The fetid aroma of stinkbugs, or should I say Asian ladybugs, lingers in the cool dry air. These orange and black-spotted ladybug imposters whisk by me carelessly, occasionally slamming into the side of my face. As I bend down to examine a large mushroom, one lands on my arm. I knock it off and it unapologetically releases its fumes.
When we lived in Illinois, these nuisances would make their grand appearance on warm sunny days in October after the corn and soybean fields had been cut down, where they must have been lying in wait. There aren't many cornfields here due to the karst topography (in other words, rocky soil), so I have no idea where they've been hiding all summer.
I left a container of potatoes sitting on the kitchen table, engrossed in my blogging, and when I went back to put them away there was a stinkbug sitting on top. I love how they sound when they hit the floor.
Not to get on an Asian soapbox, but the Japanese honeysuckle is also thriving this time of year. While frost has claimed many shrubs, including my crepe myrtles, this invasive vine is still dark green.
For those of you from the north who've never heard of this, it bears a lovely-scented yellow and white flower that you can suck the juice out of. It smells so good that I was tempted to let it run wild in the burning bush shrub growing near my front door, pictured above. Now I've just decided to wait for the red leaves to drop so that I can search and follow each vine down to their shallow roots and pull them up. It is so evil and unlike me to kill a plant (other than a houseplant), but if I don't do it now, my house will be covered head to toe in honeysuckle vine, and like a scene from Jumanji, we'll have to hack our way out of the door.