Monday, June 20, 2011


Oliver is seriously one of those kids that could get lost in the woods for a week and be found fat and happy.  If it's food, he is going to find it.  We have to put away the dog and cat bowls as soon as he steps outside because he's just as happy to sample kibble as anything else.

Today, he accompanied me outside to water the plants and harvest a few things.  While I was juggling five cantaloupes to bring inside, he was investigating the few tomatoes and one strawberry I picked.  I came back out to see him finishing the berry and grabbed my camera in time to see him take a big bite from a tomato.

He wasn't very happy with the taste.  That one went straight to the compost bin with a large bite mark.

While I was watering, I noticed a rather large wasp excavating a burrow in one of the melon pools.  I was able to get a pretty good picture of her since she was totally intent on her task. 

A few minutes of searching on the internet and I was pleased to discover that she is a Great Golden Digger Wasp, Sphex ichneumoneus.

"The Great Golden Digger Wasp is a beneficial insect, and should be considered an asset in any type of garden. Its peaceful attitude and pest hunting nature, make it a beautiful helper that requires simply a bare spot of dirt, and a healthy population of grasshoppers. Don't run for a weapon or the bug spray if one is spotted. Step back and observe one of the most unique inhabitants in the garden."

This is the second beneficial bug we've identified in as many weeks.  We've spotted a pretty large population of Milkweed Assassins that is making short work of the aphids on some of our plants.  It's great to see them doing their job and I'm thankful that we took the time to figure out what they were instead of assuming they were pests and spraying them down.  We're starting to get the hang of organic gardening!

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