Moth Factoids

Spotted this moth just outside my door. This moth was about 2 inches long. Beautiful in the real!

 

Moth Facts; Did you know?….

There are over 11,000 species of moths in the United States. That’s more than all the mammals and bird species in N. America alone!  Throughout the world; more than 160,000, more than 10 times the amount of butterfly species.

Moths are great disguisers! Evolution has taught some to mimic insects so that they are less likely to get eaten; such as, a wasp or praying mantis.  Some look like bird droppings; ewww.  I guess whatever it takes to be safe!

Moths pollinate plants.  And some like the humming-bird moth will feed on nectar from plants like verbenas and honeysuckles.

While the humming-bird moth will eat nectar most adult moths don’t eat at all.  The Luna moth doesn’t even have a mouth!

Many moths are hairy to help them maintain body temperatures; which is a must to fly.

Moths find their way by the moon and available stars.

The smallest moth has a wing span of 2-2.5 millimeters.

The Atlas moth, Hercules moth, and the Great Owlet moth are the largest in the world if you are counting their wingspans which can measure around 11-12 inches.  That would be amazing to see in person!

Many moths fly during the day.  You many not notice because they are colorful like their relative the butterfly.

It is not powder you see on your hand after touching a moth but thousands of tiny hair and scales.

Female moths lay between 60-300 eggs.

Have a wonderful day.  I’m heading out to play in dirt and if I’m lucky I will get to spot some other interesting creatures.  Peace, Koko 😉

 

 

 

Kissing Frogs! Erm…Toads

LOOK WHAT I FOUND IN MY GARDEN!!!! ….

Prince Charming!

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An American toad came to visit me in my garden!  What a treat!  I squealed like a little girl seeing this cutie.  The only difference between then and now is I didn’t put it in my pocket!

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Can you see him smile?

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I love him; warts and all!

Technically toads are frogs, but here are some differences between the two. Frogs have smooth skin and are usually found near water. They also are good jumpers. Frogs have mad hops! 😉

Toads have dry bumpy/wart like skin. They are not usually found near water and their jumps are short and choppy.

They both are amphibians. Amphibians are cold-blooded.

“Take the time to look; to see things that are meant to be unseen.  Surprises are everywhere if you just take the time to look.”   Peace, Koko

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DIY Garden Gate Peace and Roses

Busy weekend, but still made time to smell the roses…

I’ve been enjoying reading up on the great blogs you all have.  This weekend had me in a frenzy getting the house ready for a party.  Fun, fun, fun.

I built the third gate.  This gate should have been the first one.  It’s the most important one; well to me it is.  It leads to my garden.  I open my back door and about 30 steps away is my sanctuary.

I am getting better at building these things.  Faster too.  With each one there have been tiny hic-ups because each is a different size and I needed to account for the weight because of the wider widths as well as land sloping up or down.  All in all, it’s been fun building them.  One more to go!  I am hoping to have that built by next week and then…Chicken coop! Can you say, “bwok, bwok?” I can’t wait! 😉

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Third gate. Zucchini plant to the left; I can already smell the zucchini bread!

The party went off without a hitch.  Great fun and lots of live music.  I finally went to sleep; 4 am came fast!

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Smelling the roses.

I so love all the pictures you all have on your blogs. All of you out there that can grow roses…I take my hat off to you! As you can see this plant has the dreaded black spots. All my neighbors tell me you can’t grow roses around here. I am starting to agree. When I lived on the west coast my roses grew prolifically. I miss them very much. My father-in law grew them and I was happy to have the chance to take over the job of caring for them. It’s one of the things I miss very much when I moved down south. Here in my garden, I am happy I got one to smell! I know this plant won’t last, but for it’s short life, I am thankful.  Hope you all had a great weekend! Make the time to smell the roses. Life is short!

Thank you for your kindness and support through comments and follows!

Peace be with you, Koko

Tomatoes; cherry tomatoes!

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Cherry tomatoes; picked this morning!

Tomatoes are native to South America but luckily they can be enjoyed most everywhere.  I am thrilled I have them in my garden.  Digging in the dirt on hot days I can just pick them off the vine and enjoy a burst of refreshing goodness.  Not only are they delicious tasting they are packed full of nutrients.  Vitamins A, C, and E, potassium, as well as flavonoids (anti-inflammatory awesomeness!)  Have you heard of lycopene?  The antioxidants found in tomatoes are getting serious looks because they are fighters of damaging free radicals that are constantly attacking our cells in our bodies.  We need that kind of army.  The environment can really be harsh and so we must look for things we can change, do, eat to help our bodies out.  Tomatoes are an easy way to get some help.

