Tag Archives: Critters

Spring has sprung

ludwig_spaeth_lilac

A couple of signs of spring here in Kentucky.

Each year I see a lone bumble bee visiting the blueberry. I am sure there is probably more than this one but if so, I never see them.

This is Tia’s lilac – Ludwig Spaeth. A very nice scent and color. It has been growing in a large post for several years not and this is the best flowering yet.

Hummingbird Moth

snowberry_clearwing_moth1
I was out and about this afternoon and ran into this guy on my butterfly bush. I believe it is a Snowberry Clearwing Hummingbird Moth. At first glance I thought it was a rather large bumblebee. I couldn’t get a good look at it’s wings as it never sat still long enough, preferring to hover while feeding like a hummingbird does. Using the flash on my digital camera, I was able to capture more detail.

A peek into the beds

Both of the Nanho blue buddleia (butterfly bush) are in full bloom and the butterflies are loving it.

flowerbed1

flowerbed2

The flower bed is looking full this year. The spring rains have really done a lot of good. Like pretty much everything around here they really suffered last summer with the drought. Though we picked up almost 5 inches of rain early this month we are getting pretty dry around here again. The rain barrels are just about empty.

barrel_toms3
The barrel tomatoes are really filling in as hoped. The black eyed susan vine spilling over the side is just starting to bloom and there are lots of green cherry toms on those plants.

Hungry

cherries

Check out the swallowtail butterfly larva I found a few minutes ago. She is munching down on some parsley. Too cool.

The cherries are from one of two trees I have that are living in buckets. I only purchased them last year and each has put out a little fruit this year. Perhaps next year we will have enough for a pie. How awesome would that be?

Oh Deer

tough_deer

Ouch! This Paul’s Himalayan Musk rose cane and a couple of others just like it have been topped by one of our local, and getting braver by the day, deer. The picture is on the fuzzy side but look at those thorns for goodness sake! They are huge and red to boot. Isn’t red the color of ‘danger! warning!’? What kind of mouth does that animal have that he/she can top these bad boys? I am afraid to get within a few feet of this rose, a few yards during a windy day. I can’t imagine those thorns felt very good going down.

Young visitor

I went out to take some pictures for this post and almost stepped on a little rabbit that ran under my foot as I was walking in the garden. We startled each other I think as he/she quickly ran for cover next to this daylily. Judging by it’s size, I would say this little guy is about 4 weeks old. Several years ago seeing this little guy would unnerve me but it is hard to feel the same way since I hand fed that litter a few years back.

yellow_iris

These yellow iris have probably been here as long as the house has. They were growing up near the door in a small area that was very over crowded when I thinned it out a couple of summers ago. This is where I planted the smallest ones. They get lots of sun and it tends to be on the dry side. This is the best showing of blooms I’ve seen from these yet.

I got back from watching Tia’s rehearsal at about 1:30 or 2. I tore into the 3 bags of composted manure I picked up from Lowes yesterday and made some soil by combining a bag of manure, some top soil from the yard and some peat moss. I have a small metal trash can I keep the soil in after mixing it in the wheel barrow. Nothing scientific about it but the plants seem to like the mix. I repotted the new Chicago Hardy fig, kiwi and Pres. Lincoln lilac I recently picked up. I also repotted a blueberry and a rooted fig cuttings from last year. The black knight butterfly bush as well as Eric’s zebra grass went into the side yard. I wanted the BB closer to the house but there really wasn’t a good place that the dog doesn’t get into on his walks. The last bag of manure was spread around a couple of container lilacs and cherries.

gooseberries

In addition to these gooseberries, we have currants (red and white), the blackberries are blooming and the raspberries are about to. The kiwi fruit are developing as are the grapes. We will have lots of grapes assuming I can keep black rot off of them. It has been VERY wet the last few weeks so that may be a trick in itself. Many of the old roses are blooming or preparing to do so and the chives are in full bloom. May has to be my favorite month. Everything is so new and green and alive.

15000+ steps

Yesterday I logged 15000 steps. This includes the 6690 steps it took to mow my part of the yard. I know this because my cell phone has a step counter on it. Too cool eh?

Note to self. Do not mow over cut raspberry canes barefooted.

Lets see… into the ground went my yellow carpet rose, 3 Siberian tomato plants, 3 cukes and possibly 2 zucchini or 2 more cukes. I forgot to label the pot and they are just now coming up and look too similar to tell at this point. I also got my safir cutting celery planted as well as 2 ferns and 2 elderberries. I know there is more but darn if I can remember it right now. I also moved a small rhubarb that I though had died last year when I planted the echinacea. This year the little rhubarb came back and was too close to the expanding clump of echies so I move the rhubarb. It is currently pouting.

I took a bunch of herb photos for the gardening shindig we are having at work next month. I am talking about herbs so I thought it would be helpful to have some photos. I found this 8 spotted forester moth lounging on some lovage during the photo shoot. I’ll have to keep an eye out for larvae on my grapes.

Winged Ants – A Moment in Time

The lack of anything major going on in the garden as well as my free time being cut back drastically for the next month or so has kept me out of the garden and away from posting. I know I have missed much but am grateful for the time I am able to spend outside. Fortunately, yesterday provided me with one of those often missed moments.

Yesterday along with harvesting leaves I was moving some mulch around and filling in the herb bed. Every 10-15 minutes I would be back at the mulch pile for another load. When I was just about to start the third or fourth load I noticed something that I have witnessed only a couple of times before, the dispersing of winged ants.

Granted these little guys can be a real pain if you step on them but the part of their life cycle that involves the winged individuals has always fascinated me. The ‘swarmers’ as they are called emerge to mate, disperse and start new colonies. I had a rake leaning against a t-bar that was about 5′ from the mulch pile. They were making their way up the metal bar and setting off for parts unknown once they reached the top. This group was on the other side of the yard from the house and caused no alarm there.

The fact that their body consists of three sections rather than two, and their front wings being longer than their rear wings identify this group as ants rather than termites. About 15 minutes after taking this picture I checked and they were all gone.

by: kerry