2015 Pollinators & Visitors

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Bumblebee, early July

We have several species of pollinating bees hanging around, including this bumblebee. The flowers we’ve planted have such a softening effect in the garden and serve double duty as helping to attract these beneficial insects.

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Firefly by day, mid-July

Occasionally we might spot a firefly (lightning bug) during the daytime.

Another type of bee or wasp hitting the flowers up for a fix.IMG_2848_PollinatorsAndVisitors_2015_08_23_sm

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Black Swallowtail butterfly, laying eggs on asparagus ferns, late August

The Black Swallowtail butterfly, laying its eggs on our asparagus ferns, one of their favorite spots in late summer. These first become hungry parsley worms which chomp their way through our herbs, but we don’t mind the butterflies so much, so I put them in the Visitors column.

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Six-inch Praying Mantis, mid-September

Early in the season, I was amazed to spot a small (two inch) green praying mantis clambering amongst the tomatoes like a miniature¬†slow-motion green monkey. It was dusk, and far back in the foliage, so my iPhone couldn’t get a decent photo of it. I have no idea if this giant one (almost six inches) is the same individual, spotted about a month later by accident as we were pulling up the dying flowers it was hanging out in. Normally I’m not into bugs, but I felt like the garden reached a real milestone this year by becoming enough of an ecosystem to be honored by this creature’s ghostly presence. Hmm… maybe that’s where all the ladybugs that we released went?

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Robin, mid-October

We had a number of beetles eating our crops this year. My hope is that along with treating the soil in the fall with beneficial nematodes, these visiting birds are pecking a few of their grubs out of our soil. Robins were a common site at the end of the season. Here they are, crushin’ it near the young bush beans and mature tomato stems.

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Robins, mid-October

European Starlings showed up as well, usually in groups. It seemed like they and the Robins were taking turns on the same turf. If only Congress were so accommodating.

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European Starlings, late October

Starlings seem to have a very concerned look about them. However I doubt they have much control over their brows. What were they digging up over there? Hopefully not my newly strewn cover crop seeds which were still germinating. Was it this guy?

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Earthworm

Nah, I ate him myself. Bit chewy.