End of season

…and lots of orange.

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mass of tiny leaves—new growth

An unusual bounty

We have a pear tree. We think it’s probably a Bartlett. It’s not a very successful pear tree; for the first couple of years we owned the place I didn’t prune it, and it produced only a handful of tiny gnarly spotty pears. By the time we cut the nasty bits out we only managed one small bowl of fruit each.

Then I looked up pear trees, and how to care for them, and, well, I don’t do everything I should but I do prune. But it’s still not a very successful pear tree. We’ve never gotten more than a dozen pears off it, though their quality has improved significantly.

Until this year.

Continue reading “An unusual bounty”

Nadata gibbosa

Met this little friend on the front steps today. It was pretty sluggish, so I was able to get some excellent photos. (Thanks for turning around so we can see both ends at the same time, buddy!)

It took me a little while to figure out what it was, but I finally determined that it’s the caterpillar of the rough prominent (or white-dotted prominent) moth. They like maples, so I put it on the nearest tree. I’ll keep an eye out after the leaves drop; maybe I’ll have another cocoon to raise this spring.

Hanging out

dragonfly closeup

I’ve no idea how the big dragonflies get under the netting and into the veggie garden, they’re worse than the birds. It’s not that I mind them there, though I think they hunt better when they have more room, but they get distressed by being trapped. I’ve taken to keeping a net there and moving them out every time I go to the garden. It’s pretty simple. They don’t have a brain that says “fly down,” apparently, so all I have to do is invert the net and walk them out, while holding the net up so it doesn’t sag. Invert again and they’re free.

Except this one hung around for a bit and let me take a few pictures.

dragonfly closeup
Not a great photo of the insect, but I was taken by the pattern on wing and netting.

nimby

I’d far, far rather have the tent city than these guys.

The Soldiers of Odin was founded in Finland by Mika Ranta, an admitted neo-Nazi, to patrol the Finnish streets in order to “protect” citizens from asylum seekers, according to an article by the Agence France-Presse. However, the Vancouver Island chapter’s president has denied accusations of neo-Nazism and racism.

It’s those ties and links that attracted a number of people to come and support members of Discontent City, including Phoebe Ramsay, who handed out literature about the Soldiers of Odin. Ramsay said as soon as she found out about the SOO coming to Nanaimo, she decided to make the drive up from Victoria to protest against them and inform people about them.

“In Canada, although the Soldiers of Odin are trying to put forward a front that they are a community safety and service organization … there are still clear links of this organization to white supremacy and they are also an extremely anti-immigrant, anti-refugee, Islamophobic hate group,” Ramsay said.

Well, sometimes it works.

I’ve found that if you move slowly enough, sometimes a frog will climb up on your hand and sit there. Not this time, though! I think the problem was my position; I couldn’t keep the hand flat enough and it didn’t like feeling enclosed.

Garden surprise

towhee egg

Well, this wasn’t what I expected to find smack in the middle of the veggie garden path yesterday. I guess someone got caught short.

(The garden is netted, but somehow they still manage to find a way in, and then can’t get out till I open the gate and shoo them off. And they REALLY like blueberries.)

towhee egg
It’s a towhee egg. They’re particularly good at getting UNDER the netting. 

Hatching of a different kind

For some reason this spring I started finding cocoons and chrysalises. It started with the wonderful one I found in March, which I’d determined was likely the cocoon of a Ceanothus Silk Moth. It had been pretty battered up, so I didn’t expect much, but I put it in a huge glass jar with a piece of screening over the top, and left it outside the kitchen window so it was sheltered but I could immediately see if anything hatched. Continue reading “Hatching of a different kind”

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