I suspect that in certain parts of the town the numbers will much larger.
January 19, 2017 Thursday 8cw in TF today Total 50 cw
Well, finally what I would consider a normal day. Seeing 8 female cankerworms on the trap was a good sign. Since I know they are moving in other parts of the city, I think we will see more favorable days ahead.
January 18, 2017 Wednesday 0cw in TF today Total 42 cw
Today there were no cankerworms on the trunk of my tree which surprised me since I thought they were moving upward on Tuesday the 17th. I also checked the two street trees in front of my home and there were no cws on the first street tree and possibly one on the second tree. I mashed it so there would be no carryover from today.
January 17, 2017 Tuesday 4cw in TF today Total 42 cw
January 16, 2017 Monday 0cw in TF today Total 38 cw This year by January 17th (2016 / 2017 we had caught 38 female cankerworms
Last year 2015 / 2016 at this time, (January 17, 2015) I had trapped 655 cws.
In 2015/ 2016 the number of female cankerworms that were trapped were cws
January 16, 2017 Monday 0cw in TF today Total 38 cw
At least today I have found that some other parts of the county are having a good bit of cankerworm activity. The Highland Creek area as well as Concord are having a good bit of activity. Concord has been pretty bad for several years. Mint Hill was spotty last year and I don’t know how that is doing this season.
January 15, 2017 Sunday 0cw in TF today Total 38 cw
No cankerworms today. I am mistified.
January 14, 2017 Saturday 0cw in TF today Total 38 cw
No Cankerworms today
January 13, 2017 Friday 2cw in TF today Total 38
Small number of cankerworms today and pretty warm too
January 12, 2017 Thursday 6cw in TF today Total 36 cw
I have had a number of cankerworms get through the Red & Tacky so I will stop separating the two types of sticky material. Note that my total of 36 is not much different from the count I made on another large willow oak across the street yesterday. I counted approximately 40 because it was hard to see under the trap.
January 11, 2017 Wednesday 7cw in TF today, 2cw in RT Total 30 cw
The ice and snow are mostly gone, and there are cankerworms on the trap. I did not have time to count them, but will do so later this morning.
I attended the CIA (Charlotte Arborist Association) meeting last night and the general consensuses is that the cankerworms either have not started en mass yet except in a few isolated cases. One person mentioned that a trap directly across the street from me in an individual’s yard was loaded with female cankerwormsl I hustled across the street about 8:00 and did count approximately 40 female cankerworms in the trap. This was a Bug Barrier trap, and it is hard to count the numbers because they are on the inside of the trap and hard to see.
Why the difference from the norm? I really don’t have the answer, but this is a healthy willow oak that is growing in a bed of English Ivy. Maybe the ivy insulates the ground from freezing and the worms started moving sooner that those trees that are on bare soil more or less void of any mulch.
I will explore this later.
January 10, 2017 Tuesday 2cw in TF today, 1cw in RT Total 21 cw
January 9, 2017 Monday 0cw in TF today, 0cw in RT Total 18 cw
Same as yesterday with ice and snow. It is clearing from the grass.
January 8, 2017 Sunday 0 cw in TF today, 0cw in RT Total 18 cw
Snow and Ice
January 7, 2017 cw in TF today, 0cw in RT Total 18 cw
January 6, 2017 6cw in TF today, 1cw in RT Total 18 cw
Today it is in low 30 €s and not suposed to get much warmer. This has been a strange seson, and I have had several comments about how late the season is this year.
Below is an email I got from Jeff Peppard. Jeff was the one who used the Red & Tacky (RT an abbreviation I plan to use more in the future).
I haven't seen any females as of 01-05-17 after thousands last year. Could we possibly have effected the life cycle or just not cold enough this year yet.
Also, I explained last year that the females are too weak to get through the "red n tacky" grease. They don't get stuck like Tanglefoot. They merely get the grease on their legs and fall to the ground. I literally had thousands on my oak fall last year.
Strange season so far, but I'll hunt them buggers down.
January 5, 2017 2cw in TF today, 1cw in RT Total cw 11
I realize that I will need to put up more Red & Tacky because it is pretty thin.
January 4, 2017 2 cw today Total 8 cw
January 3, 2017 0 cw today Total 6 cw
cankerworm bu 2We had 2 inches of rain here last night and the cankerworms did not care to come out and climb the trees.
I did discover some insects that I have seen many times. They are colored exactly the same as the lichen on the tree trunk. I looked them up and that is what the two photos below are. It turns out the a Lacewing larvae. The cover them selves with dried bits and pieces of the
lichen for camouflage. The move about and search for small insects like aphids etc. The two links below are very informative and have some excellent photos plus a lot more detail than I have provided.http://jimmccormac.blogspot.com/2010/11/lacewing-uses-lichen-camouflage.html
Blog above identifies this as a camofloged lacewing larvae.
January 2, 2017 5 cw today Total 6 cw
It might seem strange that there have only been six cankerworms so far this year. I do not know why. There is speculation that it might be to the severe drought that we had during the summer of 2016. The official record for Charlotte was 40 days without rain, but at my home I went for another 20. The storm that brought rain to parts of Charlotte after 40 days just happen to skirt my home.
It would be logical to assume that the dryness killed lots of cankerworms that breed in the ground, but I don €t think that has anything to do with the late start. Here is why, I happen to have an irrigation system for my yard and I also try to be conservative with water for the grass but I did keep things going through the drought and the cankerworms are just as slow in my yard as they are on the street trees in front of my house.
January 1, 2017 0 cw Total 1 cw
Lots of rain last night and the bugs don €t like rain or snow.
December 31, 2017 1 cw Total 1 cw
To read information prior to December 31, 2017 click this link Archive 1
should go to Archive 2