Thursday, July 24, 2008

New friend in the yard! This little hummingbird has been coming by to visit the Monarda and Agastache... Katie Grace gave me a hummingbird feeder so I set it up but he seems uninterested in the sugar substitute when so much of the really good stuff is available!

There he is again, a blur, when he flew in during a downpour yesterday. Confused, he flew back and forth from front to back again and again trying to get back out but he was too flying high, so I let the roll up all the way up and he got out. Cutie!

Not so cute is this Tomato Hornworm, Manduca quinquemaculata, I found on one of my tomatoes. I actually first saw a huge amount of caterpillar poo, then looked for him, he blends in very well with the tomato foliage which he was decimating at am alarming rate! I'm not so good at squashing big bugs, not a fan of the crunching noises or guts spurting in random directions... so I put him in a bag, with some leaves, in the trash. Technically not my bad killing karma, right? However, he does have his own issues with parasitic wasps... " Larva that hatch from wasp eggs laid on the hornworm feed on the inside of the hornworm until the wasp is ready to pupate. The cocoons appear as white projections protruding from the hornworms body. If such projections are seen, leave the infected hornworms in the garden. The wasps will kill the hornworms when they emerge from the cocoons and will seek out other hornworms to parasitize." So I do feel for him, but not enough to let him destroy my heirloom tomatoes! If he was to survive all the odds, he would become a hawkmoth, and that's pretty cool!

Here's one of my all time favorites! Cardiosperum or Love-in-a-Puff, an annual vine whose seed pods puff out and form black seeds inside... The best part is that the membrane that suspends the seed inside the pod dries out to reveal a perfect white heart where it was attached! I love it & save the seeds religiously!

Shimmy, this one's for you!

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