Saturday, June 19, 2010

Fig frog

The fig trees are beginning to look like they may be productive this year. Today a little green frog was taking his ease among the big leaves. Sometimes when the wind blew up sideways, he looked a bit like a surfer riding a wave.

More than one

Last year, my apricot tree and almond tree produced one of each.

This year, there are more than one.



Almost enough to imagine some sort of almond cake with apricot sauce.

Stag beetle

This morning I was surprised to find a big stag beetle lying upside down on the balcony. It looked dead. But when I went to pick it up, it clung to my finger with that rather scary grip they have and started making its way up my arm, swimming through the hair.

Normally the young master is reluctant to get up on Saturday mornings, but when I went into his room and announced absently, "I have a stag beetle on my arm this morning", he got up rather quickly. Apparently I was handling it all wrong, and he rushed out in his pyjamas and stuck it on the big tree. We hope it's happy in our tree.

When I was moving the compost from its old location, I found three or four huge white grubs buried in the ground which I think must have been stag beetle larvae. I carefully reburied them in rich soil elsewhere in the garden, and I suppose this might be one of them. How it found itself upside down on the balcony is anyone's guess.

The stag beetle will have to take its chances with the brown butterflies that come to suck the sap. These butterflies don't take crap from anything that comes to the tree. They even tangle with the huge hornets that come to visit.

Goodbye goji

I've had enough of goji bushes and I've torn them out.

If they're not being 'skeletonized' by leaf beetles, a process which leaves them without leaves, they're being 'powderized' by mould which leaves them 'skeletonized'. For something which is supposed to make you live until 108, the life-force seems to be very weak in these plants. I'm tired of seeing their thorny, leafless, flowerless, fruitless boughs hanging all over one corner of my garden. I'm going to plant something useful in their stead.