Summer is in full swing here and so are the visitors to my garden! Both the good and the bad. First the bad….mites…what I think is the two spotted spider mite-yuck! First noticed these little buggers two years ago in my garden up front after I saw them crawling on my lawn furniture. Now they are in our back garden and again, I only noticed them after I saw them crawling on our furniture during a windy day. Have a feeling the host plant may be our tomatoes. If anyone has any organic solutions that have worked for you, please share in the comments!!! I want to at least reduce the population so I can sit outside without them crawling on me. Ick. I know how incredibly hard they are to eliminate though.
Ok now onto the good visitors! Earlier in the season I noticed multiple baby praying mantids in the garden. This made me incredibly happy because these are the good guys! They eat mites and aphids and not to mention they are so cool to watch:)
Baby mantid on my hydrangea earlier this year.
Bigger mantid trying to make its way up the side of my house. Hummm I wonder whats up there? 🙂
I also noticed this funky little bee early in the morning one day. What caught my attention was the neon green coloring. So of course I googled it and what I discovered was that it is called a sweat bee, interesting. They are nocturnal bees that are generally attracted to the by products of perspiration hence the name the sweat bee. Although this little guy was more interested in my cone flowers more so than me. Perfect!
Sweat bee on cone flower.
Sweat bee on coneflower. Notice the bright green coloring and the very yellow legs! Very cool to watch.
My husband and I harvested our first round of shishito peppers a few weeks ago, and since then have harvested at least three more batches. If cared for and pruned correctly these peppers just keep on giving. They are also amazingly delicious, not spicy and easy to prepare. Just put them in a skillet with a little bit of butter or oil, salt and pepper and pan fry them till the edges are slightly charred. Enjoy them by grabbing the stem and plucking the pepper off. These are a great appetizer and the aroma they give off smells like fresh buttered movie style popcorn!!
Beautiful shishitos…oh how I love you.
Heres something fun….these crazy little finches visit my feeders everyday. Each of them has such a personality. There are a few birds that decide to eat upside down when the feeder gets low. It cracks me up every time!
Mr. Finch on the right hanging on for dear life just so he can eat some nyjer seed!
Lastly, one afternoon I was sitting outside and noticed a beautiful orange fluttering. Initially I thought it was a red admiral butterfly (I had been seeing tons of them lately) but as I watched it land I quickly realized it was a monarch!! Just beautiful. Since then a number of different monarchs have been visiting my flowers for the sweet nectar. They really love my zinnias!
Monarch butterfly visiting my potted zinnias. Just look at that incredible design. Nature amazes me sometimes.
Till next time….