Nov 30, 2009


Hello everyone!
Finally, I'm back from my cocoon. Yes, I was hiding in a cocoon for long. Though I thought was ready to blog when I did the last post, I realized that I was not. Though I did visit some of my fellow bloggers' sites, I somehow didn't feel like blogging and thought it best to let the blog sleep for a while and take a break and that's why I didn't even reply to the comments. If any one of you is offended by that, I sincerely apologize for it.
Well, I stopped blogging temporarily after my trip to Trichy (Thiruchirapalli) in June and somehow my third trip to the same place renewed me. It is a great place that I fell in love with. It has kindled the desire in me to start another blog that I was planning to do for long (about the Hindu religion).Though I was not blogging, Plantville was not idle. It was invaded by a host of insects. There were good ones too like this one, but the bad ones started taking over fast and furiously. The gardener of Plantville was fooled due to his carelessness (yes, blame me) by their showy flowers. The lazy gardener didn't notice the tiny, seemingly-invisible preys feeding on Plantville. He was content with the smell of the blooms and their showy colors. He smiled at the new tender leaves and sprouts. He was satisfied as the denizens of Plantville offered him blooms for his daily pooja (a form of worship to the gods).Little did he know there were many kinds of eight-legged monsters that were spinning their traps, trying make Plantville a ghost city.Soon Varsha (Rainy Season) was gone and Sharad (Autumn) took over. The Plantville was filled with joy and more blooms. Winged friends started visiting the city more often that the gardener was busy photographing them and overlooked the monsters who were building their foundation in unseen places. Heavy rains of Autumn washed away all the dirt but not the monsters. It helped them and with its end, the monsters found the climate perfect and sought after ants to herd them and help them extend their colony. Those bloody workers helped them build a huge army.
It was now that the dull-headed gardener noticed the damage. Flowers started drooping, leaves started curling. Buds became weak-footed and began losing their balance. Especially the Cape Honey suckle became very weak. By the mere touch or a slightly heavy wind, they dropped their buds.For some it was over and for some the damage was recoverable. The gardener tried to fight the army of monsters with organic and chemical means only to delay the eventual death of some and managed to save some.(Anyone knows the identity of this monster? Soap spray and neem spray seems to get rid of them but they come back soon! I noticed that these usually stay in the base of a branch/stem of a plant when they're young and are green in color and have soft tissue. At that stage, they can't fly, but only when they become like this, they can. Hope that helps you to identify them.)
(The above is a mealy bug and neem spray works best on them, just in case someone's desperate to get rid of them. God am I!)
The dull headed one decided that it was time that Plantville underwent a makeover and required overhauling. So that's what I'm up to now - Overhauling. Repairing stuff and introducing new lives, but neither my changing shifts nor the rains are helping, but I'm not giving up this time and even if the growth is slow, I wanted it to be steady. Hopefully, 2010 sees a new Plantville...


Gail said...

You tell a great gardening story...welcome back. Don't you think gardeners on the whole are a contemplative group? I am glad you are refreshed and energized to blog anew. gail

Marion said...

Welcome back!!! Your new blog is beautiful. I love the dragonfly photo best, of course! Your garden is magical, as always. Blessings!

Chandramouli S said...

Thank you, Gail :)

Thank you, I loved that shot myself!

walk2write said...

So glad you are back, Chandramouli! Everyone needs a break now and then. I looked at similar bugs in my field guide--of course, it's of North American insects and spiders--and found several treehoppers that looked similar. One is a thorn-mimic treehopper that closely resembles it. Hope that info helps you. I'm glad you're not shy to talk about your faith.

Chandramouli S said...

W2W: Hi, it feels great to be back :) Thank you for the identification. Now, I've got to find a way to get rid of them. Though many sites say that they don't do damage, they seem to be spreading quickly in my tiny garden space and is causing a riot. Hope I find it soon. You have any ideas to get rid of them? Even if it's chemical, I don't mind, coz I've been seeing these flying around since last year. Soap spray seemingly helps but not really.

walk2write said...

I'm glad I could help with the ID. As for the help with getting rid of the nasty things, I'm probably not going to be much help. I've tried Neem oil with some success for various pests like fire ants, but as you've discovered it's not a cure-all. I do know that plants have natural (essential) oils of their own, among other defenses, to fight off intruders and that if the plants are stressed or lacking in some vital nutrient, their defense system falters, and the intruders take over. Maybe fortifying the soil would help the plants regain their strength. I've used a concentrated blend of essential oils mixed with surfactants to combat aphids and thrips, and it usually helps the plants fight off the critters, but it's too expensive to use on a large area. I save it for my most valuable plants. It's called Thieves cleaner, and it's made by a company called Young Living.

Jamie said...

Chandramouli, welcome back!

We're having a good spider season here right now, too. Look forward to more In Art Lies My Heart updates!

Chandramouli S said...

Thank you, Jamie :)
Spiders freak me big time. Are there beneficial ones two? How can you tell if they are?

Antigonum Cajan said...

Now that I have become
a living legend, bloguing
wise in five continents
eighty two countries, I was
wondering what the hell
could have happened?
Well I tell you one thing
your blog is still one
of my favorites and I SEE
that is still excellent.
Glad to have you back!

Chandramouli S said...

I'm flattered, Antigonum Cajan. Thank you for our continued support! :)

Tyra in Vaxholm said...

Oh Chandramouli I'm so glad you are writing your wonderful stories again, you are a master! I just love your stories and your pictures too. That monster you ask the name of looks just like someone from the Ice Age movies. I'm so sorry but I do not know the name.

Chandramouli S said...

Wow, thank you, Tyra :) LOL! You're right. That thing looks demonish. It's Treehopper - thanks to W2W.

Green thumb said...

It is fun to have you back. Your inimitable style was being missed sorely in the blogdom. Starting a blog on Hindu religion is a rocking idea; it would be interesting to see what you have in store there!

Chandramouli S said...

Well, thank you, GT. I hope to launch the new blog this week. Let's see...

Arundati said...

hi chandramouli,
welcome back... was quite disappointed no to see any posts from you all this time.. I'm glad I checked today.. your garden is really amazing.. I too am thinking of shifting all my potted plants to the terrace ... talk of a dearth of sunlight in Chennai.
Looking forward to your new blog.. Wishing you all the best in the new venture :)

Chandramouli S said...

Thank you, Arundati. It was all because of you guys' continued support! Thanks a ton again.
You should also consider watering them twice a day if u move the plants to terrace, coz they get dried up really soon and there's no protection from trees/buildings there. All the best!

Antigonum Cajan said...

Your humble servant
is back with classical
humility, now read in five
Insects come back after your
enviroentally correct
water and soup, because
the plant may be in the
wrong place, if in a pot
as most your plants
seem to be.
Therefore, move the pot,
spray and monitor daily
as this reader on the other
side does.
On the other hand I can only
go uh-oh, with such nice pictures
of many insects , beneficial
and not, that are
rarely shown in most blogs...
Good luck...