Blog Update 07.03.10
Finally got one of the pictures approved. The caterpillars shown below have hatched out to Black Swallow Tail Butterflies. Their colors are very vibrant when freshly hatched. Was so tickled to find some that had emerged before they dried off and flew away.
Blog Update 07.03.10
We finally got rain! Of course it has been going on for several days now so next I will be complaining about too much rain instead of drought. Please pass some cheese when I start that wine.
Right now there has been an amazing transformation of the landscape from yellow and brown to brilliant green. The cracks in the ground are finally closing. No longer have to worry about Roxy breaking a leg stepping into one.
Being low to the ground she comes in soaking wet now but we have developed a fun game with the towel to dry her off.
The dog and bird provide me with an endless source of amusement.
Life is always better with laughter.
Chiggers have been a problem in the yard here the last couple years. At least I think they are chiggers. Haven't seen what has been biting me, but it's the horrendously (no drama added to this statement) itchy hard red welt of three to six millimeters in diameter.
Bites prefer back of knees, or where undergarment elastic meets skin...which can be socially embarrassing when you really want to scratch in public. Some show up on stomach area. Anything besides or in addition to chiggers cause these kinds of bites?
Thoroughly dousing myself with the lovely scented Deep Woods Off does keep me protected, but pee-yeww! Between the smell factor and laziness, I really don't like dousing my entire self in insect repellent everytime I go in the yard.
Picked up four new bites just crouching in the recently mowed short grass. They don't seem to affect my dog Roxie. She rolls over on her back to get sunshine and belly pets, I squat down but don't even sit in the grass and come up with bites if I don't spray first. Arrrgh!
So, short of napalm and illegal pesticides, does anyone know how to get these creatures out of my yard? This is really taking the fun out of gardening.
Also, anyone know of low-odor insect repellents?
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Here we are half way through the new year and I haven't posted any pictures of my garden. Well, now that it is officially really hot in North Texas I will stay home and tend to the yard. Was looking at a banner crop of tomatoes and squash this year, but some two legged varmits picked everything :( Fortunately one of my co-workers is having a good year in his garden too so he is sharing his extra tomatoes.
Had some really pretty birds show up this year. Check out this golden House Finch. They are usually red, but this one is a very pretty mutation. Hope it continues with this flock.
No bees this year. Have been hand pollinating everything. Did plant some Dill to attract Swallow Tail Butterflies. It worked and they laid eggs which have hatched into caterpillars. Be aware that when you plant food for caterpillars, they will strip it down to a twig eating it. So put these food plants in areas that caterpillar ravaged foliage won't look unsightly. Also avoid the use of organic pesticides like BT, beneficial nematodes, as well as regular pesticides in these areas.
The new peach tree seedling has leafed out and grown a foot!
The strawberry garden is also very happy.
Summer is here.
Updated: 10:23 PM GMT on July 03, 2010
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