Monday, July 21, 2008

I haven't seen the spider since yesterday's heavy rain, but the milkweed is never without activity. I've found several monarch eggs and a teeny new monarch caterpillar, along with many moths, bees, and ants. I don't know why I try to grow anything else in my garden, really.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Check out the pretty spider on a milkweed plant in my garden. Any spider experts reading? Is it a crab spider? I'm guessing yes. I thought the body was too rounded, but it could be swollen with eggs. This may be a female staking out a spot for her egg sac. There was also a dead (or paralyzed?) moth on the leaf below this one, no doubt for the spider's dinner.
Burning Silo always has useful information and wonderful pictures. You can read more about crab spiders here. I'll keep an eye on this one (still in the same position half a day later) and we'll see what develops.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A combination of heat and cold kept me away from Beechwood this week. The heat was outside, while the cold was in my head. Since I was having enough trouble breathing through my stuffed nose at home, I decided not to challenge myself further with humid smoggy air and exertion. Keep an eye on this space, though. Coming soon -- a guest blogger!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Plan B: SOS soap pad. I was worried about taking the finish right off the sign, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Even though there's still a faint trace of the tag, I think this will be good enough.

Our busy yellow jacket continues to build in the equipment box.
Another interesting fungus on the mulch pile.
Something is attacking the DSV. Fingers crossed that it works!
And now, some gratuitous shots of pretty flowers. Purple-flowering raspberry:
And some wild roses:

There's trouble a-brewing in Owen Sound, where the locals are battling a noxious weed. Or are they? The story begins here and the plot twist is here. Stay tuned for further developments, and remember kids, know your weeds!
Cow parsnip (I hope):

Friday, July 04, 2008

Last week I had company and couldn't attend our usual outing, so I missed a frenzy of planting. I'm also having company next week and will be absent again. (This company thing must stop.) This week, however, I managed to join the group and spent an evening digging up dog-strangling vine. Other stewards were busy trimming around the sumacs we planted last fall:

Is it just me or is all the milkweed extra-flowery this year? I'm not complaining! The ants aren't either:

In honour of our recent Canada Day:

A new grape leaf, shiny as a copper penny:

Some doughhead tagged one of our signs, so I went down tonight to clean up. Before:


OK, I wasn't very successful. I didn't have anything suitable at home so I tried a paste of liquid soap and baking soda, but it just wasn't strong enough. The evening wasn't a total waste, though: while I was scrubbing, some younger kids rode up on bikes. One girl had a cut on her leg and I broke open our first aid kit and gave her a bandaid. Then I flew off into the night in search of more good deeds.

(Oh, and I saw a mink -- I think. It was streamlined, large-ish, and appeared to be all brown, but it didn't pose for pictures so I can't be certain. It came from the pond area and ran across the path ahead of me.)