“Gross Alert”…”Gross Alert…Condition Red”… Don’t say I didn’t warn you…
The other day we were having a late lunch / early dinner accompanied by our hobbits. We had the usual “musical chairs” kerfuffle as we always do facing the simple, but apparently daunting entity…a rectangular table with four chairs surrounding it! It is like we all have to subliminally agree who sits where like a family of dogs battling to get pole position in the basket. The despair on our twenty-something waiter’s face was tangible, I was him in another life. Once finally settled, the same waiter came back to take our food order, as he approached the table, I noticed him, noticing my youngest, extracting a rather stubborn… (I had no idea mining had prematurely started…it wasn’t scheduled) “nose boulder”, a boulder that, if frosted, would not have looked out of place on the North face of K2, oh yes, it cast a sinister dark shadow over the table on its rather ungainly and secretive birth. My appetite receded.
With the substantial “ore” now presenting itself proudly on his unsanitary stalagmite finger, my wife was on it before I even had chance to move in slow motion toward it, moaning a long drawn-out Hollywood “Nooooooooo!”
As fast as the unmentionable was was smothered by a napkin, a reaction ensued that nobody, including the restaurant kitchen staff, waiters, front of house, could ever of anticipated…we had apparently unleashed the…
“Hey!…I was gonna’ eat dat!”
A silence fell over the establishment.
Moving quickly on…
I walked around to my stock tank early this morning, optimistically hoping that perhaps it may have showered during the night. Not yet quite awake, (pre-coffee), I walked up to the tank to take a look.
I was amazed how such a small bird could deliver such a decibel level. I scooped it up into a bucket and quickly released it before it could gather itself and emit the ear bleeding racket once again. The bird’s parents immediately flew into a nearby tree and started to call for it.
After my shattered morning nerves had returned to normal, I wandered to my papyrus stock tank. I had recently added a couple of canna lily transplants and wanted to check in on them.
Canna lilies are mostly pest-free, but like these recent transplants they sometimes fall victim to the Canna Leaf Roller, a particularly disturbing and destructive olive worm. This is the larva of the Brazilian skipper butterfly
also known at the Larger Canna Leaf Roller. The worms cut the canna leaves and roll them over to live inside the cozy domicile while pupating and scoffing down on the leaf, and can they scoff! Look at my new cannas!
It has been a week of finding new insects in the Patch, three to be precise, the next one was waiting for me as I turned over one of my rotating compost bins…
Perhaps a long horned beetle of some sort? Check out those front feet.
A Squash Vine Borer,
found where else, but on one of my squash plants. The adult squash vine borer are active during the daytime and rest on the leaves in the evening, different from most moths that are active at night. The borer is a caterpillar as a nymph and a moth as an adult.
The moth is often mistaken for a bee or wasp because of its movements, and the bright orange hindleg scales. The females typically lay their eggs at the base of leaf stalks, and the caterpillars develop and feed inside the stalk, eventually killing the leaf. They soon migrate to the main stem, where they will reap complete havoc on the plant, eventually killing it.
A Naboo tribesman has been captured on camera, and you will not believe who captured this never before seen tribal member. On a recent visit to the ESPatch, Ivette Soler… http://thegerminatrix.com/ took this spectacular photograph, a photograph that will go down in the horticultural historical records as the first ever glimpse of this reclusive, sometimes cannibalistic tribe member.
You have to zoom in on this infamous discovery…I could not believe it myself…a warrior peeking out of the amaranth stems, is that a tribal headdress on the right?
After all of my moaning about my tomatillo plants, getting huge and just sitting there…doing basically nothing. Imagine my surprise when I was greeted by this scene today! It seemed like this happened over night, small lanterns were hanging all over the plants, and there were lots of them, all different sizes.
…and quite aesthetically apt for this post title.
This is either the larvae of the Three Lined Lema Beetle, or the Three Lined Potato Beetle, it is really hard to tell unless you can find the eggs and so far I haven’t.
Yes folks, you guessed it, these tiny slugs with their swollen bodies and black heads have an annoying habit of piling their own excrement on their backs…they really do. What an extreme defensive measure (involuntary gag reflex).
Note to self: Must never try mimicking this larvae, no matter how threatened I ever feel.
Other exciting news on the vegetable front:
And a few egg plants.
And one or two caterpillars! Annie, they love your sunflower!…I have never seen such a hairy congregation, any guesses as to what they are? I did try to pick the brain…
I have a new resident in one of my water lilies, sporting a sort of full-face, Hitler-esk mustache. Some unsuspecting insect is in for a bit of a scare, when alighting on this bloom. Oh yes, this image did make it to my “Looks like” page:
“On the Chain Gang”
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