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Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

Garden club meeting, lightning bugs, garden links

Posted Saturday, July 9, 2011, at 9:27 AM

The Weed'em & Reap meeting was a real winner last night for renewing garden friendships, making new ones and just plain talking gardening. THANKS!

I have to admit that a few months ago, I was getting pretty down about attendance. We were about to fall back to monthly meetings when WHAM, new folks started showing up and now our "old-timers" (no reflection on age) are returning.

Don't feel bad about having been gone, just come back. When our most recent returning friend came in last night, it was a resounding "welcome back" that greeted her. I could not help but stop in mid-sentence about 45 minutes later to say how nice it was to see her back with us.

We had one "under the weather" and we hope he had a good night sleep. Another trooper came but we had to carry her back home early to rest up. Our prayers are with you both.

We range from 30's to 90's so most age groups are represented. If you are younger, be sure to come in two weeks so we can broaden that range. If you are older and want to be with us, let me know and one of us young whipper-snappers will come get you!

welkindance and bellbuckltn noticed that the lightning bugs seem to be MIA this summer. It was noticed three years ago in other parts of the country and the environment seem to be the best answer. Not global warming, but pollution, human "progress" and pesticides.

In some locations they think they are starting to see an increase again, so lets hope for the best. I have fond memories of them as a child, although I can't say I was the best steward of the environment (or them)back then. I collected my fair share.

Here is a site that discusses them in more depth. I have not had a chance to check it out but it looks good. By the way, they are know by another name in other places. http://www.firefly.org/

One of our newest garden club members brought a neat website to our attention. http://www.growbetterveggies.com They seem to have a lot of energy for growing and I like their advertisers. Neat products.

Here is another site that just came over the airwaves from Kim Komando. I never thought of her as a gardener but I will sign in (free) to see what is going on. http://www.mygarden.org/


Comments
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Could the locusts have had anything to do with the MIA lightening bugs? Maybe the lightening bugs were in a larval form this spring and all got eaten up by the locusts? Just a thought.

-- Posted by welkindance on Sat, Jul 9, 2011, at 9:35 AM

That is a thought to pursue. I do not know enough about the feeding habits of the l3 year buggers underground to answer that, but will check it out.

If anyone knows, speak up.

The mygarden.org site seems to be a "Facebook" for gardeners. Not sure I have time to pursue that. I can't keep up with the regulr Facebook very well.

-- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Jul 9, 2011, at 9:46 AM

I had a lot of lightning bugs in April and May. I haven't seen a lot lately-really didn't think much about it.

Tell Barbara that upon much consideration, her garden problem is too much nitrogen. I think that horse manure she used is good, but you can get too much of a good thing sometimes. If it wasn't mixed with anything else, I'd bet the farm that's why everything is so green and large and fast growing-but no blooms...

-- Posted by espoontoon on Sat, Jul 9, 2011, at 1:48 PM

I tend to agree. Knowing Barbara, she already has rich soil.

My LBs might have come early too but I don't remember a lot of them. We don't have pesticides nor neighbors close by, so that should not be our problem.

We did have our farm logged this year. They like to live in the grass/tree area, but we have plenty left ad there is no shortage of grass.

I went back to the fire fly site and read that they like moist to wet areas, although they do not need a lot of water. Maybe the past few dry years cut into their population.

Here is something else I did not realize. "In the U.S., almost no species of fireflies are found west of Kansas" Apparently, they don't know why.

-- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Jul 10, 2011, at 7:48 AM

I have been watching some white cabbage moths lately. They are the little butterfly that have a little black dot on each wing.

Although they are pretty to watch, they can be a real pain in the larval stage on your cabbage, and broccoli, etc. BUT, I have no cabbage in the ground, so I enjoy.

They seem to love the peppermint flowers out by the pond (the moth stage) and that is right in front of me, so I get to see some of their aerial displays.

One particularly interesting one is when they fly in a swirling line, one after the other. I am guessing the lead moth is a female and the guys are courting, but they sure are a polite bunch, all in line.

It looks like a white, fluttering ribbon flying around the yard. Then suddenly, they all bunch together in a floating, fluttering ball, (maybe the guys are getting rowdy) then back to the line.

I forgot what the differences are between moths and butterflies so I went to the net to refresh. The information proved to confuse me more and in fact, I vote for it being called the cabbage butterfly.

Out of the six criteria to be one or the other, they passed four for butterfly, one was a moth and the overwintering stage I did not know. My knowledge base for insect has been shattered.

In fact, when I search for cabbage butterfly I get white butterflies that have more black dots on their wings. So,.... I don't know what I just rattled on about. Moth or butterfly, they were pretty and entertaining.

-- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Jul 10, 2011, at 8:14 AM


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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter and live on a farm outside of Bell Buckle. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.