Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Of Sloughs and Sogginess

Weather 1, Home Bug Garden 0
If you've read this blog for any length of time, you may have noticed that I tend to complain about the weather. Well, the weather, House Sparrows, and noisy neighbours, in about that order. Last night we had really noisy weather and neighbours: first the thunder, lightning, and deluge (3rd of the last week) and then car alarms blaring from 3 am until I dragged myself up to go to work at 5. When I realized I would need hip waders to get to the train, and that the cars bobbing around in the street were the source of the unending alarms, I stopped feeling angry at the neighbours and went and looked at my basement.
What does a 6-legged basement spider do in a flood?
What I saw was water and a sad spider, missing half its legs on one side, clinging to the basement wall above the wet. Not being able to claim I was missing a quarter of my limbs, it was time to start bailing and mopping. After Mrs HBG explained to the TV crew that we live in what used to be a slough, she put on her gum boots and slogged off in search of a train. I bailed and mopped and moped and then curled up on the dry spot on the bed (did I mention that the cat peed on the bed last night?) and dreamt I was in Queensland (where much worse floods occurred last year).
A pair of Perplexing Half-Black Bumble Bees ignoring the rain
And when I awoke, if not refreshed, at least dry, rather than continue to mope, I learned two new bugs from before the deluge. The first, Bombus perplexus, is a tentatively welcome addition to the Home Bug Garden. They do have a bit of a reputation for being aggressive, but so far they haven't bothered me. Unfortunately, they are very similar to the Half-black Bumble Bee Bombus vagans, so a bit of an id challenge.
Red Turnip Beetle Entomoscelis americana
The second is very colourful, but a pest, but not the pest I feared: the Lily Beetle. The HBG sports a number of lilies including a native, but mostly aliens raised from seed, donated by friends, or on found sale at a nursery. I never thought I'd become a lily lover, but they do have their charm.
Lily raised from seed awaits the deluge
Instead of a Lily Beetle, the HBG sported a Red Turnip Beetle. These eat crucifers such as cabbage and canola, and given how yellow with canola the countryside is at the moment, it is surprising that we haven't encountered them before. I suppose I will need to keep watch over my kohlrabi, but I know the worms of the Cabbage White will get them first, so why worry.
Bad, bad broccoli worm

No comments:

Post a Comment