Friday, June 1, 2012

Along that line...

Always learning.

Apparently you already knew that broccoli could set out additional sets of roots. You are smart folk. I was not so smart. I had simply not learned that lesson on my own yet. Nowhere in my reading had I come across anything like that. I've since scoured the internet searching for information on it and I am yet to find it written anywhere about this phenomenon so I'm feeling pretty good about my discovery. I'm guessing though that you smart cookies that have been doing this for a while found out through trial and error long before I did.

Don't you worry about me. I'll catch up later.

I've got another one for you today. :-) Another simple fact that you probably already knew. But, I'm gonna put it out there in case you didn't - because up until last week I didn't know it. Actually I didn't know it until Tina came over and my son said, 'Hey- MA! What's this?'... and I had to abashedly say - 'Well, Gee son, I don't really know. I'll have to get back to ya on that. But, let's make sure we find out together, OK?'  A few minutes later Tina asked me how in the world my long beans didn't have aphids and what I was doing to keep them off the vines, and my mind was whirling and I was off in the conversation again.

What Troy had called my attention to was a gathering of tiny wasps, of different varieties - but the tiniest ones I've ever seen. They were lined up production line style and busy, busy, busy. I didn't at the time have a few minutes to spare to truly watch and see what they were doing - but I did notice a ladybug nearby and that these wasps were all about what they were doing and couldn't care less if we messed with them, got in there way or were close to them. They just kept doing whatever they were doing.

We were enjoying company so we kept doing what we were doing, too. The next day though I went out to see what the fuss was about. Most of the wasps weren't as happy though - we were, uh- well dealing with the tail end of T.S. Beryl. It was rainy and windy but in between when it cleared up they were there doing their business, but that didn't make for a good time to bring out my camera. By Tuesday evening the social occasion had dropped to less of a frenzy, but they were still visiting.

Here is the proof - and then I'll tell you what I learned with each picture.

This first picture above- I learned that unlike what I've read over and over again about wasps- they are not incredibly territorial. I've even read that you can hang a fake wasp nest in your yard to keep wasps away because they are so territorial. Please take note that they are actually touching each other here and not being aggressive. Also note what is UNDER them.....

Here the red wasp has nearly finished his duty. After their little social get together they went their separate ways. One went to tend one side of the leaf while the other one (that had reinforcements) went in the direct opposite way. The red wasp was alone and as such he (she?) went to the area with less of what they were after - AH HA! The answer to my riddle. The APHIDS! They are eating the aphids off of this citrus tree. Note the wasp on the right - the little crooked ovipositor is visible at her tail. This wasp is definitely a female.
Here you can see that the black and yellow wasps have finished cleaning the lower branch off now. SLURP!

Yet another reason that I don't have a lot of other bugs around the garden, my little pet soldier bugs.... Well I should add a disclaimer here. I have an abundance of leaf footed bugs (whos young look just like this soldier bugs young) and more than my fair share of stink bugs....grrrr... if only I could find a way to get rid of those two I'd be golden. All the other bugs around my garden are in fairly good ratio. *knocking on wood* The wasps, bees, spiders, and other bugs - they have never bothered me. Myself and my children have never been stung or bitten by any of them through the normal course of the day. I did however GRAB a wasp once. He didn't sting me then, but when I let him go he tried to fly off and couldn't do so successfully and managed to sting my backside. LOL. Win some, lose some I suppose. I deserved it. I knocked down the nest in broad daylight and knew it to begin with.

So there is today's lesson. Wasps eat aphids. At least these itty bitty wasps do. Too cool!

You knew this too? How cool for you. I'll still keep posting these little ditty's anyway. Never know when I'll come up with something completely new or unexpected. Maybe I'll break the some new science record some day. Don't count on it.

See you Monday for Harvest Monday. I'm off for a picnic at Silver Springs if the weather will clear up finally.

'Till next time!


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