Monday, September 19, 2016

Fire Ant-ics

I'm defying the heat and spending more and more time outside.  I've been really excited about the number of insects I've been able to find pretty easily.

Carpenter bees are never hard to find around here!  I think they're so pretty.

So is this Ailanthus Web-worm Moth, but it's a minor garden pest, although like the carpenter bee it does assist in pollination.

It's the time of year for spiny-backed orb weavers, and they've made huge webs in our front yard, anchored from the hemlock branches to the ground.  Situated as they are by a flower bed, they catch a lot of bees and other small insects.

Another favorite of mine is the crab spider.  Look at its creepy pose...ready to give a fatal hug!

Crab spiders like to hang out on flowers to surprise pollinating insects.  If you want to find one, have a look for its discarded food.  This dead moth was directly beneath this flower head.

If I'm still for long enough, hummingbirds will come. 

We have mountains of lantana blooming, although the butterfly bushes are about done.  The chives are up, though, and drawing lots of insects.

The orange ginger lilies, too.

No real autumn leaves yet, but at least we've got some pretty berries.

Elsewhere in the yard, I still find the usual lizards...

...and southern toads. ants!  I've had my first bite, obtained when weeding in the yard yesterday.  Just one bite on the inside of my index finger, which promptly swelled.

Within a few hours, the swelling had reached my ring finger and I couldn't make a fist.  There was no pain, though, and the swelling is mostly gone today. 

No offense to the fire ants, but we've had a very welcomed visitor for the past 2 weeks.  Percival Wemys is back!! 

Was it two years ago that he started spending nights crouched on our front porch ledge?  Well, he's back again.  Carolina wrens have a 6-year lifespan, so it could be the very same bird.  He's a bit of a late riser, so sometimes Todd has to use another door in the morning to take the dog out!  :) 

In other news, I've been working like crazy on my quilt top.  Three more blocks to sew, then I have to 'square up' each block and sew them together.  Then, of course, I have to 'baste' the quilt and then do the actual quilting.  I'm really nervous about that part but I'm taking a class to help me prepare.

Otherwise, it's just lazy cats sleeping through hot summer days.

Have a great week! 

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