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Saturday, August 16, 2014

What's Blooming Now: Plus Critter Adventures on the Verge August 16, 2014

Today I am linking with-

Garden Blogger's Bloom Day hosted by Carol

Today's Flowers hosted by Denise

Saturday Show Off hosted by Hakan

Saturday's Critters hosted by Eileen

I Heart Macro hosted by Laura

Macro Monday 2 hosted by Gemma Wiseman and Mystical Magical Teacher

Blue Monday hosted by Smiling Sally

This week I'm trying to finish planting my cool season vegetables, I'm late since my deadline is supposed to be July 15 to get them planted in order that they will be big enough to withstand frost and make it through the winter.  But I'm trialing 4 varieties of Broccoli Raab this fall, which mature in 2-4 months and are not very hardy, so I hope to compare them. I also am planting some fall radishes, particularly the incredibly wonderful Round Black Spanish Radish, and a mix of fall radishes, all from Gourmet Seed, an Italian company.   I used part of a bed where Kale had been going to seed to plant them, only to find a few days later that a mole had come in and made numerous tunnels and mounds in my bed, nearly half of the bed, heaving seedlings out of the ground or burying them.

I retaliated with some repellant solution of a couple of tablespoons of Castor Oil per gallon water, with a squirt of dishwashing detergent and some Cayenne pepper for a little zing.   I will have to repeat since there is one mound recurring.   It works pretty well but is not a permanent solution.

I've also been trying to get the verges of my vegetable beds cleaned up for fall of excess grass, weeds, etc.; it is the strip too close to the deer/rabbit fence for the mower to reach, a lot of it had grass clippings piled up on it to keep down the weeds.

I started to find woolly bear cats (caterpillars) as I cut weeds and grass so had to go more carefully, apparently they particularly like verges.  Isabella tiger moth cat-

Orange woolly bear, possibly Virginia Tiger moth, Spilosoma virginica-

Yellow possibly also Virginia Tiger moth cat-

And last year when I was clearing my beds of spent radish stalks with seedpods, I threw some over the fence to deal with "tomorrow," resulting in a nice unplanned row of radishes, one the size of a softball-

I was pulling out some Canadian Thistle, a terrible weed very hard to eradicate, and found a couple of miniscule 1/8" / 3mm larval forms of a biological control, the Tortoise Thistle Beetle, Cassida rubiginosa, with spiny edges to repel predators-

Here is the cute adult beetle, which has an appearance reminescent of a tortoise, hence the name.  It is about 1/4"-

I admire the tiny larvae for trying to help me with the thistles, though they don't kill the plant or keep them from going to seed.  The smaller larvae have an 'adorable' habit of hiding under some dried "frass"-

Meanwhile for What's Blooming Now in the flower garden,  my Rose of Sharon, Minerva, is blooming for perhaps the first time-



A purple Gladiola-


A peachy Dahlia-

Pink and peach Dahlias-

Zephirine Drouhin                                                       Awakening
Dublin Bay                                                                  Cardoon

Part of a red table runner quilt from the fair-                                            Anemone japonica                                                   



A portion of the quilt I have been using for squares-

We had temperatures in the high 90's, ~37ºC for a few days but then had some thunderstorms
and cooler weather.   How is summer treating you?    -Hannah

©Weeding on the Wild Side, all rights reserved.    I enjoy reading your comments and like to return your visit, but I am unable to comment if restricted to google+, so will comment here instead, or can email you a comment if a link is provided.

60 comments:

  1. Lovely post, your flowers are gorgeous, I especially love the peachy dahlia. The thistle beetle is neat but, creepy too. Great photos! Thank you for sharing your post with Saturday's Critters. Have a happy weekend!

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  2. The Thistle beetle larva is only 1/8" long so hard to see, much less get creeped out by. I just wish they actually killed the thistles, they just damage the leaves a little. The adults are a lot cuter!

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  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, Janice, I'm enjoying seeing some new late summer flowers blooming.

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  4. Nice photos, great flowers! Watch caterpillars!

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    1. Thanks, Leovi, once I found out what great moths these fuzzy caterpillars become, I appreciated them. I don't find them on my cultivated plants either, they seem to like weeds.

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  5. awww cute little critters but that purple gladioli made my heart sing. I have never seen one before and I will have to put that bulb on my "must buy" list!!

