Critters in the Garden

As I walked thru the garden looking for veggies to pick this morning, I couldn’t help but notice a couple of critters, lurking about and waiting for their next prey to reveal itself. From creepy crawling critters to large toads, we’ve got them all. It’s been my desire to grow all my veggies organically, so I’m hoping having more of these critters around will be beneficial to the garden. Did you know preying mantis are deadly predators? While they don’t discriminate between good and bad insects, they will consume lots of other invertebrates in the garden. preying mantice 09142013

My garden was constructed in a raised bed and the toads this year have decided to make this their home at night, digging many holes beneath my veggies! How do I know they are toads and not snakes, mice or rats you ask?? Well, one answer is at night you can walk out in the back yard and find a toad or two hopping towards the garden area. Look what I found early one morning last week, nestled down in a plant on the porch…a big toad.
My giant toad . Usually early in the morning, just as daybreak is occurring, you’ll see one or two of them hopping back to the porch, to hibernate in one of my large potted planters.

This next critter is one that I’ve been watching all summer long; a typical summer spider that will die as cooler weather rolls in. It’s called a black-and-yellow argiope spider. (Argiope aurantia), is quite attractive and one of our more conspicuous species of orb weaving spiders. YellYellow garden spider. This picture was taken August 1 of this year. Now look at this spider afer he’s been eating moths, grasshoppers and the such all month; its doubled in size…Large Yellow Spider. At one time i counted nine of these spiders, guarding their webs in the shrubs next to the garden.

So now that I’ve bored you stiff with these “critters” and the temperatures are past the comfortable stage outside, it’s time to go in and start sewing! Next time, we’ll talk about our Table toppers….so until then, keep your eye on the needle and your foot on the pedal….happy quilting!

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