One bug at a time

Nearly every day from early summer through harvest, we stroll around the yard with a jar of soapy water and flick Japanese beetles into it. It’s a pleasant visit to lots of lovely flowers, shrubs, and patches of chard, cukes, squash and scarlet runner beans. I give them all “A for effort.” The beetles, of course, swim a moment, tire and die. Later they go into the compost pile. Efforts to control the larval and adult stages of Japanese beetles are estimated to cost more than $460 million a year. My part is free. We’ve made two important observations from this annual activity. First, these beetles tend to munch on certain plants more than others. In our garden their absolute favorite is old-fashioned mullein — a natural Japanese beetle trap. They cluster on the leaves and are easy to brush into the jar. (It’s interesting that the beetles choose a medicinal herb.) The other thing is that while in the process of stalking these beetles, we notice an amazing number of other bugs that don’t seem to be doing any harm at all. In fact, many of them are obviously doing good transferring pollen or eating other bugs. So, it’s good to leave these beneficial ones alone. We don’t expect to make a dent in the Japanese beetle population, but in our yard at least, nothing is totally lost to their appetites and the daily ambles reward me with fresh air, sun, fragrance, color and fewer garden pests.

More on Adventist Camp visit

Until the Historical Society’s recent visit to Washington Camp, the local Advent Christian Campmeeting property, we didn’t have much of a clue what the place was all about and certainly knew nothing of its long, rich history. Here, in a gross oversimplification, is a little background. The Advent Christian Church has its roots in a group who believed that the Second Coming of Jesus would occur in 1844. When this did not happen, the post-“Great Disappointment” group held onto their faith and over time, set up tent meetings for mutual support and evangelizing. Again, over time, some families set up their own small tents nearby. Later, as meeting places became permanent, with a church building, dining hall, families began to build small dwellings (many not much larger than a tent’s footprint). Such was the case in Washington when in 1886 an Adventist drove his horse and wagon by a beautiful beech-tree grove here and thought it would be perfect for a Campmeeting site. It’s history is lovingly recorded in Dr. Deborah Harding’s book “We Shall Rise” which is in the Gibbs Library collection. Camp Washington conducts summer camp for Juniors (ages 9 – 12), Seniors (ages 13 – 17) and a Vacation Bible School each year. There were over 60 Juniors camping there when we visited. There is a daily event and meal schedule for family campers who come and go throughout the summer. Remember that this is a very inadequate, overly brief peek at Washington Camp. Our visit there was delightful and it’s good to know a little about the place and the people. Again, thank you to Dr. Deb and all those who made our visit so special.

WHS Open House

The Historical Society will hold an Open House Saturday, Sept. 6, at the original old Town House, 264 Razorville Road. The Open House will include a pie contest and an opportunity to have your special item(s) appraised by Larry Truman.

Flea Market at V.F.W.

Farrar-Ross Post VFW is sponsoring a Flea Market Saturday, Sept. 6, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the post on Razorville Road (Route 105).

Sentimental journey

We’ll be away attending our 60th high school class reunion next week so there won’t be a Washington News column in the Aug. 28 Courier. See you Sept. 4.