Archive for the ‘Animals’ Category

Now That’s Something You Don’t See Every Day!

Well I never…!

Today I just don’t know what to say.

I probably don’t need to. I think that this picture says it all!

Here’s the long shot – just in case you were curious!

Visitor of the Month

Isn’t this Jewel Bug or Metallic Shield Bug (Scutiphora pedicellata) beautiful?

Sorry about the blurry head. It was so windy that I was lucky to get shots as clear as this. Oh and it really wasn’t all that happy about me taking photos either.

Ok – for the nerds among us (yes, that’s me too!) here are the particulars:

Kingdom: Animalia (naturally!)

Phylum: Arthropoda

Sub-phylum: Hexapoda (that covers all creatures with 6 legs and antennae)

Class: Insecta

Order: Hemiptera

Sub-order: Heteroptera

Family: Scutelleridae

If you want to see these guy’s in their other stages of life go to Morewell National Park‘s website.

Someone was a bit shy!

Jewel Bugs are sap suckers that feed on a number of different plants, including some food crops. I haven’t had any problems with them in my garden do date. Therefore, I treat them as very welcome visitors. This particular bug has been hanging out on a potato that sprouted in my leafy greens bed.

Why is this a “Bug” not a beetle? Well, these guys, those of the order Hemiptera have four membraneous wings beneath their scutellum as opposed to beetles who only have two. Also, these guy’s have what I would best describe as a “Ute Lid” styled scutellum. Beetles have a dual scutellum that has a split down the middle which, when they take flight, open up more like gull-wing doors.

Come to think of it, Herbie really was more of a “Love Beetle” than a “Love Bug”. Maybe if Herbie was a Ute…

Last Night I Gave a Bee a Bath!

True story:

Last night while we were packing up our garden things I spotted a Bee on the leaf of a kale that I had just removed to make way for my tomatoes. Now, it was quite late as we were gardening under the spotlights. So, I thought, “Perhaps I should take this little one in for the night. Figuring that it probably needed some sustenance to get it back in action for the next day what did I give it…? You guessed it…Honey! =) Lucky for Bea I always have the good (local) stuff on hand.

So I stuck a fork into my honey pot and transferred three little drops of honey onto the base of the jar that was going to house Bea for the night. This worked out well at first. Paul and I were watching Bea’s little tongue sucking up the much-needed nourishment.

That's Bea recharging her batteries with a bit of local honey.

However, after climbing the walls of the jar for a while little Bea fell wing down right in the drops of honey!

Oh Beehave!

I gently helped the poor dear back onto her feet but alas; her little wings were all stuck together. [note to self: next time, put the honey up on the side of the jar!] I wondered for a while if she would be able to clean herself. I walked away to leave her to it. However, when I came back I found her wing down again stuck to the bottom of the jar. So, out came a new, clean jar and I transferred her across.

I went into the bathroom, grabbed a cotton bud and little pichbowl with warm water. When the cotton bud was soaking wet I placed it gently over her wings and moved ever so slightly back and forth. The cotton bud actually didn’t even touch her as the water droplets were acting like a force field. When I was satisfied that the sticky honey had dissolved I got out a piece of super absorbent paper towel and just touched the water droplets which immediately sucked all of the water off of Bea and into the paper.

I left her in a warm spot for the night. This morning guess who was alive and rearing to get back out there? Buzzy Bea!

I just took my little friend out to the spot where I found her. I said “Madame Bea, I hope you have enjoyed you stay with us. Bee safe and enjoy your day!”. (Ha-ha!)

Off she went, straight to work.

Hard at work on my boysenberries.

Bye-bye Bea.

Please check out Plan Bee Campaign

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