Thursday, May 01, 2008

In a Jam.

As if the incessant rain wasn't enough without ANTS! My fault I guess, as I saved the life of some nearly ripe strawberries by making them into jam. I placed the dish of still warm , rich, red, sugary fruit in the pantry cupboard to stop flies landing on it and promptly forgot about it till next morning. It had attracted the attention of a colony of ants! There was a walking ( bus lol )trail of ants under the back door up the wall, across to the cupboards and IN. Very hard to see against the black cupboard doors but easy to detect against the white shelves.They seemed to be just admiring the jam and walking around the dish but had made detours in to inspect all sorts of other jars and packets .
The entire contents of the pantry had to be taken out onto the bench and table and each inspected. The vacuum cleaner was the only way of catching all the ants before they escaped. DH decided to help as he could see I had a big job ahead and it took both of us almost all morning to check every packet, bag and jar. It was a good opportunity to wipe down all the shelves and walls as well as discarding anything spoiled or double ups. Luckily very little was ruined by the ants but later in the day I found some had returned so we had to set 2 types of bait outside the backdoor where they were crossing and in case they got by that a bait in the pantry as well. It seems to have worked. Ants are very smart little creatures and I hate killing them, but they must stay outside if they want to live as far as I am concerned.( My goodness we keep a lot of stuff in our pantry! )
We have had so much rain all other activities are difficult to get done . DH is splitting firewood and our shed is almost full. I have been gathering and drying walnuts. The tomato plants are literally rotting out under the last few tomatoes the beans plants are rotting and the strawberries are rotting now unless I pick them early - hence the topic of this post.
I have bound the Fun Flowers quilt ( photo next time ) and have been cutting my green and purple fabrics.
I have finished reading an autobiography, "Never Tell Me Never, " by Australian, Janine Shepherd, which was an amazing story of grit and determination, after she is hit by a truck while cycling. She was a champion cross country skier, training for the Olympics, but had to change her life direction after the accident.( I would recommend this ).


Helen said...

I remember having ant attacks like that when I lived in the Waikato. It is amazing where they end up. I don't seem to have them here but lots of other people do. I'm not sure why they don't come inside in droves. I get the occasional few, that's all. Nice looking jam.

anne bebbington said...

Ants certainly are persistant little beggars - we used to have them in the cavity of the internal wall between our kitchen and our dining room in our old house in Gloucester - I'd tolerate them for so long and then just had to 'nuke' them once they really outstayed their welcome

Guðrún said...

It looks like you won the war with the ants.

Molly said...

Ants are the most amazing [and annoying, when they come inside!] creatures. like armies on manoeuvers when there's a hint of sugar in the air. Glad they didn't get into your pie! What puzzles me is where do they hide out, while waiting for a sugar spill? Where do they materialize from?? Good excuse to spruce up your pantry though!

Molly said...

...of course I meant "jam", not pie---though if you want to make one, and post a pic, I'll come by to drool!

meggie said...

I loath ants invading my home & cupboards. We seem to have them here all the time in Oz, can't seem to get rid of them entirely, but they dont come into our pantry. We have the Pantry Moth scourge over here, & have to watch for those.

I was lucky it was warm, almost hot, the whole time I was in NZ. Lot of humidity in the BOP, -I kept waiting for the cold, but it didn't arrive. I thought of you as we drove hastily through your area!
I didn't get to stop anywhere near the Mount- missed the visit to Papamoa. Ran out of time.

Anonymous said...

Shame about your Jam! It's the time and effort you put in that makes it more annoying.
Just been reading your last few posts and catching up. You had your quilting retreat the same weekend as we did. We also went to the beach and the weather was good here too.
I love your fabric selection for your up coming class. I also have a class in June were we have to have 14 different fabrics. I have chosen Purples with some green also. My class is a mystery quilt. We do one each year in June. I'll look forward to seeing your completed quilt (and wouldn't it be funny if they were similar).
Cheers for now,

Shirley Goodwin said...

One thing I love about the South Island is the lack of ants, cockroaches etc that were prolific in the damp humid north. Not to mention fleas - diabolical when you have a big household of pets, but no sign of these critters once I moved south.

Yes, I AM proud of my kids, not just because they've got their degrees but because they worked 20 hours a week as well as studying fulltime and have managed to support themselves in Auckland.