This is my best insect photo ever, taken about 10 years ago in my own backyard.What are you seeing there, you ask? What you are seeing is a cicada killing wasp actually stinging a cicada, paralyzing it so that it can become...Screech. Halt. My apologies.I'll spare you the gory details about what happens to that cicada.Just know that what caused me to see this and take the picture was hearing the cicada scream.Yes, I said scream. I heard it myself so now I know that cicadas do scream … [Read more...] about Cicada Killing Wasps Are Back!
Gotta take the bad with the good
'Tis a lovely morning in the garden when the hybrid hyssop, Agastache 'Blue Fortune', is just beginning to bloom and the bees have already discovered it. It sure didn't take long. This lovely flower is definitely one of the top bee magnets in my garden. Bees love it! Of course, naturally, maybe oops, not oops, I planted it by the sidewalk so people walking by can see the pretty flowers covered with bees. I'm sure that doesn't please a lot of people who are a bit skittish about bees. But … [Read more...] about Gotta take the bad with the good
What I do about Japanese beetles in my garden
Japanese beetle on raspberries The other day, I noticed a butterfly and a Japanese beetle sharing the same Agastache flower. I didn't get a good picture of them on the flower, though I tried to. The butterfly wouldn't stay still. The Japanese beetle could not have cared less, though, and later I took a picture of two of the beetles on a raspberry leaf. There are also Japanese beetles starting to chew holes in the leaves of other plants in the garden, including newly flowering zinnias … [Read more...] about What I do about Japanese beetles in my garden
Go, go, go. Buzz, buzz, buzz.
We could learn a few things from the bees. They were out in full force on Friday, the first full day of spring. They buzzed from hellebores to crocuses and then from crocus to crocus. I'm sure they visited the irises and snowdrops, too. The bees know a sunny day shouldn't be wasted in the springtime. They know the pollen from those early spring flowers isn't going to be there forever until they get around to it. This is not the lazy season. When the sun is shining and those flowers are open … [Read more...] about Go, go, go. Buzz, buzz, buzz.
Thoughts From the Desert
Two flights with a layover in between and I was transported from Indianapolis in the Midwest, where Fall is lowering the temps and changing the leaf color, to Tucson in the Southwest, where it felt like Summer was a permanent resident. On the drive from the airport to the hotel in Tucson where the annual Garden Writers Symposium took place, our shuttle van driver patiently answered our questions about the local life of the desert, including rattlesnakes, tarantulas, and scorpions, oh … [Read more...] about Thoughts From the Desert
Can you believe this frass?
Photo orig. from The Blogging Nurseryman Can you believe this frass? The Hoosier Gardener, perhaps knowing that I like to use the word frass as my own secret gardener's cuss word, sent me this picture of a bag of frass. Insect frass in a bag. Can you imagine? How in the world does a company get enough frass to fill not just one bag, but enough bags to market and sell it as plant food? Who came up with the idea of collecting insect poo and using it as fertilizer, anyway? In all my … [Read more...] about Can you believe this frass?