Yellow And Red Paper Wasp

paper wasp Twenty-two species of paper wasps have been identified in North America. (wikipedia)
The best that I can tell I have been blessed or cursed with 4 different species of paper nest building wasp. I hear people calling them Yellow wasp, Yellow jackets, Red wasp and a few names that I can’t use on a PG rated blog!

I find nest of the common Yellow jacket wasp, European yellow wasp, and 2 different types of Red paper wasp. The Red paper nest building wasp are my enemy! Simply put have a really crappy attitude and will attack you or your pets for no known reason.
:-( Unlike bees, that can only sting you once, wasp can sting you many times.
When I discover nesting sites containing red wasp I go into chemical warfare mode and spray the nest with wasp killing chemicals.

red paper wasp Killing the little bastards. Killing the wasp and nest removal is fairly simple and safe if you follow a few safety precautions.

Once you have located their nest, wait until night fall after all the wasp have returned to the nest for the night. Carefully approach the nest. Using Hornet/Wasp killing spray, spray the wasp and nest. While wearing heavy rubber gloves, remove the nest. Burn the nest or squash their nest under foot to kill any larva contained in the nest cells.
The same procedure is also effective early in the morning before the wasp have warmed up and leave the nest for the day feeding and being a real pest to animals and people.

All Wasp are not the bad guys. Most wasps are beneficial and are critically important in natural biocontrol. Paper wasps feed on nectar and other insects, including caterpillars, flies, and beetle larvae. Because they are a known pollinator and feed on known garden pests, paper wasps should be considered beneficial to a healthy garden.
Wasp feed on a wide variety of caterpillars including corn earworms, armyworms, loopers, and hornworms that are used as food to feed paper wasp young.

Caution Paper wasps will sting if they are disturbed or their nest is threatened. Wasp stings are painful and can cause an allergic reaction as can other insect (bee) stings.

I have found paper wasp nest under lawn mowers, on the bottom wire of barbwire fences, under house eaves, in the rafters of little used out buildings, under porch decks. You can never be sure that wasp have not build a nest near you, your house or your garden.

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August Vegetable, Berry And Fruit Gardens

August and September are pay back months. That’s when you get paid back for all the time, water and effort you have invested in your summer garden.
Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and other Southern Hemisphere Gardner’s will just have to bear with me on this. I do know it’s still winter in your gardens. But Spring is on it’s way.

You may find your harvest basket running over with summer squash, okra, onions, garlic, eggplant, tomato’s and cucumbers. Apples, berries, grapes, plums and early pears are waiting to be picked, for eating raw fresh off the tree and vines or processed for your freezer, canned or made into jelly and Jam.
Their is so much needing done that it’s hard to find time to just set and enjoy your garden, fruit and berry orchards.

My tiny garden was truly tiny this year. What few plants that survived our long running drought, the tomato worms, squash bugs, cucumber bugs, vine bores and grasshoppers eat.

I mounted my tiny spring tooth harrow our John Deer tractor today and harrowed my tiny garden plot. It’s (the garden plot) dry as old buffalo bones. A lot drier than I thought it was. I’m jerking up dirt clods larger than my fist. It will take a lot of rain to bust up dirt clods that large and that dry.

The chemical war I conducted on my tiny garden plot this past Spring has worked out well. I put down a heavy dose of preeminence and sprayed all my weeds, mostly bind weeds with a combo of 2-4-D and glyphosate herbicide. It accomplished a very effective kill of weeds and prevented other weed seeds from germinating all Spring and Summer.
I will repeat this treatment next spring (around mid February) before tilling my garden plot and installing my drip irrigation system.

Maybe I can post a few pictures of my tiny very dry, garden plot and some of my home/handmade farm helper implements I have made (as needed) over past few years.

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Lazy Summer Dogs (I Do Mean – Hot Dogs)

1905 street vendor selling hotdogs. 3 cents each or two for 5 cents.
hotdog-street-vendor
First things first. What makes the best hotdog bun?
* Off the supermarket shelf hotdog buns. Serve at room temperature, warmed or toasted on your BBQ grill or on a cast iron grill pan.

* Baguette, French or Italian stick bread.
– Hoagie bun.
– Sourdough buns. (see Hoagie bun)
– Subway bun. (See Hoagie bun)
– Croissant bun or Bavarian Croissant or Pretzel Croissant bun.(Not moon shaped)
– Cuban bun (bread) similar to French and Italian baguette bun. (bread)
– Split top roll(bun) A hot dog style roll.
— Cut bun(roll) in half if to long for 1 serving. Slice length wise to lay open like butterfly wings.
– Tortilla – use small flour tortillas, fold in half serve like a flour taco with your favored toppings.

No matter what name you use. Frankfurters, franks, wieners, weenies, tube steak, worst(there are many types and styles), (hot) links, Polish or Italian sausage. They all go well served on a warm or toasted bun with topping of your choice.

Spread (unsalted) butter on your buns, grill to a golden brown.
Hint Before spreading room temperature, soft butter on your bun, add a little mustard and or garlic paste to your soft butter, mix well. :-( I know it sounds bad, but, :-) it really taste good. Wow what a delightful surprise.

Ketchup, mayo, mustard, diced onion, relish, chili (I use canned Wolf brand) and grated cheddar cheese are all American common hotdog toppings.

Now lets try thinking out of the bun.
* Shredded cabbage or cold slaw.
* De-seeded sliced, diced or grilled chili pepper.
* Crispy bacon slices or bacon bits.
* Grilled red onions.
* Slice, dice or grate any cheese that you like not just American cheddar cheese.
* Sliced or diced avocado or avocado dip.
* A dollop of sour cream dip.
* Sweet, dill or sour pickles finely diced. Drain away excess pickle juice.
* Tomato’s or maybe cucumbers finely diced and drained.

