Beautiful pictures, Rosie!
abiyhayil - the japanese beetles are just destroying my yard! I've had to pull up all of my hollyhocks, because they looked horrid, and have been handpicking beetles three times a day off the grapes, hazelnuts, plum trees, cherry trees, roses, and apple trees, which they have completely infested. Some leaves have 15, 20 beetles on them. They're also eating the coneflowers, catmint, blazing star, black eyed susan, daisies, highbush cranberries, lilacs...really it would probably be easier to list the plants they aren't eating. I think they killed my neighbor's 15 foot tall linden - it is completely defoliated - I've never seen them this bad before.
So, what to do? I'm planning to spread milky spore next month, and have been trying to talk my neighbors into doing the same, but so far only one seems serious about joining me. The neighbor whose tree was defoliated did buy a chemical spray, but said it wasn't effective, because most of the beetles flew off before she could get them - that made me feel a little better about not wanting to spray. I've read about a systemic I could use on the lindens, but since bees love the linden flowers and the systemic lasts over a year, I'd rather not. That said, I can't afford to lose two $400 trees, you know? I just read about coating the trees in kaolin clay yesterday, and want to try that. I'll update here if it works. I'm thinking of buying one of those silly traps, because with the infestation I have, I can't imagine that it could possibly attract more beetles to my yard, and it might help a bit with all the handpicking I've been doing.