Janice and I were sitting at the dinner table the other night, when she pointed out a small tree frog on the window, obviously having dinner...along with us. The happy frog on the window was dining on the moths, we were eating"out of the garden". The light in the dining room window attracts the moths, and they attract an opportunist frog. He came to be a regular dinner guest until we abandoned the house for a few days. I guess he found others to dine with, because he hasn't been back.
We were dining again the other night watching the normal array of moths, when a half grown Praying Mantis showed up on the window. We had put some 20 mantis capsules out this spring; little capsules made of a substance that looks and feels like styromfoam. The moths seemed a little more cautious to this new menace. They seemed to disappear as this new dinner guest took her place on the window. She was a restless guest, walking back and forth on the window. The cat showed up on the porch railing, interested in our window-crawling dinner guest..The mantis was too far away to allow the cat to reach it, though TDC teetered on the edge of falling off the porch a couple of times in her effort. to reach the Mantis. I let the cat in the house, and the Mantis lost interest in the few moths, and stalked away.
I enjoy the black lit TV screen on these late evening meals we always seem to in the summer. We don't come to the house until dark most nights. Moths and frogs sharing our dinner hour with us on the other side of the window. Seems more entertaining than watching realty TV, me thinks. Not that we have a TV.
The Okra is hosting a hatch of brightly colored wheel bugs looking things I've never seen. They don't seem to be eating anything, ain't much to eat in a garden this time of year. They probably are the end all of garden pests...and will wipe me out next summer. I'll take one to Bud...he knows 'em all.
European Hornets...those big things, about an inch long, that love to fly around open lights at night. They sound like a B-29, if any of you are old enough to remember what they sounded like. These hornets are the B-29 of the insect world, and pack a wallop that can knock you down if you get stung by one.
Bud has captured some 300, or more with a light trap from his front porch on the river. He, being a bug person, has added a hysteria to my dealing with these darlings. I am not usually given to hysterics, I used to ignore them. Now I turn the shop lights off and go home whenever three or more gather around the fluorescent tubes in the mechanic shop.
All manner of bees get really nasty this time of year. I hit a " yeller jacket" nest on the tractor while bush hogging about 2 weeks ago, and got some 6 or 8 stings. The one on my ankle still itches! I do not want to find out what a European Hornet sting feels like. I do think you become more sensitive to stings as you get older. My honey bees sting me regularly, but don't seem to bother me as much as a Yellow Jacket. ;Bud says that yellow jackets have a poison concocted for defending against mammalian predators:to drive them away from their in-ground nests. Good the skunks don't much care about getting stung, as they regularly raid jacket nests in the fall for nectar and larvae.
The honey bees have suffered from heat this summer. I've lost two of my new "packages" to wax moths; nasty little gray things that weave webs in the hive, making it impossible for the bees to flourish. I will put the new bees in small, five frame "nucs" from now on, The ten frame brood hives are too big for the newly installed bees to defend.
I have a wonderful fall crop of buckwheat this fall. It reseeded itself after I plowed it under. Good rain and warm temperatures, brought it back to take a bow, and ALL the bees, wasps, hornets, and other flying things are loving it. The white blossoms are alive with insects from mid morning until about noon. A pretty crop of bees, and plants.
Toads! They are everywhere this year. I love it...can't walk in the tin building without almost stepping on one. I went out to the "house garden", and turned one up from under the surface of the cool soil by the eggplant. Guess they dig under to cool off in the day and stay warm at night as the nights get cooler. Lucky I didn't clobber it with the hoe.
Fire ants, everywhere! DAMMIT!