We Are Deep In the Heart of Texas

Nomadic seasons of farming adventures with nature thrown in to include; a pinch of family, snippets of friends, counting our blessings, paying IT forward, home school, and the spicy things I decide to rant about.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Painted Ladies, Ants, and a Mad Frog; OH MY!

Our painted lady catepillars have now started their pupa stage with their chrysalis forming/hardening.  Of the five catepillars we received only one seems to have died.  The rest are now safely attached to the lid of the jar.
 Day one Monday 19 April: Going to Pupa.
Day 2, April 20th: All 4 are in pupa, notice no legs or hair protrusions.
Yesterday, we got in the ants for the ant farm.  Let me tell ya, those suckers were really angry being in that tube.  Follow directions and definitely refrigerate them for 2 minutes.  Hubby was the one who put them into their farm. He did such a great job only one escapee made a run for it.  That little bugger tried to sting as soon as it was touched.  The above picture was just after one hour after farm arrival. We gave them water, a sliver of apple, a piece of bread, and a corn chip; mind you really small pieces.
This picture was taken after six hours of them being left alone in the down stairs (darkened) bathroom. Notice they now have a pantry started on the left hand side, have moved their dead, have started tunneling.
This morning, we have found them to have built several chambers, more tunnels and have cleaned up their den.  After a few days of rest, we will add a few more drops of water to see how the ants react plus maybe add a piece of mango.   
Do you see what I see? 
Zephyr is holding our first zucchini of the season.  Happy to say, he will help me chop it up for our dinner plates later.

Other garden news: we tried those battery powered mole/gopher chasers. So far, they have worked perfectly since, the little fur balls have left the area. Key to sucess with those 'chasers' is to not let your soil dry out completely since, watering helps to conduct / amplify the noise they emit.

Our newest threat are from rabbits coming into the yard.  So, we will be hanging deer netting onto our fence to keep them at bay.  Also to combat the fire & red ant problem we have; we are using orange oil mixed with water to 'kill - discourage' ants from taking up home in our garden beds.  This is not a QUICK solution; you have to keep spraying the mixture because it is not a poison, will not harm people or critters without exo-skeletons.  For those who want to know; Orange Oil dissolves the shell of the ants exoskeleton thus killing the ants.  However if you just want to ants to nest somewhere else use; corn meal or pour boiling water onto their mound.

Keep in mind, 'natural solutions' take a longer (much) period to work.  Natural solutions are not pesticides and have to be given time to work their magic.  When we have a problem with leaf eating critters, I just mix a solution of dish soap, water and cayenne pepper to spray the leaves.  Again this has to be done on the days not watering and takes time but is not harmful to humans.
For my friend John over in England.  Sorry, he did not have a box to piss in but; this is the 'Mad' frog we seen at the zoo. 

Oh and for our Jewish friends hope you have a wonderful Passover. For those who celebrate Easter; have a great service and week.  We are expecting our family this weekend: Junior and his two girls, and Sid for the weekend. YIKES maybe the Easter Bunny will make a stop at Grandpaw's and Grandmaw's this holiday.

PS: Thanks Mrs. Lily for taking us into town to buy our monthly feed and two new peach trees. Saenz and I enjoyed our lunch with you yesterday. Please stop by next week.........we love you!


Kids and Canning Jars said...

I just love all your updates! I want a butterfly garden and an ant farm now. Thanks. Maybe I will do them next year. All four of my kiddos home
school next year. I cannot believe it. Such fun you have at your home. I love the hands on things you do. I am trying to get better at that.
Have a great Easter, Melissa

Diane said...

The greek curriculum we use is, "Hey, Andrew! Teach Me Some Greek". I believe there are 6 levels. We are about to finish up level two. Grace loves all things ancient Greece and Percy Jackson, so I thought this might be a good fit. The first worktext covers only the greek alphabet and then starts with words eventually moving up in to more complex learning. So far Grace loves it and can do it completely on her own. I should mention that this program is a Biblical Greek worktext.

Nekkid Chicken said...

Melissa, Thanks for the kind words. I follow your blog with much anticipation too. :O) Zephyr is begging now for the Hissing Cock Roach kit. Can you say OH HE>> NO! LOL

Thanks Diane, I will check that one out. Seen your update as well; glad your gardening is going almost as planned. We too are having trouble with tomatoes and melons. Strange year to say the least.

Happy Easter Ya'll!

John Gray said...

that made my day you american lunatic

Norm Hayess said...

That zucchini is huge!!!