Monday and Tuesday were perfect autumn days; perfect gardening days too! Sunny, warm but not too hot it was a pleasure to be in the garden. Wednesday afternoon brought sheet lightening, thunder and lots of rain which continued intermittently overnight and into the early morning. There is a strong breeze too today making the drying leaves rustle on the trees.
I know that autumn is here even if I want to live in denial a little longer; I know because the days are becoming shorter but I know most because the shield bugs are coming into the house to find suitable hibernation sites, I carefully remove them, not daring to squash them because of the pungent, long-lasting odour they emit. I’m sure that during summer they don’t produce the odour so it seems to be a way of protecting themselves while they are hiding. Strangely I have the impression that very few survive the hibernation process as I find lots of darkly coloured ones dead. There are many kinds of shield bug (aptly called smelly ones in Italian), the type that come into the house are, I think, Piezodorus lituratus or gorse shield bug; the name obviously references the bad smell they emit. Continue reading