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two bees on sunflower-2

One reason I love taking pictures in the garden is that it teaches me to see things I would ordinarily miss, and to see them in new ways. I had a lovely time watching these bees and taking pictures of them. The sunflower is the result of the bird feeders that I have hanging above off the end of our patio.

The bee on the top of the flower appeared to be taking a little nap, while the bottom bee was working its little bee-butt off (and occasionally bumping into the top bee to get it to move out of its way). I even took a video of the bees with my camera (the first time I’ve tried doing that), and it worked surprisingly well, even though I was a little shaky.

two bees on sunflower-1

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squash bugs, planning their attack

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the harlequin bug

It has been a while since I’ve written a post about a bug and my sometimes-gruesome attempts to protect my crops from them. Well, if you have been lamenting the absence of such a post, today is your lucky day! If not, you might want to check back on another day when I talk about a recipe or post a photograph of a flower.

Actually, there is nothing too gross here. Just a few pictures of my latest foe, the harlequin bug.

I noticed them a while ago, but couldn’t actually figure out what they were up to. I suspected they might be doing something inappropriate to my broccoli florets, but I couldn’t figure out what. And when questioned about it, they strenuously denied any wrongdoing. So, I took this picture and did a background check. Good thing I did. Read the rest of this entry »

squash bug eggs

I knew it was just a matter of time.

Each year I am inundated by thousands, perhaps even gazillions, of squash bugs. And each year, sometime in late summer, Chris finds me in the garden crazily stamping on squash bugs and yelling at them to go away. Sometimes he has to forcibly remove me from the garden. Sure, I know what you are thinking. I’ve gone on and on about the slugs, the flea beetles, the deer, the cabbage worms, the japanese beetles, etc., but this is different. It was the dreaded squash bug that killed my beloved zephyr squash last summer.

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japanese beetles on my borage

Parents who go out of town and leave their teens behind should expect that unsavory things (from the parents’ perspective) are likely to transpire in their absence. We have no children, never mind teens, and therefore were shocked to come home to an orgy. A japanese beetle orgy. Sure, there were a few meandering about when we left, but they seemed innocent enough. How stupidly naive!

There is not much that can be done to combat this pest, given that there are no natural predators in the US. Except to grab them with your fingers and crush the life out of them.

I know what you are thinking. The poor beetles! What a severe sentence! She’s an overzealous prosecutor! This isn’t fair! But I will not bow to the political pressure from the right. I will not pardon them. Nor will I commute the sentence (and then sneak in an inevitable pardon later). No, guilt is guilt. The sentence stands.

Some might say this was entrapment. It is true, borage can be used as a “trap plant” to attract japanese beetles so that you can collectively do away with them. Too bad, I say. They still chose to eat in my garden, and now they have to pay for it. Even if they are rich (which of course they aren’t), and even if they have a friend who lives in a white house (which they might). Justice may be obstructed in Washington, but not in my back yard.

japanese beetle orgy

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