All American Hotdog Is one of those dishes that it’s really hard to screw up.

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Cactus Apple Jelly and Jam – Frugal Living In America

A updated re-post from 2012

Making Cactus apple jelly and jam is not a project for wimps or sissies. However cactus jelly is worth the time and effort you will invest in making homemade cactus apple jelly and jam.

Source: aneyefortexas Prickly Pears
It’s the time of the year for picking cactus apples and for making cactus apple jelly and jam.

Making do with what you have. The West and Southwestern parts of the United States is not blessed with ample rain fall to have berry and assorted fruit tree crops. So we make do with what we have, prickly pear cactus fruit.

Prickly pear cactus apple fruits are much like a lovely woman, a wonderful sight to behold, but, dangerous if carelessly handled!

Caution: Prickly pear fruit is aptly named. The tiny prickles are pernicious and once they get into your skin you’ll be feeling them for days. Here’s how to collect prickly pear fruit without getting the painful prickles. I find that metal salad tongs and a good pair of heavy leather gloves work well in picking the cactus fruit off of the prickly pear pads.

Use tongs to remove a prickly pear from your collection container. Use the same tongs to hold it over the cactus apple fruit over a flame of a gas stove burner. Some people use a gas camp stove or even a small portable propane torch. Turn the fruit so that the flame touches it on all sides including the ends. Drop into a bowl and repeat with the next fruit until you’ve done all of the prickly pear fruits. If you don’t have a gas stove, you can use hot coals in your BBQ grill or a gas grill.

Cut the ends off of the prickly pear fruits. Use a small sharp knife to peel them. Chop the seedy pulp into small chunks.
Put the chopped prickly pear pulp into a large heavy pot. Cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes, stirring often, until the chunks fall apart and you have a soupy, seedy stew.

Run the simmered prickly pear pulp through a food mill. If you don’t have a food mill, pour the cooked pulp a little at a time into a sieve or fine-holed colander. Press the liquid and pulp through with the back of a wooden spoon. Measure the strained prickly pear liquid and any pulp. Return to the large pot you originally cooked the chunks of prickly pears in.

For every cup of prickly pear liquid, add 3/4 cup granulated pure cane sugar and 1 teaspoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice. Also add the peel (including the white, pithy part) of half a lemon for every 2 cups of prickly pear liquid. The lemon peel provides pectin so your jelly will properly gel. You can omit using lemon peels if you use a product like ‘sure gel’.

Return to a boil, quickly fill hot sterilize jars with the prickly pear jelly. Fasten lids and store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

Alternatively, pour the hot jelly into hot sterilized jars and process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes. The advantage of this method is that the jelly can be stored in a dark cool pantry shelf until it is ready to be opened for use.

Helpful Hints For Processing Jelly and jam

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Pepper And Mint Jelly

Jalapeño peppers liven up traditional mint jelly. Try it with crackers and cheese and with lamb, chicken or pork.

Ingredients This recipe makes about 4 cups of jelly.
1 3/4 to 2 cups finely chopped fresh mint, divided
1 1/2 cups water
3 1/2 cups granulated pure cane sugar
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp strained fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/8 cup (About 2 medium size jalapeño peppers) de-seeded and finely chopped
1 pouch liquid fruit pectin

Lets make some jelly
1. Bring 1 1/2 cups mint and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 30 minutes to steep. Strain through a lined sieve pressing with the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible, discard mint or feed it to your chickens.

2. Combine mint liquid, sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, and peppers in a large stainless steel or enamel saucepan. Bring to a full boil over high heat and boil hard for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, stir in pectin and remaining finely chopped mint.

Hint add a few drops of green food coloring for a deeper green color.

3. Ladle into two sterilized pint jars or four 1/2 pint jars and process for 10 – 15 minutes.

* Liquid fruit pectin, an ingredient that helps form a gel, is available in the produce or jams and jellies aisle of many supermarkets. Be sure to use the liquid version. While pectin is also available in crystals, the two forms are not interchangeable.

Hint Use the kind of peppers you like. All work well except for bell peppers. Use any sweet, mild or hot chilli type pepper you have in your garden in this recipe.

This recipe has vinegar in it. Do not use aluminum pans!

Be inventive Omit mint and peppers and use herbs that you like.
Make basil jelly for a fun tasty jelly. What a great addition for almost any tomato or cheese based recipe. How about basil jelly on your fresh baked pizza?

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Russia Bans American And European Food Imports

Russian President Putin has no intention of bowing to Western (sanctions imposed on Russia) over the crisis in Ukraine. Russia will instead strike back at the West.

Russia announced that it had banned imports of meat, fish, and milk products and fruit and vegetables from the United States, the European Union, Australia, Canada and Norway.

Russia is considering banning Western commercial planes from flying over Russia on flights to and from Asia. A move that would significantly swell costs and increase flight times.

Russia said “it will move quickly to replace Western imports by importing more food from Latin America, Turkey and ex-Soviet nations to avoid empty shelves and price hikes.

Food and agricultural imports from the U.S. amounted to $1.3 billion last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and in 2013 the EU’s agricultural exports to Russia totaled $15.8 billion dollars.

Russia may also introduce restrictions regarding imports of planes, navy vessels and cars.

Will Russia’s actions push US, UK and Europe back into recession ?

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Russian Hackers Steal 1.2 Billion Passwords!

hack your password Source Russian hackers steal 1.2 Billion passwords
Russian hackers steal 1.2 Billion passwords from more than 420,000 websites.

It seems that it is a full time job staying 1 step ahead of hackers looking for your password(s), ID information, credit card and banking information.

I still say that your best protection is to change passwords often. Use a totally random password generator and make your passwords no less than 15 characters in length. Free Random Password Generator

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