Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Leatherjacket Crossing

This morning, I went to pick up the paper at the road, as I came towards the house, I found about a hundred leatherjackets on the driveway. (No, it wasn’t Friday, the thirteenth and my driveway doesn’t go to Port Dover).
I’m not sure why they were crossing the road. Was it because they like damp areas, and the lawn on the right is wetter than the left. Leatherjackets do prefer the damp, moist areas. When we are trying to assess a lawn to see if they are present, we look in the low spots or under the down spouts, because the leatherjackets are more likely to be found where there is more moisture. On the other hand, maybe it’s because it’s supposed to rain today. Often leatherjackets will come up out of the soil during a heavy rain. People then call because their driveways or patios are teeming with thousands of leatherjackets that have come up out of the waterlogged soil. (They like damp soil, but not if it is waterlogged.) I’m thinking to myself, that these are the leatherjackets who have weatherman’s arthritis. You all know the people who can feel it in their bones. “Yes, sir. . . rain’s coming at 3 o’clock.” Maybe, these particular leatherjackets have the ability to know it’s going to rain, and came up out of the ground to avoid the rush.
By the way, leatherjackets are the larvae of Crane flies. They can damage lawns by eating the blades, roots or crowns.

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