Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Quick Stroll Around the Garden

My first year growing Bee Balm var. Pink photoshop editing!
This time of year, it's easy to find beauty in the natural world. Here are a few shots from around the house and garden. Hope everyone's enjoying the outdoors!!! And come on, is that bee balm pink OR WHAT?!

Chive flower (yes, chives!)
The garden plot, mid-June
In the garden, spring greens are starting to get thick! Chives and garlic are basically done, spinach, leaf lettuce, and carrots are growing their hearts out, and the summer vegetables are off to a good start, except for the cucumbers, which all died. We are having a few problems with cutworms (not since I applied Bt!) and slugs (yes, still) but otherwise the pests haven't been bad. I have heard tales of a yearly whitefly infestation at our "farm," and I am not looking forward to that. Check out the garden 20, 60, and 90 days ago!

Dame's Rocket, a European wildflower from a mix I planted in 2009

Black and Yellow Mud Dauber attacking Fall Webworm.
I've also noticed around the yard and garden that a lot of different wasps have been cruising low, right above the ground, and working over the same areas for hours at a time. It finally occured to me that the wasps have all probably laid eggs, and are now hoarding food for their little wasp children (I'm told that's the technical terminology). I'm not totally convinced of the ID of this critter, especially since the "most likely" two species' larvae feed on insects that are not caterpillars (grasshoppers for one species and spiders for another). Regardless, this is a display of behavior similar to that of the the Cicada Killer, which I was fortunate enough to document last summer.

Don't stop, just get it, get it!


Leigh, Andrea Leigh Gil said...

Beatiful Garden!!! I didnt know that about the wasp but I knew it was good to have parasitic wasp in the garden... the larva will feed on the flesh of Tomatoe horn worms. I will nolonger cringe to see the wasp about. ;)

Anonymous said...

Hello there--
I found your blog over at OBS and you caught my attention, as I lived in Hampton Roads for nearly 12 years. Back then I spent a great deal of time in a sea kayak and generally had a light spinning rig under the bungies. Covered a lot of water that way from Chincoteague to Cape Lookout. I miss the back waters and the critters that kept me company.
I'll be checking in for a memory jog now and then.

Kirk Mantay said...

Outstanding James...we are headed down there in about a month and will surely be spending a bunch of time outdoors. I have some wetland work going on in Jamestown, Norfolk, Chesapeake, and Gloucester.

Kirk Mantay said...

The wasps are great unless you accidentally grab one, Leigh! I remember the first time I got stung, I was about 5 years old. I picked up a "dead" paper wasp on our porch and BOY did that hurt!

Leigh, Andrea Leigh Gil said...

What is it about dead stinging insects that children find so appealing!? I was around the same age when I picked up a bumble bee. Boy did I cry. Then just a few years ago I stepped on one in the strawberry patch... I cried then too! haha

Kirk Mantay said...

That's what kids do! Bees are (apparently) hilarious and interesting.

I still get stung about once a year because of my line of work.....when I'm lucky, it's little sweatbees....when I'm not lucky, it's hornets and yellowjackets!

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