Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Ladybugs and other things


We had a nice evening walk the other day.



In the little creek near our barn, we saw a Green heron. Can you spot it in this photo?



  Look right in the middle of the picture!



Here's a better picture from Wikipedia:



The heron flew up into the top of a nearby tree after the photo session:



 Meanwhile, the wild grapes are doing very well. They are VERY sour! There is a river near us called the "Raisin River", raisin being French for grape. Someone told me that the local Aboriginals used to paddle along the river harvesting grapes from the banks.




Grapes on the fence.

 Sophie and Tristan love to take a dip in the pond:



Sophie heard something off in the woods.

Our fields are currently rented out by another farmer, and he has them planted in soybeans. As of late, there has been an explosion of aphids, but fortunately there has also been an explosion of ladybugs, a natural predator of aphids:



You can see them in all their phases...

Larva

 Larva becoming pupa


Pupa 


The aphid population has diminished now. The heavy rain we've had lately has helped wash them off as well.


Fall is definitely in the air.

Ladybugs are beneficial insects. in the UK, they are called ladybirds.  Our school library carried a rack of Ladybird Books when I was a kid, and I loved them. 

Read more about ladybugs here. And here's a story about an "extinct" ladybird. Here's a recipe! And here, shudder, is a wild LADYBUG ZOMBIE story!




8 comments:

  1. the way you write makes me feel as though I am there

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  2. So that's what ladybug larvae look like. Ferocious!

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  3. Ah what wonderful countryside you have Knatolee! That heon is a beauty!

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  4. Actually we are not short of herons here in suburbia. they seem to have a taste for koi!

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  5. Hmmmm...let's make wine with those grapes!

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  6. John, that's a lovely compliment. Thank you!

    Ahab, aren't they bizarre looking?

    Jams, we get Great blue herons, Green herons and American Bitterns here regularly. It helps that my neighbour across the road has a migratory bird sanctuary on his property, with huge beautiful ponds. Herons like koi here, too!!

    David, come on down and get on that, cuz I am too lazy. :) Grape jelly would work too!

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  7. You get the mot amazing photos - and your blog is always educational. I've never seen a green heron.

    Speaking of larvae, Mike and I went for a walk this evening and saw a big fuzzy caterpillar, red in the middle, black on both ends. I've never seen one like that. Too bad I did not have my camera!

    P.S. My captcha is "pubtutin." Is that a Canadian thing? It sure sounds like a lot of fun ... so it's probably illegal in my neck o' the woods.

    ; )

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  8. CogDis, I think you saw a woolly bear caterpillar:

    http://members.shaw.ca/soohortsociety2/Page13_ThingsGoWrong_WoolyBearCaterpillar.htm

    We see them a lot around here!

    Pubtutin, I like that! Illegal in 40 states!

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Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!