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    1. It's amazing, I bought a cheapie pack of assorted Gladiolas and some of them have been really nice.

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  6. Hannah ~ your nature photography is exquisite and I love rabi! ~ Beautiful post and love the quilt too!

    artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

    ps. ~ Creative weekend though late in responding to bloggers ~ I apologize.

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    1. Thanks, Carol, I enjoy taking photos of the little critters as well as the flowers, and vegetables are near and dear to my heart, and my stomach!

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  7. Replies
    1. Thanks, Felicia, I'm amazed at the peach one, a rare dahlia that has not been dug in the winter but comes back and gets big and blooms! The pink one was a new purchase in a pot this spring.

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  8. Your blooms are gorgeous. I also enjoy all the critters in the garden. Happy GBBD.

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    1. Thanks, Lisa, l enjoyed your Milkweed Tussock moth caterpillar too. It has really cute patterns to all the fuzz.

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  9. Wonderful series of garden and flower photos! Wonderful your dahlias!

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    1. Thanks, Lonett, your 2 toned dahlia is very pretty.

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  10. Wonderful flowers and the caterpillars are very cool. Enjoy your Sunday!

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    1. Thanks, Gunilla, I enjoy the caterpillars, and the different colors, that look a little like women's hair colors.

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  11. Great series of photos Hannah........love the caterpillars.......it's fascinating watching them move!

    Happy weekend,
    Ruby

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    1. Thanks, I had trouble taking the photos because they wanted to hightail it out of there as fast as possible. They do tend to ripple a lot.

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  12. Hello Hannah, now i know where you are. Thanks for dropping by my site. Your flowers are beautiful specially the purple gladiolus. And i am so amazed at your knowledge with insects, as i just know they are moth larvae or insect larvae but cant identify their adults, haha! By the way, there is a very successful hoya grower in Vermont, and his site is called Vermont Hoyas.

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    1. Thanks, Kalantikan, your Hoyas are so amazing. I am a biologist but never got to work Entomology into my schedule, but I look up bugs on the internet, which is quite handy for identification. I've seen a number of the beautiful Tiger moths these turn into in my yard.

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  13. Summers here in south Texas are excruciating at times. High humidity with extreme heat indices. But that's what we have to contend with to have mild, cool winters with no snow! lol

    Loved all your beautiful blooms. And the caterpillar images are outstanding. Never heard of or have never seen the thistle creature tho...kinda creepy.

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    1. I remember the winters as a series of 'Northers' coming in, walking to school with bare legs since we had to wear dresses and not pants, arriving with my legs red and freezing. My favorite seasons were the lovely fall and spring.

      You'll have to look at the adult beetle's photo online. They are quite cute, rather turtle-shaped. The larvae are very tiny and slow-moving, so I guess they need the prickles around the edges and camouflage for protection.

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  14. Love the variety of flowers you grow. Wonderful shots of the caterpillars. Ew! 37° is way too hot for me! Where I am north of Toronto it has felt a lot like autumn for the past few days. Too early!!

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    1. Thanks, Even the high 80's / ~31ºC seems hot to me outside, I tend to stay indoors in the middle of the day and try to work outside in the morning and evening. I hope we have a long autumn this year.

      I enjoyed your special photo of the damselflies!

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  15. Quite a lot to take care of for a "peasant"...
    Beautiful flowering!

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    1. Thanks,Wild Rose, I certainly feel like a peasant with so much work. I keep trying to figure out how to work less.... I ripped out some overgrown thorny gooseberries last year and another big patch of thimbleberries and planted grass so more can be mown. I'm planning extensive mulching this fall.

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  16. Thank you for sharing with Today's Flowers. Love all your photos. You have some beautiful blooms, a wonderful veggie garden and some interesting critters.

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    1. Thanks, Denise, I was surprised to find so many woolly bear cats in my verges this week. Now I know where they hang out!

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  17. Hannah look at all those beautiful blooms. I have not been out to weed all summer and I expect we'll see woolies soon here. I hope your remedy for the moles work. I have voles that area nuisance in my garden.

