Posts Tagged ‘garden’

Battle of the Predators

Friday, October 1st, 2010

A few mornings ago I saw a praying mantis just outside my front door.  I rushed to get my camera and as I took the pictures, I wondered why she continued to pose for me.  Then I realized that a spider web enveloped some of her feet.

Praying Mantis Stuck on Wall

Stuck in an invisible spider web

I broke off the strand of web as best I could and let her climb onto a broom handle to find a new home.  I don’t know if the spider had already bitten her or not, but she still seemed to have some of her senses.

Praying Mantis and Rocky

Praying to Rocky Raccon for her good fortune

She chewed off some of the webbing on her front foot.  I don’t know if she could get this matted mess off of the back foot.  I didn’t want to try and get it myself, concerned that I might accidentally crush her foot.

Praying Mantis with web on foot

Foot covered with web

Moving her to a new home on the hierba santa plant, I wished her a speedy recovery.

Praying Mantis on hierba santa

New home on hierba santa leaf

Counting Cucurbits Before They Hatch

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

I commented earlier that this year I cleaned off my compost area and stuck in some squash and melon starts.  I didn’t start the seeds until the second week of June, but as you can see from the first picture, the plants are doing quite well.

For a while I was worried that I was getting all foliage and no fruit.  That is not the case.

I counted well over a dozen relatively large squash and pumpkins hiding under the leaves and several are very close to maturity.  I also have several smaller melons and butternut type squash budding out on the trellised vines that you can see in the back of the first picture.

Taking inventory and taking these pictures was a daunting task as the almost tropical rains of the last couple weeks have caused the mosquito population to explode.  I truly had to give blood to get these pictures.  On top of that the high humidity kept my lens, LCD screen, and view finder fogged up.

I know you can’t count on anything until it’s off the vine and into the house, but the plants are healthy and the fruit is close to becoming a reality.  We’ve already been eating lots of summer crookneck and zucchini that are performing extremely well in one of my beds.

Bloom Day July Sunflowers

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

Close Up Sunflower

One might not be able to tell from this photo, but I was standing on a ladder to get the shot. The tallest of the Mammoth Sunflowers that I got from Renee’s Garden Seeds finally opened up at a height of ten feet six inches.

Looking Down on Sunflower

Here is the perspective from below.

Sunflower from Below

The plant reached well above the edge of the roof.

Leaf Damage from Caterpillars

Last week I had to take action to save these sunflowers. Hundreds of caterpillars devoured every bit of leaf in their path. For the first two days I thought to just leave the caterpillars be, but I soon realized that within another two or three days they would have completely wiped out all of the sunflowers.

I turned a spray bottle with orange oil and water into a caterpillar gun and knocked most of them off of the leaves. While I was out there I discovered that I had some helpers. More than once I saw spined soldier bugs dragging the caterpillars to their doom.

Spined Soldier Bug and Caterpillar

Carol's Gravatar That’s a tall sunflower. Mine have been devoured nearly to the ground by rabbits.
# Posted By Carol | 7/15/10 5:28 PM