Did you know there are studies eating tomatoes regularly can reduce the risk of men getting prostate cancer! Super fantastic; so you men eat up!  Not only can tomatoes be good for prostate cancer, it can help ward against other cancers like stomach and breast cancers.  It can help boost the skins ability to shield against UVA rays; “Sun damaging rays, back off!”  Lycopene = great for skin.

Eat the whole tomato to reap all the benefits.  The redder the better as the lycopene is in the  color.  Cooked tomatoes are said to have more lycopene as the heat releases more of the lycopene.  However cooking reduces the vitamin C content.  What do we do? Eat them raw or cook them?  Eat both is the answer!

You don’t need a lot of space to grow tomatoes; especially cherry tomatoes.  They are becoming my favorite because they are so easy to grow and care for.  You can grow them in a container, a corner of a small yard, and even a hanging basket!

To my readers; eat pizza with thick red tomato sauce, spaghetti topped with chunky tomato sauce, brushetta with fresh garlic and herbs on thick crusty bread, tomatoes on salad, toss a cup worth in your green drink; whatever you do eat them cooked, eat them raw…just eat them!  Peace Koko

DIY Easy Garden Gate How To

Garden gate…two down, two to go!

Here’s my second gate.  This one took me less time to build than the last one.  Progress! (about three hours counting painting) This gate is wider than the first one, by over a foot,  so I had to build into it a little more support.  I also added an extra hinge in the center.  I don’t know if it was necessary, however five years from now I don’t want the gate wobbling or sagging.  (Though five years from now it would be nice to be living near the beach again…oh how I miss the ocean.)

Measured out the width of gate and where I wanted the bottom and top slat to be.

Measured out the width of gate and where I wanted the bottom and top slat to be.

Laid boards out and measured out the distance apart I wanted.

Laid boards out and measured out the distance apart I wanted.

Screwed all boards and drew a curved line at top of gate. I cut it out with a jig saw.

Screwed all boards and drew a curved line at top of gate. I cut it out with a jig saw.

Added cross pieces for more stability.

Added cross pieces for more stability.

Finished and painted. That's my garden behind that gate! One of my favorite crepe myrtle trees on the left. Love the blossoms!

Finished and painted. That’s my garden behind that gate! One of my favorite crepe myrtle trees on the left. Love the blossoms!

Do you enjoy building things? I’d love to hear about a project you’ve done! Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to read. I hope this finds you happy and healthy and that you are doing something that makes you smile. Peace, Koko

Change of Plans

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I was going to build another gate, however it rained.  So, I made this instead…

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I can’t be a person that “schedules” anything.  My days are usually predicated upon the weather or kids or animals or… Though whatever I do in my day I really try to make it count.  If I plan on doing something and for some reason I can’t do it, there is always another plan that is ready to step right in its place.  Perhaps tomorrow I will build another gate.  Hope you all make moments count.  Peace, Koko

Crepe Myrtle Tree – a must have in anyone’s landscape.

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Crepe myrtle; did you know there are around fifty species of this tree? And they were named after the Swedish merchant Magnus von Lagerström. It’s scientific name being; Lagerstroemia. Glad we can call it crepe myrtle!  You can also spell it crape myrtle.  However you prefer to spell it, this tree is really one to have in gracing your space.  I especially like how the bark of the tree sheds all year-long. It really lends to something interesting going on in the yard. Every summer they pop with beautifully clustered flowers. It looks as if the tree exploded with dozens and dozens of bridal bouquets. I look forward to this every year.

Prune this awesome tree in the winter or early spring. And whatever you do, don’t hack at the tree leaving the thin trunks standing alone! Doing this will only produce spindly branches that shoot straight out instead of producing a nice fluffy top; sorta like the cute trees we drew as kids! I like to remove the cluster of flowers when most of the blossoms are brown or have fallen off. If you get lucky there will be a second bloom of flowers! Remove any thin/tiny branches throughout the umbrella of the tree; the ones that don’t seem to have any or much growth on them. Also cut away the suckers that love to pop up around the base of the tree.

Mine seems to tolerate the heat, humidity, and winter weather with some snow and plenty of single digit temps. They don’t seem to care if I water them or not. I’d say all in all, crepe myrtles are very hardy trees. I do have a mildew problem with two of my trees and I haven’t figured out the reason. They get this white powdery film. The first time I saw it, I carefully cut all the branches that had this mildew. The next year the new growth had it but less.  This year, I’ve been spraying it with baking soda and water mixture. (2 tsp of baking soda in a quart of water…I mix it into a gallon pump sprayer) I do believe this is working though, I’d suggest if you do have this problem, to start spraying right when tree’s leaves start to appear. (This is what I will do next year) I think sooner is better to combat this mildew.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and please, if you have any suggestions on the care of crepe myrtles, let me know, or just drop a comment on what kind of crepe myrtle you have and color.

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