The Pest Control Crew

Each spring I order my pest control for the summer garden. It shows up in the mail. I bring the small package inside and keep it warm for about 8 weeks. It takes a while for my pest control to mature. In synchronization with the springtime warming of the days, this happens:

We were lucky enough to be home the moment the little mantids emerged from their eggs.

My boys got to hold them the moment they came out into the world.

Right about the time the pesky garden eaters get big enough to do some serious damage to my crops, these little guys will be quite large and harboring a healthy appetite! Now, I just have to hope several make it past my chickens into the flock-free area of my garden.

Sap Taps

Those of you who pop in time and again and those of you who know me know that I am fond of the itty bitty little things that traverse this planet – things with multiple sets of legs, maybe a couple of wings, antennae, and sometimes have thousands of eyes.

So, this is about nothing much really. Nothing bigger than a grain of rice and a few little ants drinking themselves silly on the sugary sap from my maple trees this spring.

A gathering of ants.

We Don’t Need Movies. We Have Kittens.

Seriously, we do not need to pack up and head out to the movies. We have kittens. They are very entertaining!

They started out all adorable and curious. They were sweet and lovable for a while after they first moved in.

BUT, it wasn’t long before they started exploring.

Once they were comfortable and new their surroundings…

…and discovered toys…

BAM! They went crazy.

These two brothers are everywhere. The action is intense.

They are on the ground.

They are rolling around on toys.

And they are even up high in the air.

When they start going at it, we pull up a chair and watch the excitement. They do all of their own stunts. No body doubles here!

At the end of an hour, they grow weary. They settle down and once again more closely resemble quiet little fuzzballs.

Hummingbird… MOTH?

As I was walking through my front door the other day, I noticed what I thought to be a hummingbird sipping nectar from my bee balm blossoms. There’s nothing unusual about that. I planted the bright flowers for their sweet nectar that attracts bees and hummingbirds mid-summer. I see hummingbirds there often.

But… they typically dart off when I approach. This one did not. It stayed and hovered near the flower. So, I stopped to take a look and noticed it had antennae.

In flight, it looked very much like a hummingbird. So much so that I had to think for a moment that hummingbirds do not have antennae. On further inspection, I saw that it had six legs. With some confusion, I thought to myself that birds do not have six legs. And this was a little smaller. And it had a long curly proboscis (bug tongue).

So, obviously, this was a bug.

I grabbed my camera and snapped some pictures so I had a reference. Then, I reached for my handy bug identification book and found the critter. It was a hummingbird moth. Not a bird at all. It was fat and green like the bird, but not.

I never knew a bird could have a bug doppelganger.

Spring Chickens

It’s hard to believe my chickens are, well, not spring chickens anymore.

The hens I got last year are all grown up and making eggs of their own now. It will soon be time to break out the freeze dried mealworms and Cheerios in celebration of their hatchday. They will be 1!

Since I have no idea when Omelette was born, we’ll celebrate his hatchday too.

The Vicious Tiger Living in My Yard

Outside in the wild growing jungle of my lilies and iris and other assorted perennials prowls a ferocious tiger.

He lurks and hides and waits for the proper moment to pounce on his prey…

…and then he naps.

He may look tough, but the only things I’ve ever seen fall victim to his prowess are some butterflies and a few grasshoppers.

Spring is Blooming

Those of you who have been following my blog for a while now know that when I’m not taking pictures of people, I also enjoy macro photography and nature.

Spring is here and so are many of the early-blooming flowers, so my camera has been out with the macro lens attached to capture nature’s delicate paintings of the world around me.

Leaves

One of the many reasons I love fall in Michigan is the breath-taking color show.

Reds, oranges, yellows, and browns fill area landscapes in their bright brilliance.

In the colors, the trees breathe their last breath of the year in a spectacular farewell as they tuck in for their dormancy during the winter months.

The year has come full-circle and the trees have completed what they set out to do in the springtime.

The colors of the fall are a celebration of the trees before they sleep.

They are a bouquet of color being offered to the sun for her days of cheerful shining…

…an “I love you” from the earth to the sky.

People love to photograph them and be photographed amongst them — the leaves and the colors of the fall trees.

Children like to run through them and jump in them.

I like to watch them float back and forth gently rocking to the ground as they spring off their trees like gentle parachutes. On the ground, the leaves will break down and turn into nutrients to feed the new growth of spring.

Happy fall, beautiful leaves.

Morning Frost

When we headed out on Sunday morning to start our day, the ground was lightly covered in small white ice crystals — a beautiful frosty morning.

The colors of the day were muted by the shroud of dew frozen where it formed.

Leaves once soft and blowing were temporarily preserved by their cold morning clothing.

Soon it melted away leaving the chill behind to reveal a sunny fall day.