Mantis Update: We have had two more pods hatch, they are making their way all over the greenhouse. You can often catch them on top of a dahlia plant hanging out. Yesterday, we saw one of the bigger ones (I assume it is from the first hatching), stalking a fly. Not to sound like my twelve year old, but the fight that ensued was EPIC! Mom managed to catch a picture of the action - it's not completely in focus, but I was too busy cheering for the little guy to take a picture, see below.
I have had two very important questions this week, neither of them are very good - please keep your eye out for both Fire Blight and the Lily Beetle.
Fire Blight is a bacterial infection that attacks members of the Rosaceae family - pears, apples, cotoneasters, etc.
It is called Fire Blight as it describes the appearance of the disease, which makes the affected areas appear scorched by fire. Typically it occurs in the spring and you see it first in the open blossoms and new shoots and leaves.
It can be transmitted by birds, insects, rain and wind. I will save you all the gory details how it spreads through the plant, but treatment is to either prune out infected areas and destroy these clippings (DO NOT COMPOST!), or spray with a copper fungicide. There is no true cure, and if not treated the tree will die.