Archive for the ‘Bugs’ Category

Spiders in the Garden

Posted by: Heidi

November 2nd, 2014 >> Bugs, my garden, Photos

Patio Spider 600

The Spider’s Web

The spider, dropping down from twig,
a plan of her devising,
A thin premeditated rig
To use in rising.

And all that journey down through space,
In cool descent and loyal hearted,
She spins a ladder to the place
From where she started.

Thus I, gone forth as spiders do
In spider’s web a truth discerning,
Attach one silken thread to you
For my returning.

~E.B. White

Spider 1 600

Bees in the garden

Posted by: Heidi

August 29th, 2011 >> Bugs, my garden, Photos

“The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.”
~ Henry David Thoreau

I’m worried about the bees. For several years now I’ve been hearing about a shortage of bees all over the world and I have noticed fewer and fewer bees in my garden too. I have always enjoyed watching bees at work and have tried to entice more of them into my garden by avoiding pesticides and growing plants that bees like. But I’m not seeing as many of them as I used to.

We are hearing more and more stories about farmers losing their crops because of a shortage of bees. All over the world bees seem to be dying. Bees are the main pollinators for most fruits, vegetables and nuts, but there aren’t enough bees for this any more. They can no longer keep up with all the crops that need pollinating in order to meet our ever-growing demand for food.

The bees are not concerned about or even aware of the impact that their declining numbers has on our food crops. But we all should be worried about the future of the bees and what global issues their decline may be indicative of. We all share the same earth and in many ways the bees are viewed as an indicator species, like the proverbial canary in the coal mine. There are a number of different theories, including pesticides, viruses and parasites, but we still don’t know exactly what’s going on and scientists continue to investigate the causes of their declining population.

In the meantime I’ll keep planting things that bees like in my garden and I’ll keep watching and hoping to see more bees.

An insect view of the garden

Posted by: Heidi

July 18th, 2011 >> Bugs, my garden, Photos

Swallowtail butterfly
“Nature will bear the closest inspection.  She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain.”
~Henry David Thoreau

Inspired by Thoreau, who encouraged close observation and contemplation, I’ve been watching more closely some of the insects that visit or make their home in my garden. Many kinds of insects are beneficial in the garden, like ladybugs and spiders, that are predators of garden pests, and pollinators like bees and butterflies. Not only are these insects helpful for the healthy growth of plants in the garden, watching these little garden dwellers more closely can also be beneficial to the gardener.

Time seems to slow down in the garden. Looking through the eyes of an insect, the past and future seem to contract and all of time exists in the present moment. I spent an hour one sunny afternoon watching the yellow swallowtail butterfly pictured above flutter from flower to flower, pausing frequently to feed on the flower nectar and bask in the sunshine. Not as flamboyant and obvious as the butterflies but quite easy to find when I look for them, many ladybugs also spend time in my garden, usually feasting on the aphids that take a liking to new plant growth. It’s easy to while away an hour watching these busy little bugs.

The butterflies and the ladybugs won’t be in my garden for long and while they are here they remain focused on their own immediate needs of food, water and shelter. They aren’t aware of their beneficial effects in the garden, and are unconcerned about their future. They live in the moment because it is all that they know while we so often stay focused on the past or the future and let the present moments slip away.

“We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever.”
~Carl Sagan