Showing posts with label garden critters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label garden critters. Show all posts

Friday, 17 October 2008

"I HAVE TO HOLD THEM!" she exclaimed with delight.


Thursday, 16 October 2008

Grandpa, Do Not Read This One, aka Spider

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Building Houses

I looked out the window this week and found:

Dearest got bored playing pirates go to Mars and together they built this, a faerie house. In something like 30 minutes. Perhaps I am not the only one here that can bend time?

Lil'Bug has been writing and leaving notes for the faeries. She checks and they have taken every message!

This week we also hosted this little guy:

Beauty and music all in one little critter. :)

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Caterpillar Buddy, the Eulolgy

Caterpillar buddy cocooned, but he never emerged. That was weeks ago. Yesterday Lil'Bug realized there was something wrong with his "coon" and I explained to her what happened. She cried. She's never had a pet or a loved one die. She'd seen movies where characters die and I think she somewhat understands the concept, but still, her heart hurt her to know that caterpillar buddy was dead. We set him out in a shady place for the wind to take him to heaven. That was her idea.

Goodbye caterpillar friend. You were very special to my sweet child. May you eat lots of broccoli leaves and flutter with delicate wings on the breeze.

Monday, 7 July 2008

Slug baby!

The first photo reminded me of the stylized baby photos that studios do. LOL. Anyway, this is our bug find for the week!

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Caterpilar Buddy

This is Lil'Bug's cabbage worm. She's holding it hostage. Normally I'd have a big problem with this, but cabbage worms are a pest and we usually kill them.

She has managed to feed it, water it, and keep its home clean. Now it is a cocoon. Soon it will be a pretty white cabbage moth.

Ah, the first taste of sunshine. Our raspberries are ripening! PS, I LOVE my camera. I love that I can take food pictures like this by simply pointing and clicking.

Oh, and pictures like this. See her eye? Not my imagination. It started as a huge welt, but light pink. Not tender. She never even noticed it and has NO idea where it came from. As it ripened, it turned lots of berry purple shades of horror, then it has been determined that it is a spider bite. Eh. I guess that is a natural consequence of playing with bugs. No harm done.

Blueberry has been sleeping, eating, and pooping. She weighs over 9 lbs now. Also, her hair is in a natural spiked mohawk thing. It is hilarious. Pictures to come.

That's been our week. That and more rain. MORE RAIN. Gah.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Super Hero Mama

We just rescued a baby robin.

Lil'Bug started yelling that she caught a bird with her swing.


Indeed she had. It was twisted up in twine and the chain of her swing. It was an immature robin. I untied it but ultimately had to just cut the twine. I couldn't get it off the bird's leg myself (if Dearest had been here one of us could have hold the bird while the other untied) but I got it mostly off. The bird then flew up to the hackberry tree. Seems ok. Lil'Bug says I am her super hero bird saving mama. :)

That's our adventure for the morning. I considered getting my camera out, but the split second I considered it, I also considered the bird's suffering. Three minutes would be an eternity to the poor thing.

Lil'Bug also says that a "tomato" is going to take our house tonight so we better pack up the dishes and extra clothes. Upon which she emptied her drawers and closet into various bags in her room.

We also took Blueberry for a weigh in. It was supposed to be her well baby check but the Doc is in Cedar Rapids doing disaster relief work, so it was just a weigh in. She is now 8 lbs 13 oz! She was 8 lbs 1 oz last week. :) She is thriving.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Backyard Bugs May 4

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Backyard Bugs April 29

Confirmation. Scary grub= June Bug!

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Backyard Bugs April 23

Lil'Bug's cricket friend.....

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Backyard Bugs April 22

Monday, 21 April 2008

Science Fair Project: Phase 1

Lil'Bug decided to document the bugs in our backyard. I took the pictures, but she found the bugs. She wants to keep doing this so we have a good record of what lives back there. Not all the critters are identified. She also went through our picture archive so we could put together a post of what we found last summer too, but then I realized we've already done that with the GARDEN CRITTERS tag. :) Wow, we found some neat stuff last year!

While a traditional Science Fair has one entry on one day, we are going to continue our project through the warm weather. We'll be buying a bug book to help with identification too. Any ideas on the larva thing in the first picture? Last year my aunt told me not to kill those because they turn into a beneficial bug, but I can't remember which one!

Tuesday, 15 April 2008


Thank you so much to Needleroozer for help in identifying our weird coccoon! After some early morning research, I have confirmed as best as I could, that it is in fact a PRAYING MANTIS EGG CASE! It is 3 feet from the ground, about the size of a quarter, right color and texture......

Totally awesome.

Monday, 14 April 2008

Longest Monday Ever

I woke up to a regular Monday. Fed Lil'Bug breakfast, saw Dearest off to work, blogged a bit.....then, well, then I passed a blood clot.


I calmed myself down enough to call Dearest at work and tell him. He headed home. I called the Dr.s office, but no call back. I called our Doula. She said, "Go, go now." Really, there is no good reason for blood. So we went. Pawpaw came to the hospital to get Lil'Bug who was scared and worried too. I'm only almost 33 weeks.

