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Pumpkins & Bugs

Spooky Kiln
I set out to use 25 pounds of clay on a kiln load of fall/halloween items. It’s nearly complete! Just a couple of cauldrons missing feet and then we’ll be ready to bisc fire! It’s been a lot of fun pushing the concept a little farther with each item. I started with just a normal pumpkin and have made it all the way to a skull bottle and this guy:

Spotted lanternfly
The spotted lanternfly was confirmed present in Illinois this week, another destructive invasive insect widening its territory. I’ve seen a few mitigation plans but a key one that applies to many different problems is still about firewood: “Buy it where you’ll burn it.”

Buy firewood near where you will burn it- that means the wood was cut within 50 miles of where you’ll have your fire. Wood that looks clean and healthy can still have tiny insect eggs, or microscopic fungi spores, that will start a new and deadly infestation.

(A fairly hopeful article about the lanternfly situation if you’re interested:…/spotted-lanternfly-isn-t-eco… )

Another key thing I’ve picked up from the news on this though is the tree of heaven – another invasive species that is helping the spotted lanternfly move around but honestly is probably the bigger problem of the two! It spreads aggressively, crowds out native species AND literally poisons the ground against competitive plants. What a dick.

Anyway… I painted the lanternfly to attach to several rants I’ve sprinkled on social media this morning.