A number of residents encountered an abundance of 1-inch frogs just over two weeks ago, right after the first real rain since mid-June.
They were attracted to home lighting, which brought in insects that became food for frogs. Frogs were all over the extension office early in the morning on October 22nd when we held our Master Gardener training. They mostly disappeared during the day, but have since reappeared in smaller numbers.
I’m still trying to figure out what’s causing all this frog activity. It is possible that the extension of the long cool, wet summer may be breeding. Then, with the lack of rain and very warm temperature conditions, we reached the end of June, perhaps the frogs had metamorphosed into a frog that could delay metamorphosis for five months.
The frogs are Pacific tree frogs and can be brown, green, or mixed brown and green. They can even change color from brown to green and back. I had a report on an earlier incident in Warren in the last week of August. These frogs are very useful and part of our natural landscape.
The box elder and stink bugs are back
For several years, neither of these two insects, which seek warmth in winter, have had large populations. They are both back and if we get sunny days you can still see them frolicking on your outside walls. They like to get into your warmer home, using small gaps in window ledges and door frames to get into your house and attic. This is a very poor life choice, as many do not find their way back once spring arrives. Wall voids often have a large number of dead insects that think this is a good idea.
Careful gluing will slow them down if not stop them completely. The number of stink bugs in farms and around houses, which damage crops such as apples, pears, tomatoes, peppers and grapes, was significantly reduced. The best explanation is that the number of small predatory bees increased so much that they drove back the invasive stink bug population. Box elder beetle (a native insect) numbers go up and down from year to year with no real pattern. They feed on birch trees in the summer and do no harm to the trees. Other insects or insect-like things that can enter from the outside include millipedes and centipedes, seed beetles, ladybugs, and carpet beetles.
Most pruning is done in winter when trees and shrubs are completely dormant. However, this is the right time to remove any dead limbs as it is harder to see when all the leaves are gone. These limbs serve no purpose and can be damaged by wind. If you plan to replant some of your limbs back into the trunk or another branch, you can do that now. Roses are generally “high pruned” to knee height and, if desired, pruned more severely the following spring. Old canes of raspberry and blackberry varieties should now be removed and new canes tied to the trellis.
Nob Hill Nature Work Party
The Scappoose Bay Watershed Council and Friends of Nob Hill Nature Park invite you to join us for our semi-annual volunteer work day on Saturday, November 5th from 9am to noon and/or 1pm to 4pm.
Come help pull ivy and add native plants to the Fifth Street Right of Way trail and Nob Hill. Nob Hill Nature Park is an oak forest overlooking the Columbia River. Dress appropriately for the weather, including rain gear if necessary. This work party takes place rain or shine. Bring gloves, tools, water and snacks if possible; we will also provide some water and snacks.
Meet at the kiosk in front of the city’s water treatment plant at 451 Plymouth St. in St. Helens. All are welcome. Pre-registration is required by Friday, Nov. 4 by calling the Scappoose Bay Watershed Council at 503-397-7904. Or email: email@example.com (http://scappoosebay-wc.org). Call 503-349-8586 the day of the event. They look forward to seeing you.
You can get up-to-date and accurate answers to your food storage questions by calling our office at 503-397-3462 and asking to speak with Jenny Rudolph.
- The OSU Extension Office is open full time from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m
- Donate extra garden produce and/or money to a food bank, senior centers or community meal programs. This is greatly appreciated.
- The Extension Service offers its programs and materials equally to all people.
If you have a question about any of these topics or any other home garden and/or farm question, please contact Chip Buble, Oregon State University, St. Contact the office in Helens at 503-397-3462 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Oregon State University Extension office in Columbia publishes a monthly newsletter on gardening and farming topics (called Urban Living) written/edited by yours truly. All you have to do is ask for it and it will be mailed or emailed to you. Call 503-397-3462 to get on the list. Alternatively, you can find it on the web at http://extension.oregonstate.edu/columbia/ and click on newsletters.
Oregon State University Extension Service – District of Columbia
505 N. Columbia River Highway