They monitored, they prodded and poked (which hurt a lot! to the point of embarassment). The ultra sound showed June Bug a perfectly happy and active baby girl, placenta intact, mucus plug intact, cervix tight. My stats were good too. What they didn't find was the fibroid. No confirmation, but the going guess is that it broke, dissolved, and that is what passed. My gut tells me that is what happened. I am relieved, but the scare was a bit much for me and I ended up sleeping for a good deal of the afternoon. And, yes, lots of tears.

Dearest took me out to lunch and then home (after picking up Lil'Bug) and we puttered around for a bit in the garden. Here are some more progress pictures:

And a weird cocoon type thing. Any ideas? It is on a Lilac.

I really need a macro lens. I thought I would end up needing a zoom lens more, but a macro seems like it would fit better with all the close ups I've been doing. Oh, yeah, and the MAGNOLIAS are budding!

Lil'Bug loves mud bugs. Dearest and Lil'Bug also caught a nasty bug, or what they thought might be one. We took a break to look up Emerald Tree Borer. What they caught was NOT one. Whew. We don't have Ash trees in our yard, but still, nasty bug!

Then I went inside and slept. So much for getting laundry done!

Also, as a side note: EVERY THURSDAY SINCE THE WARM UP, IT HAS RAINED OR SNOWED OR BEEN AWFUL OUT. It's not fair. That is our park day! It means we go swimming instead, but still, park days are coveted. I just looked at the week's weather forcast and lo and behold, Thursday 70 percent chance of THUNDERSTORMS but sunny all the rest of the week. Gah. It could be worse; we turned the boiler off for the season so worse would be snowing and frigid.

Also, through some strange act of fate, I reconnected with a friend from high school who is also due in June. Amazing. We had lots in common then, more now. Different things now. :) So that's a happy ending to a very, very long day.

Monday, 10 September 2007

Cool Spider Picture at the Lion House

Friday, 15 June 2007

My bugs, my bugs, my bugs!

So at another one of our lively family discussions, (which is not code for "argument that I won", btw) this idea was put out for ponder: Why are we smushing cabbage caterpillars and getting excited about the pretty yellow and black caterpillar to the point of checking on it everyday? They both essentially do the same thing, right? Short answer is this- the cabbage caterpillars turn into cabbage moths and they are both decimating my crop and the pretty bug will turn into a monarch butterfly and is only and exclusively munching on milkweed. I don't eat milkweed, she can have it. They both play a part in the balance of our garden, even if it seems that the only benefit is that we are communing with our plants each day to de-bug them without chemicals.

The picture on the right is of a clutch of lacewing eggs. Neat. These are good bugs- very, very good bugs. I grew up calling lacewings "Mosquito Hawks"- they eat mosquitoes, mosquito larvae, and lots of other pesties.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

The hungry caterpillar

This evening I was weeding the perennial bed that I have terribly neglected this Spring. I was delighted to find a pumpkin plant! Heh. I threw out random seeds of various squash plants here and there and gave Lil'Bug some to "plant." I was examining it with dear husband to identify which yummy squash was going to grow and we found this lovely little caterpillar. I wanted to bring him in and feed him, but dear husband made a convincing argument for it to stay AND I'm not allowed to weed that bed anymore. I might have already removed its food source, which is not pumpkin. I know what kind this one is, do you?

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

It's not easy being green

Dear husband found this awesome spider in our front yard. It's bright green and likes to drop a web and swing three inches below his hand like a little trapeze artist. Any idea what kind it is? I know its a bad picture, but I couldn't find a better picture online (since I don't know what kind it is) and the little bugger wouldn't sit still.

We find a lot of bugs, snakes, and other creepy crawlies. My husband and child both just love to pick them up and look at them.

Bee Charmers, they are. I can't wait to have actual bees. In fact, I can't wait to have an actual farm. Lil'Bug has already shown an affinity and kindness towards animals, a calmness that I hope she keeps as she grows up. Not that she's all that calm most of the time!

*edited to add* We have submitted the pictures to I do not think it is a lynx spider, but I have no idea what it is!

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Night of the Living Ladybug

We let loose the bag o' bugs last night. It was awesome and I highly recommend it as a learning experience for little ones. They were lovely little bugs, very polite, and quite grateful for the meal we shared with them. This morning, they were contentedly sleeping nestled under the pepper foliage, full bellies, dreaming of aphids. Ah, perhaps I am personifying them a bit, but they certainly looked happy in their new home.

Thursday, 7 June 2007

What's in my refrigerator....

Coming soon to a garden near me......

Ah, yes, the yearly batch of lady bugs. We have a pretty good sized ant colony and their herd of aphids does a pretty good job on our garden. The solution? We could soak a square mile around our house with industrial poisons but 1) the neighbors refused consent and 2) just kidding, it's just not practical plus the ick factor of poisons. Instead we decided to get down and dirty with an army of lady bugs.

One more thing to note: despite our neighbors accusations, the state-wide infestation of Japanese lady-beetles was not our fault. :)