Can you tell by the titles I'm kinda a fan of the "Wizard of Oz"? Fun fact about me, I used to refer to the movie as Dorthy Gale when I was little, betcha didn't know Dorthy's last name off the top of your head, well I do so HA!
Sorry for the hostility that's what a long day capped off with some beetle duty and a run in with poison ivy will do to you. Oh? you want me to elaborate, well don't mind if I do:
It was a 6am harvest day, so after FREAKING OUT around 4am that I was late I went back to sleep and let my alarm wake me up at 5:20. Blah blah breakfast, coffee, sunscreen (yeah mom I wear it EVERYDAY), hat, action! In the field for another glorious day of raspberry picking. Our first row of raspberries was made even more fabulous by the array of picnic bugs that had set up shop inside about 1 out of 3 harvested. What are picnic bugs? Well, contrary to their name they are no picnic...Oh come on it wasn't that corny, laugh a little, humor me here I'm secretly an old man- I like to make "Dad jokes".
Any who, picnic bugs are long black bugs that burrow into the raspberry and hangout, and usually if they have gotten there recently we can just blow them out of the berry and salvage it for selling. Easy enough, but pretty time consuming, and very frustrating. Then after one measly row it is already 9:30am...yep over three hours with 6 pickers on one row- it's gonna be a long day.
We then move onto my favorite: black raspberries, which actually fight you when you pick them it is almost as discouraging as the bugs. AND THEN we move onto another variety of regular raspberries that have been invested by our favorite bug of all time (drum roll please) THE JAPANESE BEETLE! Super exciting, these puppies are shiny, black and green/blue and they destroy the leaves and berries and come in swarms. To kill them, you pick them up and squish them in between your fingers until you hear a crack. Yep I'm a bad ass I kill beetles with my bare hands, children tremble when I walk into a room, and women weep at my sheer strength no big deal.
So we make the genius decision of just working a long morning so theoretically we don't have to come back out after lunch. It is 95 degrees outside, my toenails are drenched with sweat, but it is 2pm and we are DONE. That's the perk of starting your day at 6am! However, as we make our way back to the house my boss asks us to come back out and trellis some cucumber melon plants later, I volunteer to just do it right away but am told I have to take a break...UGH I just KNOW if I come back out we are going to have to do more than just trellising. Sure enough as I am sitting out there, my boss's boyfriend comes out and asks me to do "beetle patrol" with him. Beetle patrol means going through all the bushes and some of the trees and whacking branches with beetles on them over a bucket of soapy water so they drown.
Beetle patrol also involves climbing underneath the netting placed around the rows of these plants so that you are trapped in with the beetles, and let me tell you they are not happy when you try to murder them. After they swarm all around me the first time I drop the F bomb, and then turn to Steve (names have been changed for confidentiality reasons or whatever) and say "Shit I swore...sorry?" He laughs and responds with "they won't hurt you or bite you or anything" UH yeah STEVE but it is not exactly a fairy tale having them fly out at you with vengeance while you are trapped in what they have claimed as their territory...it is terrifying and although I am a bad ass, I am also sometimes a 21 year old city girl.
Needless to say my first beetle patrol did not yield high results, but don't worry folks because we will be doing it from now on every morning!
Oh, and the poison ivy thing- no big deal, just while murdering some beetles we were by an area apparently overgrown with poison ivy, a fact Steve shared with me after several minutes, following it up with "you're probably allergic, we should just go inside now and you should wash up with warm water and soap."
I showered promptly, crisis averted.
- Chicken Salad Sandwich, hold the chicken