Archive for the ‘Insects’ Category

Casemaking Moth on Ceramic Vessel

Tuesday, February 9th, 2021

Last night I turned on the light over my work bench and found on oddity.

This little vessel has been hanging in my studio for decades. I fired the piece multiple times. Before the last firing, I bound it with wire and applied low fire lead glazes.

Casemaking moth on ceramic vessel

The oddity is a casemaking moth. What is it eating? Clearly not the glaze because typically the case that the casemaking moth construction will be the color of whatever it has eaten.

Casemaking moth on ceramic vessel

Recently looked through my stash of wood objects to use as an addition to a piece. The boxes were wrapped in plastic and stored in a wood bench. When I opened the drawer I found a green casemaking moth.

Green casemaking moth inside drawer

How did it even get inside? No clue.

Green casemaking moth inside drawer

I have cleaned my studio numerous times to remove the niches the moths like–undisturbed dark areas with fiber and plant material.

I have been forced to keep my stored completed work, work in progress and fiber materials in plastic. But, I can still find casemaking moths. It is frustrating, especially when I find that they have damaged something of value.

I use two methods for treating pieces and materials–place them in the freezer or someplace that becomes quite hot, like the trunk of a car.

The freezer shelf that is set aside for materials and work.
Freezer shelf for work and materials

Recently found a casemaking moth on a wool I-cord that had been an embellishment for a rooster lamp that has been sitting on the china cabinet for nearly 15 years.

Rooster lamp

He looks lost without it.

I washed the I-cord in warm soapy water. Gave it a rinse, popped it in a plastic bag, and placed it in the freezer.

Wet frozen I-cord


Gulf Fritillary Caterpillars

Saturday, December 26th, 2020

The courtyard garden needs cleaning and clearing. The drought offers loads of dropped oak leaves and pine needles.

Passiflora and Pandorea vines growing on the trellises need some care.

Passiflora and Pandorea

When I started to clean and clear the dead bits and the dropped oak leaves and pine needles, I saw a Gulf Fritillary caterpillar.

Caterpillar

This morning I found another one.

Caterpillar

Late for them to be hanging around the garden. Good that there is plenty fo food for them.

If they make it through the chrysalis process, this is how the will emerge.

Gulf Fritillary Butterfly

The chrysalis of the Gulf Fritillary looks a bit like a dead leaf.

Gulf Fritillary Butterfly

Plan to put the cleaning on hold to give the caterpillars a chance of becoming butterflies.


Ladybug Visitor

Thursday, November 19th, 2020

Ladybug Found Roaming around the Kitchen

Placed it on a potted Brugmansia that is infested with spider mites.
Ladybug

The concave area appears to be a malformation or some type of damage. The ladybug probably came to be in the kitchen after involuntarily hitching a ride on dandelions or kale that was purchased at the Farmers’ Market.

Ladybug

I sharpened the image to show the damaged area a bit better.


Insect Infestation of a Variegated Agave

Sunday, October 18th, 2020

This morning I noticed that my little variegated agave had some yellowing sections. I first thought it might be the result of too much sun, not enough water, or maybe both.

Agave and Aphids

Agave and Aphids

On closer inspection I found an insect infestation.

Agave and Aphids

Agave and Aphids

Agave and Aphids

I used a solution of water, alcohol, and Dr. Bronner’s peppermint soap to remove the insects with cotton swabs.

Agave and Aphids

Agave and Aphids

Agave and Aphids

Agave and Aphids

Agave and Aphids

Agave and Aphids

The agave was placed in a sheltered space in the greenhouse away from other plants.

How did I miss the start of the insect infestation? I have not been venturing out much because of COVID and the lousy air quality from the California wildfires. Not able to care properly for my gardens.

It is not unexpected to have insects, especially spider mites, in my gardens. We haven’t had rain for months. I did miss seasons and those all day rains that can occur in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest.

Agaves Allergic Reaction
Last week I began striping fiber from a dried agave leaf for possible use in a piece. What I found was the fiber was really too thin and that I am allergic to agave. I still have red welts on my arm. Today I tried to wear gloves when working on the little variegated agave, but it was too difficult to access small spaces. After I finished work, I washed my hands throughly several times. So far, no symptoms of an allergic reaction.

Agave Dermatitis UCLA Health


Butterfly–Gulf Fritillary

Sunday, October 4th, 2020

Butterfly


A Little Bit of Yellow

Sunday, August 23rd, 2020

Detail Dietes Flower

Dietes

Aphids on Milkweed Plants
Yellow Aphids

Yellow Aphids


The Gulf Fritillary Butterfly Visited the Garden Again, Today

Saturday, August 22nd, 2020

Gulf Fritillary

Gulf Fritillary

Gulf Fritillary

Gulf Fritillary

Gulf Fritillary

The draw to the garden is the Passiflora.

Passiflora

Wikipedia–Gulf Fritillary

A Gulf Fritillary caterpillar found in the garden in 2019.

Gulf Fritillary caterpillar

Its chrysalis–

Gulf Fritillary chrysalis


Crassula capitella Red Pagoda and Mealybugs

Saturday, August 22nd, 2020

Nearly all of my Crassula capitella Red Pagoda have these–

Pagoda Insects

Wikipedia–Mealybug

I cleaned the plants and placed them in the plant hospital in the upstairs bathroom. Plan to give the plants a little time to see if more mealybugs surface. If they do I will dispose of the plants.

Crassula capitella Red Pagoda

The day I brought the Crassula capitella Red Pagoda home in 2018. It is the plant on the right.

The Echeveria Black Knight today–

Echeveria Black Knight


Morning Glory

Saturday, August 22nd, 2020

Morning Glory


Gulf Fritillary Butterfly

Friday, August 21st, 2020

Attempted to take a photo of a Gulf fritillary butterfly that visited my courtyard garden.

All of the photos were blurry. Wouldn’t pause long enough to see its wing detail.

Gulf Fritillary butterfly

Just as I put my phone in my pocket, it flew around my head and landed on a Passiflora leaf. I put my hand down next to it.

Its antenna stroked my finger. Much cooler than a photo!
It is important to live in the moment, to contemplate something beautiful.