The mountain laurel is in bloom now in Rhode Island, and that’s always a good thing. I took this photo during a recent hike.
The flowers are pretty, but mountain laurel’s impact is best enjoyed from a slight distance, so you can appreciate the masses of blooms.
Here’s one doing its thing in a local park. Wow.
As this beautiful cycle unfolds, another ugly one is also occurring: the gypsy moth infestation.
Here’s a gypsy moth caterpillar eating leaf right down to the rib. The caterpillars are particularly bad in RI this year, and while their destructive eating phase will be over in a couple of weeks, they have denuded large swaths of forest. Can’t wait for them to be gone.
I spoke with a forester and another expert who advised homeowners with defoliated trees to give them a little extra TLC this summer by watering them when it’s hot and dry. Water, but don’t fertilize. The trees will grow new leaves, but it’s stressful for them and they could use the extra help this year.