Monday, October 12, 2015

Bugs in the Garden

This fall a stink bug laid it's eggs on our patio door. It gave me an opportunity to watch them to see if they would hatch. Luckily I looked at the eggs right after they hatched.
I could see there were a couple more ready to hatch. The buggy things grow up and come in the house during winter. They don't hurt anything. They are just an annoyance.
The spiders are making themselves noticeable this fall. I don't think there are as many as usual. Of course I blame everything on the drought. Ha...I don't know for sure. I have never counted them. This one right outside my office window caught my attention. An unassuming bumble bee got caught in this web. 

 The owner dashed out and proceeded to attack it. I watched wondering if the spider would wrap it up in it's webbing. It didn't. The spider ran all around it seemingly attacking until the bumble gave up. Then unfortunately the web broke and the bumble fell to the ground. I hope something gained  from this bumble's death.
All this got me to thinking about the up close look we got of a wasp's nest we had this summer. The wasps were made several nests in the folds of our umbrella. I couldn't leave them there. I was afraid that every time I cranked up the umbrella we would be attacked. There was a small nest in two of the folds of the umbrella. It was becoming a wasp hotel.
If you look close you can see an egg in one of the cells and several stages of larvae. I thought this was most interesting. I haven't been that close to a wasp nest before.  
Have you had any unusual bug sightings in your garden this summer/fall?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Autumn Garden Update

My daughter gave me this Welcome Autumn several years ago. She knows it is my favorite time of the year. 
 This fall has been quite different. This is usually the time rain replenishes the garden. It hasn't happened yet. If you don't look close it looks about as you might expect. Sort of wild and wooly around the edges after a summer of growth.
 Even in the back things are a little crispy around the edges. Leaves are falling fast. Yet even though we are 5+ inches in deficit of rain there is a lot happening in the garden.
 There are still plenty of garden visitors. If you look close you see some of the usual suspects enjoying what is blooming.

 Despite Annie's constant patrolling little furry creatures make themselves at home.
 Taking advantage of the feeders are, from the left, a White-breasted Nuthatch, House Sparrow, and Carolina Chickadee.
What really made my heart soar was the visit by a Northern Flicker (Yellow Shafted). She came to the water feature. We used to have them nesting around here but since so many trees have come down in the neighborhood they aren't around so often. You can see the yellow shafts of her under-tail feathers as she waits her turn at the water feature.
Here she is looking down at the melee below hoping that some of the sparrows will move out long enough for her to get a sip of water. 
She finally got courage to get down amongst them. 
She slipped in for a sip, then flew away. 
The House Sparrows were thrilled that she departed. More room for them. 
Are there any visitors to your garden that you want to share with me?