Thursday, January 3, 2008

Polyphemus Moth?

Friday May 4, 2007 - 10:00pm (CDT)

Polyphemus Moth?

So I was sharpening my knives in preparation for skinning squirrels tomorrow and decided to test the blades by carving up a pickle. I go to the knives' drawer and glance at my window box of Garlic and see this huge moth! The wing span had to be between six and seven inches. I took about fifty pictures, because my digital camera sucks, and ended up with three good shots. A quick Google search later and I spot my Moth! Antheraea polyphemus, commonly known as the Polyphemus Moth.

By the look of its abdomen, I'm guessing it's a female looking to lay its eggs in my pear trees. Since I'm not really expecting either tree to fruit this year anyway due to the pruning and freak frost we had, I'm not as worried about the larva crawling all over my overgrown pear trees. I might want to look into pest control for them if it gets to be a problem, or if they find their way into my garden and decide my tomatoes might taste good. Pity, I keep finding all these cool looking bugs that are interested in consuming all of my crops. First my giant slugs, now giant moths. *sighs*

I didn't see these guys last year, so maybe they aren't that big of a problem. According to a few internet searches, they're actually starting to get kinda rare. Again, a pity. We had all kinds of neat butterflies and some unusual wasps and hornets last year. They were everywhere, but very docile. My wife was the only one to get stung, and that's because she stepped on one. Otherwise, we could walk through them without batting an eyelash. I was worried that the kids would get attacked, but we had no problems at all. If they return this year, I'll take some pictures.

I have sprouts from everything I started inside a couple of weeks ago. I'll put up pictures soon, I promise. Most of the seeds I recently started inside I received for free from WinterSown.Org. Again, even if you don't get some free seeds from them, send them what you don't use this year. Any extras you have lying around would probably help these people out.

I transplanted my Lemon Balm from a tall salsa jar to a gallon pot today. The transplant was a bit rougher than I would have liked. A few of the smaller plants lost some of their root systems. Fortunately, Lamiaceae is a forgiving family of plants. Even if the smaller plants don't have their root systems, they can propagate via stem cuttings. Like Ground Ivy and Peppermint, Lemon Balm will set root where ever the stems touch the ground and give rise to new plants. Highly aggressive and invasive, just like all mints. I'll give my Lemon balm a few weeks to recover inside under the grow lights before I move it outside to begin hardening it off.

For those who don't know, I've been sick for the past week. I had some interesting fever hallucinations during the night in the earlier part of the week. I'd call them fever dreams, but I wasn't asleep. They weren't visual hallucinations mind you, only mental trips. Nothing spectacular, just a system for not getting lost in the desert when in a large group searching for something or someone. Yes, my hallucinations are rather unusual when fever induced.

Other than that, a rather "run of the mill" week.

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