Old Fungus

I found this old strange looking fungus in our woods.  Normally growing on tree trunks, this one was free standing. It had seen better days and a few month later it finally succumbed to slugs and insects.

Fungus_watermarked

Old Fungus_watermarked

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Ten-lined June Bug (Polyphylla decemlineata)

This handsome and distinctive beetle is the largest of the scarab beetles in our area (British Columbia).   They spend most of their lives underground in their larval stage, eating on plant roots.  When they appear in June/July it is to look for a mate.  The males have very impressive antennae which they use to find females.  Once they appear they are quite short lived.  At this stage mating is on their minds and eating isn’t so they aren’t harmful to handle though they are very strong and their velcro-like feet can be a little disconcerting when crawling on your hand.

Ten-lined June Beetle 2_watermarked

A large one inch (25 mm) beetle that can fly

Ten-lined June Beetle 3_watermarked

I think this one has quite a pleasant expression on it’s face.

Owl Omen?

Our normally fairly quiet woods aren’t so quiet at the moment with a family of barred owls having moved in.  The chicks are still dependant on their parents so sit in the trees whistling for food and to indicate their location.  The parents are out hunting and all the other birds find this threatening.  During the daylight hours the owls are easy to find – just follow the sounds of alarm calls of robins, towhees, chickadees, hummingbirds and most other flying creatures.  There the owls will be sitting while being dive bombed by anxious birds.

Barred Owl_watermarked

This week I have been building my wife a small writing studio in the woods.  For three days in a row now an owl has flown slowly past us just above head level.  Today we could see it coming towards us through a tree corridor from about a 100 feet away. It stared right at us as it flew towards and past us.  A truly wonderful experience.  As it hasn’t called either of our names yet, we are taking it as a favourable sign.

New “Doo”

One of the ‘boys’ came by our living room window this morning to show off his new antlers.  We see him every couple of days and it is interesting to see how fast his rack is growing.

Deer - New Antlers_watermarked

Yellow Jacket (Vespula spp.)

Yellow Jackets are a smaller version of Bald-faced Hornets.  This one seems to be munching on my rose in order to make pulp for the nest which can either be in a tree or underground.

Yellowjacket 1_watermarked

I used to have a great fear of bees and wasps until fairly recently.  I came to the realization that I have been gardening and working outdoors for 40+ years and in all that time have only been stung tow or three times.  In those cases it was probably my fault as bees and wasps are by nature defensive not offensive.

I used to have a great fear of bees and wasps until fairly recently. I finally came to the realization that I have been gardening and working outdoors for 40+ years and in all that time have only been stung two or three times. In those cases it was probably my fault as bees and wasps are, by nature, defensive not offensive creatures.

Yellowjacket 4_watermarked

 

Bean Time

The spinach and peas are up, tomatos and cucumbers in the greenhouse and now the beans.  We grow lots of beans as they do well here - green beans, yellow beans, string beans and pole beans.  We mostly can them, either whole chopped, Frenched or dilled.

The lettuce, broccoli, spinach and peas are up, tomatos and cucumbers are in the greenhouse and now the beans. We grow lots of beans as they do well here – green beans, yellow beans, string beans and pole beans. We mostly can them – either whole, chopped, Frenched or dilled.  Nothing like the pantry in Winter full of home canned beans.