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    1. Thanks, Donna, the sweet flowers keep blooming away. You and me both on the voles damage. I'm abandoning one long-standing vegetable bed because of the terrible vole damage last year, they actually nipped my pole bean stems above the aluminum foil wrapping, that never happened before. I think the longer they are in a bed the more they learn to eat. Some of the mole damage recurred, I put on more castor oil mix, but ran out. It seems hard to find, I forgot to order more from Azure Standard. I can't imagine not being out to weed all summer, your yard must be way more under control than mine, that's about all I do, and why I don't take more time to water enough. But the moles are really overactive, ruining all my new plantings lately... Arggh.

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  18. Great photos of the caterpillar, hope you will have a rich harvest.

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    1. Thanks, Christian, I'm getting lots of beans and cucumbers now, some squash, and the tomatoes are just starting, plus there is lots of kale and some radishes getting bigger.

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  19. cool shots love the caterpillars and flowers

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    1. Thanks, Bruce, I enjoy your insects. The woolly bears are so cute and fuzzy. I hadn't seen a redhead before.;-)

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  20. Nice caterpillars! I haven't seen many yet this year

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    1. Thanks, Suzy, I haven't seen so many in one day, but I was invading their territory!

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  21. Hi Hannah,

    The blue in the quilt is especially sharp. I like it. Thanks for making Blue Monday special by sharing.

    Have a Beautiful Blue Monday!

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    1. Thanks, Sally, this quilt has a lot of blue. The napkin with the red heart has some blue too. Thanks for hosting!

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  22. Beautiful flowers photos! Interesting formula to deter the moles. I see you have lots of bugs like we do. Should be the bug days of summer instead of dog : )

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    1. Thanks, Laurin, I had to reapply more, I hope it works this time. It's a joke planting new seeds after I let the kale go to seed there, so many seedlings came up. I guess the woollies are bulking up for winter, they have to make it through the winter before becoming moths.

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  23. They are all very beautiful ! Although not an insect fan, I like the little orange tiger moth !

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    1. Thanks, Gattina, it would go well with the hot colors of your flowers.

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  24. Oh the flowers were so pretty as usual. Great pics of those little pests. Such a pretty quilt.
    Beautiful post all the way around.
    Have a good week!

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  25. Hee hee, Grantham Lynn, they aren't pests, they are my tiny friends. It's the thistles that they eat that are the pests. I just wish they could eat the thistles enough that they couldn't bloom. I did sniff one of the thistle blooms, they have a really nice fragrance. You'll be seeing more of the quilt squares.;-)

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  26. I love your photos of the caterpillars and bugs. Beautiful blooms too :)

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    1. Thanks, Jocee, I guess you are looking forward to spring Down Under.

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  27. I scrolled through your blog. Interesting! We have a lot of the same plants and flowers growing. MB

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    1. I guess we just live a couple hundred miles apart. I keep chickens and ducks too, and spend a lot of time and energy growing vegetables.

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  28. Your Dhalias are so beautiful and the roses too. Awakening is such a pretty one, I love the colour.

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    1. Thanks, Paula, I like the color but she is not as vigorous as I thought she was supposed to be, but has a hard time fighting for the light with a massive honeysuckle plant. She is reaching the top of the deck now so should do better. The flowers are very dainty and small.

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  29. Beautiful Rose of Sharon and Glads--wow! I think I need to try some of that mole repellent. I have an area where they hang out and I think they might be damaging the roots of my Flowering Almond. Argh.

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    1. Moles like the loosened soil when I plant something and make tunnels right up underneath the plant so the roots are in air instead of soil. But I also have voles which can move into the moles' tunnels, and then eat the roots, and have killed even large apple trees in my garden. I stopped them a couple of times by running a water hose for hours or overnight under the tree.

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  30. Beautiful flowers and scary looking bugs! Amazing that you have red, yellow, and orange woolly caterpillars there. I have black ones that are driving me nuts.

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    1. Yes, I was surprised to find so many different colors. I also found a black and orange one with long white hairs, they all turned out to become different Tiger moths. I haven't been able to identify that they eat plants I grow, just weeds, do you find them on your plants?

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  31. What cute bugs you have and lots of beautiful blooms! Will you try eating your softball-sized radish?

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  32. Yes, I will eat the radish, it is an oriental radish so one that is not very hot and spicy. I eat the greens as well.;-P

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  33. Beautiful flowers you got! I love your purple gladiola.

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