Tag: Critters

Lucky In Love

In the wee hours of a summer morning (9 a.m. for a Lymie), I scour the flowerbeds for the impostors, unwelcome beetles who enjoy destroying the bounty intended for bees, butterflies and birds. A common checkered skipper flew up for breakfast on a neighboring salvia.

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Peek A Boo!

Hey Chester, don’t chya think your shack is cramping your style?

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When Dying is an Art

An older lady rests on a zinnia as the sun rises. Her grayish fur and tattered wings are a clue to her longevity and provoke the imagination of her many adventures. Bees don’t fear death because the story is not about them.

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Lifeguard on Duty

In our fountain-pond, we used to have floating flowers so bees and birds could enjoy the water without drowning. Unfortunately, they didn't hold up to the harshness of the winter or changing temperatures. So now I'm a lifeguard. Every night, I fish out one or two bees who've accidentally found themselves in the pond with […]

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They're Baaaaak!

I was getting a bit worried because last April, we had crickets singing love songs every evening. This year, it's been ominously quiet. But now they are turning up in the Osteospermums by the dozens and they are growing and getting greener every day. Welcome baby katydid! Looking forward to the music of your kind!

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The Buzz Around the Garden

Every morning, the ceononthus plants are covered in a variety of pollinating insects from honey bees, to bumble bees (pictured here), to hoverflies and butterflies. For the most part, they all peacefully work together, collecting pollen and ignoring me as I watch and photograph them. The bumble bee, however, can get mighty annoyed with me […]

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Nectar Belly

This big boy kept me company every day this winter. During a long down time from Lyme disease, I'd lay on the sofa and watch him. He'd sit on this perch for hours, as long as the nectar was flowing. We named him Norm, because, well, he looks like Norm Peterson. "Norm! What's shaking?" "All four […]

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Guisseppe and Luca

Giuseppe the Green, turned to me abruptly. He and his cousin Luca were busy snacking on the Mexican sage and I clearly annoyed them. I always knew katydids were omnivores but it surprised me to see them chomping on the white petals none-the-less. Maybe the this time of season brings a down turn in a […]

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Jumping Jack Flash

You never forget your first photo shoot with a jumping spider. I saved Jumping Jack Flash, who's only about 4 mm and looks like a piece of lint to the naked eye, from a fatal encounter with the mighty monster Hoover. It’s not like I’m a super hero (but I won’t stop you from referring […]

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Dances with Hummingbirds

Each day I see Twig, the hummingbird, perched upon a fruit tree tree. Sometimes he chooses the plum tree, other times the apple tree. His feathers soaked from the down pouring rain, weather makes no difference to Twig when there's territory and precious sage nectar to defend from his rivals. I move toward him and […]

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The Original Angry Birds

"Nothing ruffles my feathers more than other hummers poaching my nectar." All summer, it's a regular Hummar War around my house. I always see photos of hundreds of hummerbirds happily sharing meals on one or two feeders all over the hummingbird forums that I read. Not at my house. Nothing but guarding and all out […]

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As The Garden Turns

Is it weird that I did a happy dance when I saw a bud on my Nasturtrium? After killing 47 of these the first time around, I'm pleased to see this group likes it here!

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Pepin, the Praying Mantis

All summer I wanted to purchase praying mantis eggs for the garden because I can't seem to get rid of the damn cucumber yellow beetles. But Mr. Wild Dingo refused. Being a bit discriminate against the mantids due to their alien looks and carnivorous habits, he claimed they would eat us.

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Charlene the Crab Spider

Charlene, the flower crab spider, sits contemplatively upon the black midnight basil plant. Normally found on goldenrod or other flowers, the flower crab spider (genus Misumena) is generally white in color but camouflages itself by secreting a liquid yellow pigment to match the flower it lives on. Crab spiders don't spin webs to catch food, […]

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Stuff I Kill in my Garden

Alyssum does not love me. I can kill it faster than I can squash a bug. Not that I actually squash bugs. I've tried watering, not watering, full sun, part sun, some shade and a lot of shade. Nadda. It goes from the pot to dead in 3 seconds. I'm not taking it personally. There […]

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Ladies Night

Thursday's are Ladies' night at the ladybug sex club. The box said, "Release your ladybugs at dawn or dusk. With ample food and moisture they can begin reproducing immediately." And they say there's no truth in advertising. This team doesn't much care about privacy.  That's the boy on top, always much smaller than the girl. They hold […]

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What Kind of Gardener Am I?

I tried vegetable gardening this year. Aside from my tomato plants and most of my herbs, it was less than stellar. All my lettuce bolted. My cucumbers were pathetic. None of my squash fruited. I mean, I have to be a complete doofus not to produce a single zucchini, right? So I ripped it all […]

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Lizard Rock

Ever since the new lizard condominium complex went in (it's a three-tiered orchard built with natural stone & flagstone-- perfect for lizard housing), Lizard Rock has been the hottest spot in town to catch some rays, gossip or hook up. Larry and Mona had many a rendez-vous before Mona got knocked up. Now we have 87 […]

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Heloise the Hoverfly

Meet Heloise, the adult female hoverfly or flower fly of the family Syrphidae. Hoverflies get their name from how they hover in midair. Known as the helicopter of flying insects, they are able to dart quickly, fly backwards, and come to hover again. Sizes of hoverflies vary from small, long and slender, like Heloise here, […]

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Red Eye Eddie

This is Eddie otherwise known as Red-Eye Eddie. The other night, I was searching for bush crickets in our trees with a flashlight (no camera) just so I could watch them sing with their wings, when Eddie hopped up on a table on our terrace. I don't know what kind of Katydid he is, though […]

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