10 October 2017

going back

to doing a few things the way I used to. Thinking how much better my old garden did than this one. It's not just the lack of attention I have given the garden this year- although there's surprisingly few weeds, considering. Mulch does a good job. But I used to dig in the compost every spring, not just top-dress it. I think that makes a difference. No-dig method hasn't panned out, for me. I'm going to do some serious digging come spring, see if working the soil over well results in sturdier plants. More weeds, probably- but I used to like weeding, as well. (I know it sounds odd, but I did).

Also going back to a previous thing with one of my tanks. In the window tank, some of its plants haven't been doing so well. I reverted to the old backdrop I'd originally used. It was just a piece of cardboard with dark cloth draped over, that sat behind the tank and usually tipped so the top part leaned away from the tank onto the window pane. That let more light in from above. I think the plants have been missing that extra amount of light- so I took off the black plastic that was currently taped across the back of the tank tank wall, and returned to using the tipped cardboard. This means there's a now strip of light across the top:
but most of the time I view the tank from an angle above, like so. It is still not bright, but definitely more light in there now so I hope the plants that were faltering improve.
With the late-season heat this week I've been finding more caterpillars in the garden, and a few more mosquito wigglers. Yesterday I gave Perry at caterpillar that I thought might be just a bit too big for him to handle. He bit at it repeatedly, with that little excited waggle of his tail. Finally got it down. He likes fighting for his food! He's doing loops across the tank when I approach again. 
Today I gave him a few mosquito larvae. The biggest one I dropped right in front of him, the smaller ones I tipped in altogether- so they scatter. He was so excited at getting the first one, started zooming back and forth across the tank, blasting past the other larvae as they drifted, herky-jerky, down through the water column. It was funny. Finally he noticed one of the smaller wigglers and then slowed down, started intently hunting for them across the bottom of the tank.

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