Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

It is garden club meeting time in Tennessee.

Posted Tuesday, September 10, 2013, at 12:46 PM
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  • Well...... fasten them overalls and get them taters dug....if nothing else you might miss out on a good mulch start next spring...that edamame can go ahead and dry, then thrown in a mason jar for later...mom is still giving me tomatoes...I guess I'll eat them until it frost....did you plant pumpkin?....Halloween candy is showing up on shelves won't be long now! 113 days til Christmas...If I counted right.

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Mon, Sep 9, 2013, at 7:07 PM
  • No pumpkins but I woke up thinking about sugar snap peas, bok choy, beets and other cool weather crops. I'll probably have to end up protecting them a little but that won't be a big issue.

    I pulled a hot pepper plant last week to give to friends at a restaurant and about 30 minutes later decided to plant the thing in a pot. Leaves are starting to sprout.

    The hummingbirds are all over the place today. I already had two feeders up and popped two more up this morning. A butterfly beat them all tot eh first lick, but after that the aerial wars resumed in earnest.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Sep 10, 2013, at 12:46 PM
  • I got a recipe for hummingbird, I guess you could use beets in it for color, it's as easy as cake to make! ha!

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Tue, Sep 10, 2013, at 1:43 PM
  • I thought dove was small, but hummingbirds?

    There are not as many as earlier so I guess they ate their fill and moved on. I wonder if they fly at night and feed during the day while they are migrating?

    That will be a good question for Vicky. If she is not watching this blog, I will ask her directly later.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Sep 10, 2013, at 5:04 PM
  • Ask her what song they hum...I may have heard a little James Taylor while watching a few the other day....it could have just been another middle age moment...seriously though do those little critters migrate from South America, are they native to the rainforest?

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Wed, Sep 11, 2013, at 8:09 AM
  • Central America. Here is a fascinating little article about our particular ones here. (at least fascinating to me) http://www.hummingbirds.net/migration.html

    They are out there again. I noticed a comment in this article that explains why there seem to be more birds around our feeders in the fall, because there are more!

    That sounds like a dumb statement but the reason there are more is because the birds migrated to have babies and the babies are coming back too. I don't think they are coming back as a family, just following their urge to go South.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Sep 11, 2013, at 9:12 AM
  • Since they are such a creature of habit, often returning tot he same feeders on the same day of the year, that also explains why those of us who have been feeding them for years have BUNCHES of them, while a new Hummer enthusiast has fewer.

    Patience grasshopper. The population of visitors will grow over the years.

    But do they fly at night? Inquiring minds.....

    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Sep 11, 2013, at 9:18 AM
  • Great link...I may have educated myself on ruby throated hummers...so they are headed south..and you might only see the same one, once a year unless your stop is on a return programmed pattern in their tiny little brains....that link has the best photos That I have seen....so now I have a hummer for my background on this laptop...which is great....thanks my friend!

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Thu, Sep 12, 2013, at 7:58 AM
  • Do anyone of the garden club members or anyone know how long these white fuzzy aphids or insects will be around flying thru the air. I have never seen this many before.

    -- Posted by ruckers on Thu, Sep 12, 2013, at 11:45 AM
  • I would suspect they will be around for another few weeks or until it turns cold. The high heat and humidity is perfect for them. They don't appear to be whiteflies but maybe someone else knows how to identify them.

    This is a great lead-in to the picture I just posted of a black and yellow garden spider. They are beneficial, so even if you have an aversion to spiders, try to leave this one alone to do its thing, capture and eat insects.

    There seem to be more around this year, but that could just be because we have one that has devised an ingenious way of positioning itself on our garage door. We see her every morning and every night as we go in to feed our colony of cats.

    Many other spiders have used this site in the past but we always have to break the web to get in. What this spider has done is built her web in the top right corner so that it flexes like a hinge as we go in and out. I am sure she does maintenance on it, but not because of us.

    That brings up another interesting thing about the garden spider's web, it has a zigzag center. Why? Many opinions but no one has ever interviewed a spider so.... It is officially called a stabilimentum thinking it stabilized their web, but that theory is not in the mainstream anymore. Others think it is to attract insects, or mates and someone even said aesthetics but I highly doubt that the spider is worried about looks.

    One interesting fact is that it seems to only appear with spiders who are active in the day. Therefore some think it is to make it more visible to birds and mammals that might avoid it rather than go through it.

    Any other ideas?

    There also seems to be a lot more spiders building huge webs that reach across 30-40 feet of open space. I have some pictures of a tiny little dot hanging between two trees.

    Can you imagine the work it takes for them to drop down from a tall tree, walk across an opening of which they do not really know the length, then climb back up on the other side to anchor it. After that they have a main line to build from, but wow, what engineers.

    Evolutionists still want me to think the wonders of nature just "happened" from a few cells in the mud?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Sep 12, 2013, at 4:55 PM
  • I looked at a spider's web and saw tiny white dots. Upon closer look they seemed to be cottony and the closest thing I can find is an American alder psyllids, but I can not confirm.

    I will also discuss this at the meeting to see if someone has a better idea.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Sep 12, 2013, at 9:43 PM
  • The big garden spider must be internet shy. I no sooner mention her web than she is gone and a smaller one has set up shop in the opposite corner.

    It won't be as neat as the other one acting like a hinge but we'll see if she changes location in a few days.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Sep 13, 2013, at 8:13 AM
  • I have a large bee population (bout half size of honey bees with foul dispositions. they took up residence in a large flower pot with a cactus in it.stung me 10 times today for just walking out on patio. Any ideas on how to dispose of them. Tried 2 different sprays and they seem to thrive on it.

    I normally live and let live but dang it this hurts.

    -- Posted by cherokee2 on Fri, Sep 20, 2013, at 5:40 PM
  • They act like and sound like Africanized honeybees so I would stay clear until someone comes to look at it. I would call the Ag extension office to find out who checks into wild beehives.

    I do not know of a documented colony if these bees in Middle Tennessee so the USDA and others should be very interested to check it out. Beekeepers would also need to know.

    If they are Africanized Honey Bees they may put out a public health warning. They can be VERY aggressive and capable of killing if the swarm is large enough.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Sep 21, 2013, at 10:14 AM
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