Beau July 18th, 2008
This must really be “bug week” because I find myself taking pictures of all sorts of insect critters. Maybe they’re too easy and I’m not being creative enough. But the Japanese beetles are still filling up plastic bags and we’re trying to keep the pests out of the garden. And the moles! I haven’t found a good deterent for them, although the cat sometimes ends up with one.
I actually watched some lettuce plants wobbling back and forth as a mole tunneled underneath the other day. They love to eat worms and grubs, but maybe tender roots as well? All I know is their tunnels leave the roots without soil and water, and the plant will die if you don’t reseat them in the soil. Some wiser folks have said that castor bean oil is a good deterrent so we may try that. The metal mole traps are simply too cumbersome and unreliable for me to work very well.
I haven’t seen any Monarch caterpillars on our milkweed plants, but maybe that’s because these Tussock Moth Caterpillars keep devouring the milkweed. I saw one of the plants chewed to the ground and then found these guys working on the next one. Looks like a hungry football team lined up at the buffet!
And the little guy below was too cute to pass up. My unscientific name is “Brown Fuzzy Caterpillar.” What it really is I have no idea, but isn’t it funny how the “cute” ones seem acceptable, but the “ugly” ones we get rid of? I’ve pulled some big green hornworms off the tomato plants and the yellow lab likes to play with them. I think he actually eats them… uh, yuck?! (there’s a close up of the Tussock Moth Caterpillar from last year at that link too).
But this “BFC” wasn’t eating leaves or doing anything it seemed. Maybe he was looking for a place to make a chrysalis?
After today I’ve got to find some new material that doesn’t involve bugs. Unless they’re really neat looking or something. Or involve bees. Or, well… let’s just see what happens.