Thursday, July 31, 2008

It's Aphid Control!

What do you get when you have:



...and those?


I went out in the garden and discovered little yellow eggs on a dill plant. After returning indoors I felt something crawling on my was the above creature. Upon returning outside I spotted many sets of ladybug eggs and more than 50 nymphs all over the dill. (Click the photo and you can count a few.)

I must be getting more aware of what is in the garden, because I cannot recall seeing the running of the nymphs in the past.

These little guys will eat a huge share of aphids in the garden at this stage (something like 500) any many more as adults (another 4500)...yippee. They also eat other pests when there are no aphids.

I spotted some with yellow legs, some with black legs, and even one that was mostly white.

These can sure look a little scary, but they are very good...I am glad I can witness them in our garden. For the next few weeks I will closely watch these and see if I can catch some in the pupal stage before becoming adults (eggs hatch in 1/2-1 week, nymphs/larva last 2-4 weeks, pupa last 1 week, and adults last 2-3 months).

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

They're Here!

I am happy after an anticipated arrival, the Echinacea are in full bloom.

If I couldn't see them, I would still know they are there
for they give off a very nice fragrance.

The garden insects must appreciate them as well...

I know this bee looked very happy.

It is interesting how the petals begin pointed up and then move to a downward
position (at least in these varieties).

Okay, not an all coneflower post. Some
zinnias are now blooming, they should
attract some bees and later butterflies.

And a shot of my wayward lettuce flowers.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sunday Safari

I made it on Sunday this week...we were gone to a wedding, but we are back and managed to catch some insects and bugs in the garden.

Last week I commented how some of my old bee friends seemed to have been replaced by new ones...I was happy to find this week all past bees and the new ones all at the same time! So we had the honey bees, mason bees, "leaf cutter", the black with white hair, and the little black with yellow pollen are some shots.

This week the real highlight is some new bug (also in the first photo). I don't know what it looks like some relative of a milk weed bug, but we don't have milk weed and this one didn't seem to act like one...

Update: Thanks to Cheryl's lead in the comments I now know this is the adult Squash Vine Borer (Melittia satyriniformis) that happens to be a type of Wasp Moth. My complaint is that it looks so nice to be a "bad guy". We will see how the spaghetti squash, pumpkins, and cucumbers fare with evidence of these around.

It sort of buzzed around and hovered in front of first I had though it was a red colored bee, until I got a good look.

See here the white bands and the long fuzzy back legs kicking to keep a hover...

Whatever it is, I so far have seen one...but it has been present throughout the week.

Happy bug bug hunting and thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Echinacea are Coming

I've been reading a lot lately about Echinacea in other gardens and have been patiently waiting for mine to bloom...well they are an their way. Above is the start of a white variety and a couple different purple types below...

I thought I would also do a little Wednesday garden tour...there's always so much in the garden to interest me and I try to show it all. I have noticed lots of yellow and pink.

Here is another type of "funny flower"...

This yellow daylily always looks nice...even if it is pretty common these days.

The morning glories have such a glow in the later morning hours.

I like how the tall onion scapes provide a clean vertical shape.

The rose mallows dance in the breeze wind...

These little Coreopsis sure have a great fire-cracker effect...

I just love the many shades the leaves and blooms have on this Heuchera.

These pansies and violas sure look cute tucked into their own spot of this bed...they've been going strong this summer.

The lettuce going to seed has its own look...I really like how the red leaf variety looks.

Finally our happy Rudbeckia.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sunday's Safari on Monday

I did the Sunday Safari, but didn't get a chance to post it until today...

My old leaf-cutter or mason bees seem to have disappeared but are replaced by others. Above is a picture from last Sunday -- I had rescued this one from a pool of water and place it on a leaf. Later it flew away, but I haven't noticed them around since. I also had an encounter with a honey bee (which I haven't seen lately) and we are both unharmed -- but no photos...

There must be a change in the season or at least a difference in recent weather because I notice a change in the insects I am finding. Fewer hover flies and more lady beetles. Here is a hover fly I did catch on the dill.

One lady beetle, two lady beetle...

Three lady beetle (from two angles)...

Four lady beetle...(there were more)

One of the "new" bee visitors. This one was hard to catch because it kept crawling to the top of plants and flying off. Finally it took a little break.

Another type of new bee visitor. I noticed at least a couple of these in the same flower patch. These smaller bees were also hard to catch...they didn't stay long on one bloom.

A frequent sight...daddy long-legs always hiding in the leaves.

Thanks for visiting...hope you are enjoying the wildlife in your gardens.