Friday, October 10, 2008

Wanna see some bugs?

I was transferring photos from my camera memory card to the computer and found some shots I don't even remember taking. DH is in charge of "real" picture taking. You know, stuff that is meant to be printed and placed in the photo albums. Christmas, birthdays, big events. The pictures I take? Purely selfish and artsy fartsy purposes. That's why we each have our own camera. That way I can play around with the settings without making him mental over it. He is a preset sort of guy. I am a "let's see what THIS does" kinda gal. Trust me, it is better this way.
This was taken at my brother's cottage in Michigan. There were some wild blackberry bushes growing (they are small, but very good). I was checking to see if there were any more ripe ones, when I saw that I wasn't the only fan.
See that little bug on the berry the furthest to the left? He would pierce the ripest part of the berry. Smart little guy. Of course, he would be smarter if he waited for these berries to ripen even more.
I was peeking through the garden looking for the last of the tomatoes that have a hope in ripening. And what should I find? It is *shudder* a tomato "horn" worm. Although it wasn't as big and as gross as I remember them. And it looks like something has laid eggs on it. In fact, these are parasitic wasp eggs. Anybody who is into organic gardening and integrated pest management would be thrilled to see this.
And we were even more thrilled to see THIS. Although, thrilled from a distance. There is not enough lexapro in the world at this point to get me to touch a praying mantis. At least not one THIS big! He's about hand length there, on the side of the pool. They start out as tiny exact copies of themselves, and bright green. Like a centimeter long and all eyeballs LOL. Then we catch sight of them here and there, getting bigger each time. At 1/2 an inch, they are still cute. 1 inch long? Cutish. Longer than that? Okay that is a BUG. When they reach this size, have fully developed wings - yes, they can fly - and are starting to turn brown for the fall? Amazing. Graceful. Enthralling. And most of all, scary beyond belief. I am not kidding. There is nothing like a bug the size of your hand turning it's little alien head and WATCHING you as you walk by.
So why are we thrilled? Seeing these is a sure sign that you have a healthy garden and nature is doing it's work. If we find a seed capsule in the fall or spring we are very careful to leave it be, or cut it off and place it in a nice, sheltered spot. We have been watching what we think is the same one that had taken residence near the pool for a while now. We watched as it got bigger and bigger, and would hunt along the edge of the pool overhang. Good bugs under there, we can imagine. Not having seen him in a while we can only assume this is the same one. Dh called me over with "Awwww......our baby grew up!" LOLOLOL.
And now, I leave you with a gratuitous fungus.

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