Beekeeping experiment

First harvest from our own bees. I know I am biased but this honey is incredibly good. I tested our own against other brands, one from Tasmania, two from Taiwan. Ours has a hint of sourness, a bit like honey with a few drops of lemon juice. Maybe this is the result of feeding on the flowers of beggarticks 大花咸豐草.

Stone bath

Our landscape hero 阿雄 who patiently worked our land. The stone walls, when they are ready, will be a labour of love: digging out the stones, sorting the usable ones from the crumbly type, soaking and scrubbing them, and of course protecting the fertile topsoil in the meantime.

Dig out the stones and level the ground

Sort them according to type (discard the crumbly ones) and size

Clean and scrub in this giant container

http://thirdlifeindulan.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/img_6916.mov

Here are the stones all cleaned and ready for stone wall cladding.

Caterpillar dermatitis 毛毛蟲皮膚炎

The itch started on the inside elbow of my right arm. I thought it was a mosquito bite and didn’t pay much attention. The next day, the itch spreads to the entire lower arm. My arm was covered in rashes and fortunately no blisters.

Must be an allergic reaction. Medication? Food? Mites? Nothing I could do except applying antihistamine cream with steroid to reduce the itch and inflammation.
This is probably caterpillar dermatitis. I must have touched or brushed against poisonous caterpillar in the edible garden, or under a tree. I live in nature and there are trees everywhere. 
Now I know why long sleeves are recommended when in the wild.
Day 2
Day 2
Day 7

發生時我只知道是敏感,但搞不清楚是什麼造成的,但我相信是觸摸,不是飲食。

經過臉書大神的幫助,終於解惑。

1. 急診內科醫生說是毛蟲造成的皮膚炎,自己會好,可以吃抗組織胺的藥。原則上不要洗太熱的水,會癢的話可以冰敷,盡量不要抓。有些人的過敏反應,並不會在當下就產生,而是在一、兩天後。

2.昆蟲專家說是毛蟲,通常是毒蛾、刺蛾類身上長滿刺毛的幼蟲所引發,沒刺毛的一般蝴蝶幼蟲反而較無殺傷力。

毛毛蟲身上的「毛」,含有毒素。裡面有組織胺(histamine)、組織胺釋放素(histamine liberators)、血清素(serotonin)及蛋白酶(protease)等化學物質。若毛毛蟲直接掉在人的衣服或皮膚上,或是這些「毛」隨著風,飄落在人的衣著上或皮膚上時,會直接刺激皮膚皮膚(irritation)或間接的誘發皮膚的過敏反應(allergy)。這兩種作用,都會誘發毛毛蟲皮膚炎。主要分佈的位置為脖子、腋下、四肢內側、腰部及足部。

沒想到我在鄉下生活十年,也喜歡戶外生活,這次是第一次碰到。以後萬一大家遇到,不要驚慌,只是毛毛蟲跟你交朋友。

http://jslin.tw/caterpillar_dermatitis/

Slug and snails

I don’t like slugs and snails. They eat my plants, especially fresh young shoots of beans, squash, peppers, cauliflowers and others.

The man at the seeds store suggested sprinkling these tiny pink bits around the planter. They are Metaldehyde 聚乙醛, a pesticide for slugs and snails. Judging from the instructions on the back of the pack, it is pretty poisonous. I found 12 dead snails and slugs the next morning, and another 12 the following day.

While it is great that my plants are protected, I do feel unease using a pesticide that might pollute the land and water.

Green slug 背刺蛾幼蟲

http://thirdlifeindulan.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/img_5443.movhttp://thirdlifeindulan.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/img_5445-1.mov

Is this

Chalcocelis albiguttatus 

http://lepidoptera.butterflyhouse.com.au/lima/albiguttatus.html

Or

Eloasa symphonistis

http://lepidoptera.butterflyhouse.com.au/lima/symphonistis.html

Or

Limacodid green Slug Caterpillar (Belippa horrida walker)?

今天發現了一種神奇的生物,第一眼注意到時,還以為是外星生物的蛋。這看起來像是QQ軟糖的東西到底是什麼呢?

牠很慢速度的移動。好奇心的驅使下,把牠翻過來,應該一種毛毛蟲。費盡力氣上網搜查。先用形容詞如「毛蟲 」「圓形」「蛹」等字眼,找到 Green Slug Caterpillar。從這裡進而查到 Limacodid 刺蛾科。以照片的相似度,找到三種學名,所以還無法確定到底是哪一種。

可能是 Belippa horrida Walker 背刺蛾,真難想像牠長大後是一隻蛾,這麼醜的蛾。

台東的朋友周文一(天牛博士)證實是背刺蛾幼蟲。不會危害農作物,只吃血桐的葉子,也不會大量發生。

http://gaga.biodiv.tw/9708bx/400.htm

http://www.creek.idv.tw/Limacodidae_025.htm

http://dearlep.tw/species.html?namecode=345633