Wild Things Farm

  (Crab Orchard, Tennessee)
Farm life adventures of the Happy Hoer
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Something is pooping on the porch.......

The farmhouse has big wide wrap-around porches which are great for sleeping dogs, porch swings, and the occasional break from gardening. 

To hide the empty space between the ground and the bottom of the porch, last year I planted native coral honeysuckle and am training it to climb up a wire fence that has been nailed in place.  The honeysuckle is doing great, is climbing up the wire fence and the porch rails, and there is an almost constant showing of hummers and butterflies visiting the everblooming honeysuckle.

Yesterday I noticed little black specks on the porch underneath the railing--technically speaking, I think it's called "frass", but to me, it's just bug poop.  I got to looking around and sure enough, there were telltale signs of leafless twigs and bites out of leaves, and I found the culprit.......(actually about 4 of them)

Being the inquisitive person that I am, I came in and "Googled" what I saw.  It's the caterpillar for a really cool bug called a Hummingbird Moth or a Clearwing Hummingbird Moth.  The first time I ever saw one I wondered if it was a bee, bird, or what.  They are really cool, and I'll let these guys munch on the honeysuckle until, well, they sprout wings and fly, of course!

 
 

Unknown "Wild Thing" in the greenhouse

Okay, so I went out to the greenhouse yesterday morning to check on all the "babies" and noticed a few nibbles on the Chinese cabbage plants with a telltale "slimy trail" in the flat, so here I went on slug patrol.

Every pot, bucket, board, bag of soil, flat, etc. was picked up and moved outside the greenhouse.  I did find the most slugs on the outside of a clay flower pot that was nested inside another clay flower pot, shoved up under the bench.  There were about 20 on that pot!

A stray board was a hidey-hole for a couple of slugs, and under a bucket was what a few more thought was a safe place. 

When I moved a bale of peat moss aside to check under there, I saw something I'd never seen before.......

Anybody know what it is (it's between 2-1/2 to 3 inches long)?  I gently tucked it back into the gravel just where I found it rather than serving it the same fate as the slugs----my killer chickens!  They LOVED the slugs.....

I did go back into the greenhouse with a shaker of diatomaceous earth and sprinkled it all over the plants and the ground---looks like a snowstorm in there now, but at least it will take care of the slugs.

 
 
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