Creatures Great and Small

This year I am being tested. To be quite honest, I’m not sure how much more I can take. Seriously, I can’t win! My last home the most I had to worry about was blight and Japanese Beetles, which I have here as well. Although the beetles weren’t near as bad as they have been in the past.
First it was bacterial wilt which was being spread by cucumber beetles. Wipes out ALL of my cucurbits.
Then I have an infestation of Eastern Cicada Killer Wasps which are reported to be non aggressive, unless you are me. I can not tell you how many times I have been CHASED out of my garden by the females!  Probably doesn’t help that I am allergic to bees and I’m sure they can smell my fear! But seriously, can you blame me? Just look at the size of these suckers!
They’re quite a beneficial insect as they control the Cicada population. This year I have tons of Cicadas so I can only imagine their numbers if the wasps were not around. But that still does not mean I like them!
The beginning of August my cat unexpectedly dies and a bunny up and moves into my garden. Decides it’s now his personal smorgasbord. I’m so not cool with that or his ever mounting piles of poo!

 

He chows down in my garden till I get too close to his tomato safe haven and then bolts out OVER the rabbit fence and into the mess of cone flowers behind the tool house!
This week I have discovered Tomato Hornworms. This tomato shows some of the damage they do.
Nice Huh? At first I was picking them off and tossing them into the outside covered trash can. After a bit of research I’ve learned the white sacks covering their backs are actually braconid wasp pupae that eat them! Woo Hoo!!
I have more caterpillars than I can count!
I believe these two are Black Swallowtail in their first instar.
maybe a Virginian Tiger Moth caterpillar
Tiger Swallowtail cat in my fennel
Cabbage Worm

 

And when you have lots of caterpillars usually a few weeks later you have tons of butterflies!
What I thought was a Comma Butterfly is probably a Question Mark Butterfly…thanks Tree!
Tiger Swallowtail
American Painted Lady
maybe a female Black Swallowtail
I think this one is a Spicebush Swallowtail.
possibly a male Black Swallowtail
Monarch Butterfly
I have Colorado Potato Beetles on my eggplant
Scoliid Wasp in my mint.
pretty Ailanthus Webworm Moths
and my reason for growing so many sunflowers…the American Goldfinch
I’ll be back soon with a post on whats growing in my fall garden as well as whats being harvested from my summer garden!
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4 Comments

Filed under The Critters

4 responses to “Creatures Great and Small

  1. i love all the caterpillars!! We usually spot a few swallowtail cats in my carrots, but this year my goats ate down all the carrot tops. :( So we haven't found any. i think your Comma butterfly is actually a Question mark, although it's tough to tell from the picture. They look very simialr, but i thought i spied a tiny dot next to the 'comma' on it's wing. Those cabbage worms totally annihilated my broccoli this year and cucumber beetles as well. Only had potatoes beetles once…and the larva totally grossed me out. Yuck!! i've been finding green worms on my beans this year. They are actually eating the beans..?? no idea what they are. i thought with the extra cold winter there would be less bug this summer, but we have experienced way more than usual. Hopefully next year it will not be as bad.

  2. Bugs have been really bad this year all around! I'm seeing stuff I've never had to battle before so I am learning a lot. It's good and bad! hahaI hate Cabbage worms, they got all my brassicas too! You can use DiPel, it's organic and all natural. I'm going to pick some up at the farm store in a bit…hopefully I can ward off another attack this Fall. I sprayed my cauliflower seedlings with a blend of Neem and Karanja after I picked off the new tiny worms and it seems to be working great!I powdered my eggplant and cucurbits with DE so hopefully it did the trick. I need to go pull carrots and do an inspection of leaves to see what else is going on! It's just never ending!!You may be right on the butterfly…well, you probably are! It was so hard to get close b/c he kept flying off! he also wouldn't open his wings for me either!

  3. Amy

    Oh, I've got rotten stuff too. Wilt on cucurbits, something that makes ring spots on green leafys (my dad told me what it's called but I forget), all sorts of munching buggers and now powdery mildew all over.I go organic as possible but really, when the situation calls for it I use some badass stuff. Dad sprayed a fungicide to stop the powdery mildew and the wilt that's getting at the tomatoes the other day. It was just spreading so quickly that spritzing milk or something wasn't going ot do the trick. I giggle at hornworms! The braconid wasps always move in so quickly when hornworms come around that they never get to munch too much on the tomato plants at all. It's like a creepy nature show taking place right in front of you.

  4. When ever I come across a horn worm I'm like "sorry for your luck suckah!"I powdered the crap out of my egg plants the other day so I'm hoping it did the trick on killing the potato bugs…I found larva under one of the leaves! grumble grumble!I need to pull my beans and check plants so I may get some garneding time in tonight between canner loads of tomatoes! Hopefully the bunny and bugs are leaving my newly emerging seedlings alone!

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