Friday, June 7, 2013

Misc. Garden Crap

No, literally; "Miscellaneous Garden Crap."  ProfessorRoush collects and archives many garden photos, and sometimes, when I am wanting to provide readers a break from my unstoppable barrage of rose worship, I pull up something else to talk about.  For today's blog, I actually have two photos linked by a common theme.

'Earth Song' Rose and Caterpillar Frass
The first, shown at the right, was taken in mid-May at the Kansas State University Rose Garden.  It is a picture, if you look closely, of a partially-eaten 'Earth Song' bud, complete with the "frass" manufactured as a result of digestion of this former beautiful bud.  If you look closely, you'll also discern the green side of the responsible
rose caterpillar visible in the large hole in the center and presumably still happily munching away.  For those unfamiliar with the word "frass", it is defined as "debris or excrement produced by insects."  In plain words:  insect poop.  I cannot identify the culprit species since there are lots of caterpillars that eat rose buds and since I am far from expert at soft-bellied immature insect identification.  My control method for this infestation, after I took the photos, was to remove the affected bud en masse and smash it under my heel.  Hey, sue me, most of these rose caterpillars are unexciting small brown moths and I'm more partial to the roses, myself.  Anyway, I submit this photo as the prime internet source for a photo of rose caterpillar frass for those who need a picture.

Evidence photo related to pending cat-icide
On a similar theme, I've seen a lot written lately about the supposed devastation of garden birds by resident and feral cats, but I learned this morning of perhaps a better reason to keep cats and gardeners apart.   I had left a sizable bag of potting soil open in my garage and Mrs. ProfessorRoush's calico cat had, well, let us just say it decided it was too lazy to leave the cool garage for the hot afternoon sun and sought out the nearest convenient litter pan.  Sorry about the slightly fuzzy hand-held picture but I was not about to drag this bag out into the morning sunlight to get a faster exposure at 6:00 am.   I haven't decided yet if I'm going to keep using this bag of potting soil.  On the plus side, Mrs. ProfessorRoush's stupid cat has probably only increased the nutrient value of this soilless mix.  On the negative, I'm just worried about what I might find buried deeper in the bag.


1 comment:

  1. Cute post. Last week I taught a new gardener how to find the caterpillars on her cabbage - look for their droppings then under the leaf above.
    Very scientific.


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