The last rose

A fire bug just fell into my whisky. Instant death.  I mustn’t have diluted it enough.

Usually the critters do a few laps before they drown.

Welcome to the change of the season.

All the insects which have feasted on my veg all summer in the potager – the fire bugs – are trying to find somewhere safe over winter. That way they can come out in spring and start all over again.

They take to hiding in door jams in the houses and especially the gaps in windows.  Every time you open a window and fling open the glass you can count on at least three or four plopping out.  I tend not to squish them without gloves as the goo takes ages to clean off one’s hands. So I jut lob them outside.

We call them firebugs, or “punaise” in French. Which means either stink bug, water bug or shield bug depending on your region. Take your pick. That’s the problem with not using latin to hone in on the correct beast.

Ours are pyrrhocoris apterus. They are a very successful species. You find them all over Europe and even in north Africa and the Middle East.

I didn’t know that. I had to look it up. I like this website. (Apart from the howlers of typos which make this old proof reader cringe.)

And you find them all over my garden. So hopefully you will excuse me lobbing them out into the cold.

Yes, the weather has turned. And I had to save these very last roses. The flowers looked a bit odd on the branches which are almost denuded of leaves.

I shall keep these roses for as long as I can. And when the petals drop, I’ll dry them and remember this absurdly long summer.

last rose