31 August 2019

more bugs!

because when you're in the garden enough, you find things. Found all the below on leaves of turnips I pulled the other day. This striking bug, is a "bad" one. Southern green stink bug, and it feeds on plants. I wasn't sure what it was, so I trapped it under a cloche while I came inside to look it up.
I'm still not sure on the identity of this one- I think it's an immature wheel bug?
in any case, those front legs sure look like they want to grab other insects- I felt certain this was a predator so I left it alone.
These grey caterpillars are very common in my yard. I thought I had figured out what they are once before, but now I can't remember or find another post on them. I have a hunch it's the larvae of a moth, but which one?
Two brownish caterpillars that curl up when disturbed-
when one started crawling I got a better look at it- maybe it's the larva of an underwing moth, or could be an armyworm? those are my two guesses
The cicada population is again, different this year. I don't notice a change in their strident voices, but I found two on the deck- mating I guess- and they sure look different. These have dull greenish foreheads, bold green structures on their wings
and from above, you can see there's two white spots on either side of their black bodies.
So, I looked it up! Last year it was a 17-year cicada. I'll see those striking orange red-eyed buggars again in 2034 I assume! This one looks like the swamp cicada, or morning cicada. It has an annual cycle, so I might see it every year. I'm going to start paying more attention to the cicadas. Curious how many other species of them I will find, and at what intervals.

few plant things

Newer hosta in the garden, the one with lance-shaped leaves I got as a trasnplant, is blooming white in the shady sideyard.
This is my scapegoat plant. It comes up as a weed, and some of the bugs seem to prefer eating it rather than my ornamentals it grows next to.
this one that came up in the back near the mayapples is a pokeweed-
I can tell because compare it to a larger one nearby that is starting to show the flowers-
but another in same area, I am not sure of. The foliage is similar, but there are slight notches in the leaf margins. It may be a tree seedling, or a giant weed I don't want?
My fig tree in a pot, is making figs!
Salad burnet is looking better since, like the others, I have been throwing soapy dishwater on it. I think it had a slight case of aphids or mealy bugs. All fine now. I haven't used it much this year, but did strip some leaves to throw into a plain burrito with beans and cheese last night, it was surprisingly good!
that's a vine of cucumber circling round the base of its pot. Might eat the last cuke and upend those pots; they just aren't doing so well.

30 August 2019

the shrimps eat

I found that Laddie has been striking snails, killing them but not eating their bodies from the shells. I don't know if he misses and doesn't grab enough of them to extract the snail? or what. But I didn't want to leave those snails lying around the tank making stink, so I dropped them into the shrimp jar where each was promptly claimed by an amano.
It kept those shrimp busy for more than an entire day, picking picking.

28 August 2019


The blue ramshorns are moving about the tank now.
I like them so much, I have started picking out all their competitors- the trumpet snails and the ordinary brown and leopard ramshorns. It's easier right now because the snails keep gathering on the leaf litter. I've read that the blue color is a recessive trait, so if you have both kinds in the tank eventually the blue ones will be fewer, until they're gone. If I pick out enough browns, maybe my blues will reproduce.
Got a better photo of a ramshorn on wall of the little glass box- without its foot scrunched up-
 and this very small one, I got a photo close enough to show its eyes- or the feelers at least
another snail in the background-
The ramshorns are not very interested when I give them a bit of cooked pea- they don't seem to prefer it over algae or decaying plant bits. But when I put in a bit of carrot, they really like that! Converging:
almost gone:
moving off:
It looks like at least one of the egg sacs I moved is still okay- I see little specks in there, the baby snails developing.

out of the garden

I pulled the amaranth. Don't think the seed will ripen the way it was lying flat on the ground, and can't put it in an arrangement because it's all collapsed. So it got fed to the compost pile. I'll try it again next year.
Sometimes now I like to sit under the deck facing out into the garden. View of the leeks, just behind them turtlehead- which I had to trim back a bit, it was starting to shade out part of that garden bed.
The greens- leaf beet chard and collards- looking better now I've reduced some of the pest insect population.
Carrots, in front of marigolds.
I pulled turnips today
and cleaned out all the foliage sickly from insect attack, so the bed looks very sparse now
but what is left, has healthier-looking leaves

27 August 2019


Found some swallowtail caterpillars on my carrots. I clipped off the leaves they were clinging to, and moved them onto the parsley. If they eat up all the parsley, I'll pull some carrots for me to eat, and give them the tops! This black prickly one is a black swallowtail caterpillar.
I think the more striped ones are tiger swallowtails:
This one was the largest- nearly as big as my thumb.
 I don't know what this one is. I found it on the milkweed.

bumblebees in turtlehead

My turtlehead looks fantastic, since I've been throwing dishwater on it regularly again. Mealy bugs are gone, once in a while I surprise a leaf hopper or stink bug in there is all.
I was watching the bees. I knew they liked the turtlehead flowers-
but I never realized until today that they climb inside them to get the nectar. That black blob on the left of the flower? that's a bee in there.
It was so funny to see them climb in and out of the flowers, my kid and I hung around the turtlehead patch quite a while watching them-
Going in!
The other two patches of turtlehead in my yard aren't blooming yet. Not sure if it's because they are more shaded, or if they are less healthy; this one is adjacent the garden which gets the rich compost. The other spots only get leaf mulch. And I don't usually go out to toss soapy water on them, so they have to deal with more bugs and look a bit ragged, some of the leaves.