The puppy

Yesterday evening I picked up the puppy. 

Louie took him out of the pen and let him run around for a while with his mom Lucy and he got acquainted with Butch.   Lucy had always kept Butch away from the pen, so this was their first meeting.

On the way home, the puppy sat on my lap and after a couple miles he moved on the seat, leaning against me and he didn’t puke.  Very good!

I had made up a little bed for him:

He just stayed there. 

As it was getting dark, I carried him outside.  He learned how to go in and out of the house and he followed Butch around: Continue reading “The puppy”

Attack of the leaf-cutting bees

A few days ago I went to check on the grapes, as I usually do after I get up.  I go for a walk to check on all the food plants, always thrilled when they’re all still there.

That day I was shocked when I looked at the grapes.  Something ate huge parts of the leaves!

At first I thought it might be the “ferocious brown bugs” and I checked the next night several times.  Didn’t see a single bug.

So the next afternoon I’m looking at the grapes again and tons bees or wasps were buzzing around. 

I quickly searched the web and it didn’t take long till I found several sites about the leaf-cutting bees.  This one is funny:

BUG OF THE MONTH: August 1996: Leaf-Cutter Bees

I always like late spring and summer, because as soon as my roses start looking good, I can be pretty sure the leaf-cutter bees are not far behind. …

… Next time you see round or oval holes in your rose leaves, notice if they are regular and neat in outline (rather than ragged, like beetle damage is). If so, don’t be dismayed. Just wait quietly and you may be rewarded by seeing first-hand the efficient, elegant work of the leaf-cutter bee.

I took the advice, went back outside and waited quietly.  They are PICKY and don’t just take any leaf.  They buzz around until they find the perfect material for their nest.  Finally a bee landed on a leaf and started cutting.  Absolutely fascinating!

Efficient and elegant, just as promised.

I did some more reading and the only defense is to cover the plants.  Well, the grapes are growing rapidly and the bees don’t touch new leaves.  So I just hope they’ll soon have enough building materials for their nests.

And in the meantime, I’ll admire their elegance.

Saved the lizard with the jaws of life

I hate when I see a lizard caught in the hardware cloth.   It usually happens about once a year.  Last year I found a dead lizard in a fence and in previous years I saved a few.

A few weeks ago (4/20) I checked to see what Butch was so excited about and there was another stuck lizard.

At first I hoped he’d get out on his own if I just keep Butch away.  I brought the rock so he’d get more leverage instead of just hanging in the fence.

 

After a couple hours or so I finally decided to get some pliers.  I was worried about how to cut the wire without hurting him since he totally filled the entire opening, but with some electronics wire cutters it actually went very smooth. 

My other worry was that he’d try to get out before I was done and hurt himself. Those cut wires are deadly, or at minimum very painful. 

Fortunately, he didn’t move until I was done cutting all around him and bending the ends away from him.

And then he took off like a rocket.

Hopefully lives to eat the strawberries 🙂