The Benefits of “Rollie Pollies” in the Garden

Rollie Pollie picBeing from New England, I can’t remember ever seeing a pill bug, or “rollie pollie,” until I moved south. When my son was about five years old, he was playing with some friends outside my apartment in Charleston. They were teaching him about “rollie pollies” – little dark gray insects that roll into a ball when you touch them. My son always hated insects, but he wasn’t afraid of these. In fact, he thought they were pretty cool. I found it interesting that these bugs were popular play things with the kids, but I never thought they had any particular benefit…until now. Rollie Pollies in the garden!

A New Creature in the Garden

New Creature picGood morning, everyone. Yesterday, when I got home from an errand, I found a furry black caterpillar on the side of my front door. I’ve never seen this before! The closest thing to this that I’ve seen is the brown and black “woolly bear” we used to play with as kids. (“Woolly bears” are the caterpillars of the tiger moth.) Of course, we don’t have those down here in South Carolina, so I didn’t know what this was. What I did know is that I shouldn’t touch it because hairy caterpillars are often poisonous. So, it was on to Google for some research. New Creature in the Garden!

Fire Ants Escape South Carolina Flood

Fire Ants & Flood PicGood morning, everyone. I’m back to work and the downtown area of Charleston is starting to dry out. I can’t say the same for areas north of where I live, though. Dams are breaking around our capital (Columbia), and we’re downstream. Roads and bridges are collapsing or are in danger of doing so. Although Charleston and Berkeley County schools are back in session (as of yesterday), Dorchester County has closed their schools through the end of the week due to impassable roads and unsafe bridges. Meanwhile, as we deal with the mess caused by the flooding, we discovered yet another reason to NOT walk around in flood waters. Fire ants survive flood!

It’s Black Swallowtail Caterpillar Season Again!

I mentioned on Monday that we have a few new additions to the homestead – Black Swallowtail caterpillars! It’s the first batch of caterpillars this season, and I was so happy to see them. I had been concerned that I might not get any this year because I moved my parsley from pots around my backyard patio to the ground along my front walkway. I hadn’t seen any butterflies, so I thought maybe the parsley wasn’t out in the open enough, it being right outside my front door. But nature being what it is, at least one butterfly found my parsley and laid her eggs. And I get to enjoy this – and share it with you. Black Swallowtail Caterpillars

Reason to Bee Happy ~ Pollinators in My Garden

Last Friday, I shared how you can get involved in the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge. (Click here if you missed it!) Well, in honor these pollinators we have been talking about, I thought I’d share my pollinators with you today. Specifically, bees – the best pollinators in the world. I have lots of bees in my garden and yard and have been lucky enough to catch a few photos of them in action. Bees in my garden!

Million Pollinator Garden Challenge

Million Pollinator Garden Challenge picAs most of you are well aware, the bee population worldwide has suffered tremendous losses over the past few years. If you think about that, it’s a pretty scary thing because over one-third of our food exists because bees help to pollinate the flowers. There are other pollinators, too, that have suffered – like butterflies. (Monarch populations, especially, have dwindled.) As gardeners and farmers, we need to do all we can to save and support pollinator populations. That’s why I was very excited to learn about the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge. The Million Pollinator Garden Challenge!

Playing with My Backyard Cardinal

Last Thursday, while I was out in the yard, checking on my shade garden, I saw my male cardinal flying around. Nothing unusual, especially as it was supper time – for both me and him. What was unusual is that he let me get closer to him than he’s ever done before. I figured I’d take advantage and try to get a picture or two. Well, I got several pictures. It was almost like he was playing with me and posing for the camera. Take a look. Photos of my cardinal!

Critters in My Garden ~ Spring 2015

Regardless of the season, there are always critters in my garden. I often share pictures with you as part of my weekly garden updates. However, it seems it’s been quite some time since I shared a post with all my garden critters together. So, I hope you enjoy the spring edition of critters in my garden.
Critters in my garden!

Birds Galore!

I am just amazed at the number of birds I’m getting at my back yard feeder. Ever since I changed the type of bird seed I use, my feeder has been a busy place in the mornings and evenings. (And even during the middle of the day, sometimes.) I bought a 20 pound bag of Garden Treasures Songbird Blend at Lowes for about $20 about a month ago, and it’s almost gone already. I bought another bag this past week, so I won’t run out. I don’t mind, though, because the birds are giving me such pleasure. Birds galore!

Birds at My Feeder

A couple of weeks ago, my Garden Wilson hung my bird feeder from a branch on my sweet gum tree – in an attempt to keep the squirrels from eating all the bird seed. I also had to move one of my tiki torches because the squirrel had learned to use it as a platform from which to jump onto the bird feeder. Argh. But now, the feeder is safe from the squirrels. With the new song bird blend of bird seed I bought and the lack of access to the gray climbing rodents, birds are flocking to my feeder in droves! Birds at my feeder!