Posts Tagged ‘creatures’

here there be dragonfly

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Found this fella on the grass unable to fly and gently set him in the veggie garden (away from the cat) hoping he might recuperate. The next morning he was dragonfried, poor guy.

Impressive 5″ wingspan. You should biggify his picture and appreciate him…













Sadly, his bright blue eyes and vivid turquoise stripes have already begun to fade. As is the way with all things beautiful, I suppose.

what’s new, pray tell?

Monday, May 14th, 2012

I suggest you click this image so that you can see it slightly biggified…

praying mantis babies




















On Saturday, I went to the Casey Farm sale and met up with my friend John, who somehow lost a praying mantis egg case in his Honda. With the warm temps, they hatched, of course. DOH! So we chased them around the car with containers. Managed to wrangle 15 to 20 to bring back to the rancho.

Hopefully a few will survive to help rid the garden of aphids, moths and whatnot. Welcome to the family, mantid kids!

In the meantime, I’m busy planting my veggie haul…

my haul of veggies




















dragons with wings

Monday, September 12th, 2011

One of the many things I love about having a pond…


what the… ?

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

So what’s green, 5″ long and currently eating the heck out of one of my datura plants?

hawkmoth larva on a datura leaf



















It’s the larva of a Night-Flying Hawkmoth! Yeah, I’ve seen these guys before, which is why I’m not killing it. It grows into a moth as big as a hummingbird! Better yet, at a glance it even looks like a hummingbird because it has a long “proboscis” that it sticks into the trumped-shaped datura flowers to pollinate them — check it out. So cool.

If you have tomatoes, you may have seen the larva before — it’s also known as the infamous tomato hornworm. I found one in our veggie garden last year but a braconid wasp laid its eggs on its back, just like the photo below. When the wasps hatched they finished it off. Ewwwwwwwwwwww. What a way to go. Don’t you wish there was a short video about the whole gory process?

tomato hornworm with wasp eggs |

tomato hornworm with wasp eggs |













squirrels with murderous intent

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

So I continue my rush to get everything in the ground as the heat of summer shuffles toward us on its heavy, sweaty feet. Always, always I plant with the furries and winged things in mind — and what do they do, the little ne’er-do-wells? They slay the newly planted! Well, okay, not usually. But they did yesterday.

A fledgling datura was coming up as a volunteer in one of my pots so I popped it in the ground…

plant disasters... datura alive

The next morning it was dug up and shrivelly…

plant disasters... datura dead


Not a single castor bean plant reseeded itself this spring — they’ve had a tough time being forced into pots for the last few years. So I finally got my hands on some actual plants the other day just a little over a foot tall…

plant disasters... castor bean alive

One of them has been reduced to a pathetic nub of a stem…

plant disasters... castor bean stem

The top of the plant was snapped off and halfway down the hill. I doubt they chewed the top off as every part of the castor bean is highly toxic. I only know it was the squirrels because my crafty neighbor, Frank, tried to capture it all on video.

Cute little f**kers. They should watch this and be afraid. Very afraid.