I have been weeding the garden during the week, and I use a plastic pad to kneel/sit on while I’m weeding. All was going well until I knelt on to a Green-headed ant, Rhytidoponera metallica, which had the opportunity to bite me several times during the time it to me to register the pain and leap up to my feet! I had a red swollen, achy knee for over three days, and it did not seem to be healing. Then the wounds blistered, and a good dose of Betadine that I applied finally sorted it out. Onto less painful things now, starting with number 1 of this weeks Six on Saturday.
1. The small section of garden where the native ground orchids are growing has been inundated with weeds, and while I was carefully clearing out the weeds I noticed a cluster of about 6 tiny white eggs in the middle of a tuft of grass. I presume they are lizard eggs, so I have left them in place and moved the grass to hide them from predators.
2. The seaside daisy, Erigeron Glaucus, that I had planted in one of the larger borders has run riot, and looks very untidy. I decided to remove it all, and whilst pulling it out I discovered this little mud funnel hidden underneath the daisy. I’m not sure what creature made this, whether it is a trapdoor spider, or lizard. The funnel is a couple centimetres above the ground. I have left it alone, unsure whether it is still occupied or not.
3. Time for some colour. I almost lost this Dahlia plant in spring. Although I had other Dahlias in the garden this particular variety did not like the corner I had picked for it. I dug it up and planted it in a plastic pot, hoping that it would recover and survive. It did! It is looking spectacular! I have no idea what variety of Dahlia it is.
4. Next up, Otocanthus caeruleus, ‘Little Boy Blue’. I bought this as a rescue plant, planted it out in the garden, but the plant just did not thrive. It looked tatty and had hardly any new growth. I removed a rooted stem from the plant, potted it up, and it has grown well and is flowering. The cutting gets more shade Than the original plant, so I think I might dig up the original and plant it in a shadier part of the garden. The flowers are a much deeper blue that that reflected in the photo.
5. I walked past two of my potted Sun Impatiens a couple of days ago and noticed how scraggly the plants looked!
On closer inspection I found the culprits!
Both caterpillars have 3 pairs of stripy front legs, a huge body with an upright tail, and a very small head. And boy are they hungry! When they rest from eating, they bend their heads back, and the three pairs of stripy legs are held together in pairs. I have been unsuccessful in identifying the caterpillars.
6. Finally, a couple of photos of the very cute frog that Mr S found burrowed into the newly dug over soil of one of his vegetable beds. We think it is the Great Barred Frog, Mixophyes fasciolatus.
UPDATE: This morning (Sunday) I went to inspect my half eaten Sun Impatiens, and found only one caterpillar remaining! The others have gone – presumably eaten by a bird! We have covered the plant with a net as we want to see what the pupa and hopefully the adult look like.
That is my Six for the week. I’m off to enjoy other Sixes via The Propagator. Links are provided in the comments section of his blog. Wishing you all a happy week!