Recent Changes - Search:

Formosa Hut


edit SideBar


Weather diary page

April 1 Istachatta: The lightning bugs are phenomenal, and they have been for the last couple of weeks. Whoever wrote that article I referenced earlier in this diary must have never spent time in the country because I haven't seen anything like this since I was a kid. They are in the trees, and will stay lighted for up to two seconds, and they're everywhere. I've been seeing them in the daytime too, as bugs of course.

April 4, Taidong: Ku lien 'sakura' occurred a few days ago. Winds alternating between south and north. Caught one mongoose but another attacked almost straight away. Quite hot today, and there has been some incredible humidity the last couple of months - manages to leave the floor sopping wet inside the house! Green pigeons back in same tree - even though the tree has died. Strong haze/pollution like sky - seems more frequent than before. Fruit flies have finally dropped off.

April 6 Istachatta: The Tussock Moth Caterpillar started appearing en masse about two weeks ago. But they just seem to be getting heavier. Think cute little furry caterpillars... everywhere. We probably had literally well over a thousand on every tire of our car this morning, and ever morning for the last week. They're everywhere. They rain down from the oak trees. They're all over the exterior of our house, literally often on top of each other. Amazing, cute little... guys.

April 12, Taidong: First mei yu front has formed, which is well ahead of schedule, but it's a stationary front causing some heavy falls around the island. Good rain in XC last night, in fact, heavier in the south than the north. Some relief from the heat of the previous few days but still warm and very humid. Waiting for the first flying ant invasion. Have needed fan to sleep for over a week now. Not much in the way of hornet activity. Caught another mongoose today.

April 17 Istachatta: The last few days have been great. Highs in the low 80's with cool nights in the mid 60's, even high 50's a couple of nights. Tussock Moths have been going batshit crazy nonstop. I pressure washed a couple thousand caterpillars and cocoons off the back deck today and within an hour it was covered with new caterpillars. Pressure was enough to break some of the under roofing loose without dislodging cocoons. I'm just going to wait until they're done and the moth's have come out and then give it another shot. Beautiful weather. Very, very nice time of year and this should last, if last year was normal, until mid July, slowly getting hotter. Mosquitoes slowly getting worse but still not bad. Garden is going nuts. Cucumber, ocra, tomato, lettuce, etc. all very happy.

April 22 Istachatta: Tussock moth caterpillars almost entirely gone overnight. It was actually probably a day or two ago that their numbers starting dropping off noticeably, but today is the first day I felt like the deluge was over. I did have one crawling around on my neck in the garden yesterday, but that was just a final farewell. I read that this was the worst year since 2001, and that given their early arrival and the weather, there is a chance of a second outbreak in late May. The female moths do not develop wings. They simply hang out by their cocoons, get knocked up, lay a bunch of eggs on the cocoon, then die. When the eggs hatch, the little caterpillars eat the cocoon then float to the ground on the silk or go for a ride on the wind. On some mornings a couple weeks ago, I could stand out on the back porch and it looked like it was snowing. So the hundreds of thousands of cocoons on our house should probably be... what... managed somehow. I tried a pressure washer and messed up the roof. I found that a long bamboo stick can scrape them off from the underside of the roof. There's no way to get them all, no way. And with the ancient oak trees towering over the house, all full of cocoons, it would be pointless to try to get them all.

April 26, Taidong: Just when i thought that the weather pattern may have finally reverted back to normal rain levels (after 7 years of below ave), we have hit another dry patch. Two weeks without rain and sweltering, mid-summer like weather with a couple of big south westerlies. After the first mei-yu front a couple of weeks ago, there has been nothing substantial since - a front did form and looked promising but apart from a few isolated falls in the north and on the west coast, nothing here. And nothing forecast for the next week. No sign of flying ants yet though it should happen any day now. Surprisingly, haven't seen any snakes yet on my property - i thought i saw one - the chickens were acting nervous - and then i saw what looked like a large snake's head striking towards the chickens - but the head had no body - turned out it was just a very angry quail mother protecting her nest!

April 27 Istachatta: The Tussock Moths are exploding out of their cocoons. I'd seen a few here and there over the last couple of weeks, but now they are everywhere. In the woods, around the house, IN the house (though less so), everywhere. We saw our first snake a couple weeks ago, but now they're out in force, just over the last 3 days. We're seeing 1-3/day on walks and sometimes in the yard. Mostly Southern Racers and Red Rat Snakes. Nothing compared to the snakes in Taiwan, but still fun. Weather is feeling more summery this week with highs in the low 90s (30ish C). Nights are still brilliant with lows in the 60s (15-18) so it makes for lovely days with cool mornings, then getting hot for a few hours, then cooling down.

April 30 Istachatta: We have 7 mature pineapple plants with fruit on 6 of them. Last year, when we moved in in late May, there was 1. That 1 pineapple, just before I was about to pick it sometime in June, was stolen by, I presume, a raccoon. That little monster ate the whole thing including the skin and left only the top. It actually took the fruit off the plant, somehow carried it over a short fence, and ate it. I found the remains 10 yards or so from the plant. I've read that in this are you need to pick the fruit before it ripens or the raccoons will get it. So now I have 6 (I'm guessing some were snagged last year before we moved in) and they are in varying stages of development, one being far more along than the others. If that one disappears, I'll know to harvest the others, but I'd rather harvest them all before they get taken by the critters.

Edit - Attr - History - Print - Recent Changes - Search
Page last modified on April 30, 2016, at 02:52 PM