I’VE GOT APHIDS!

Well, not on my person, you understand. At least, not now that I’ve washed them off. But the little blighters (polite term) have been sucking the sap out of  several plants. And the ants (no polite term for these bastards!) are husbanding them. I tried the soapy water trick and got nowhere ( mind you, the leaves were nice and clean!) so this morning I said some “magic words” and drenched  said bastards with white oil. Just hope Mr. Murphy’s  famous law doesn’t apply!

Anyway, what with messing about in the garden and one thing and another…I didn’t get around to posting the mystery  picture result.

It’s that strip of dots on the edge of my windscreen; something to do with the lamination process, I think.

Not mystery pictures this time, just a couple of gratuitous flower photos…

A hoya. No, I have no idea of its name. But I’m rather chuffed at having flowers as something usually chews through the buds before I even get to see what colour it will be. Now I know. Want to see more? Enter hoya in Google Images.

I’ve mentioned stinkhorns before. A bumper crop came up recently after the heavy rain. Mercifully, the sun came out and burned them before things got too smelly.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phallaceae   Lacy and not unattractive to look at. But perhaps not what you really want below the dining room window! The first time I saw one (not the variety above) I thought something had decapitated one of my roosters!

I spent ages the other day, scrambling through the garden, trying to get a good photo of what I thought was either a phaesant coucal or a juvenile female koel.

Yes, a quite lovely shot of carallia and terminalia leaves! Ooh!look! there’s a koel up there! Many people go bonkers at the koels’ calling all night. Personally, I’d far rather hear the koel than the little yapster that goes off his (very tiny) brain when the telephone rings!

And since I’ve also mentioned the coucal, here’s Chapman’s recording of one. http://www.graemechapman.com.au/cgi-bin/viewphotos.php?c=78

(credit:Chapman.)

I think it’s time for some lunch…

THE GREEN GREEN ANTS OF HOME…BUT WHOSE HOME?

I like to think I’m an easy-going, live-and-let-live person. Not crazy about some of the venomous “guests” that turn up from time to time, but, in general, I work on the principle that if I don’t hassle them, they will leave me in peace.

But I have just done murderous things to a couple of colonies of green ants (oecophylla sp) and, while I feel a little upset, I also feel a whole lot more comfortable!

When we first moved here, there were green ants around, but only one nest and that was in a lemon tree, ‘way up the back. Apart from the annual pruning, not much of a worry.Heck! I can pick a lemon or two without wearing a shirtful of ants. But this summer…there are greenies in droves. Or whatever the collective noun is. A little uncomfortable if I nudged them when watering gardens,but not a major problem.

Until the little beasties decided they’d like to colonise the vines along the front deck rail. The Man said they would have to go before they invaded the house. I said they don’t like to live in human houses. But their constant running up and down the handrail and along the deck rails was becoming something of a nuisance. A painful nuisance.

So…I brought the autumn clean-up forward by a few weeks (these vines die back and have to be cleared anyway) and managed not to get bitten despite having to continually brush off enthusiastic boarding parties and perform a constant tarantella.

No, I didn’t take photos! I’m easy-going, not stupid!

But I did find a website with some stunning images. Sorry, but they are a bit much for blogger, so go to:
http://www.firstpr.com.au/show-and-tell/green-ants/

Of course, I have not eradicated the ants; just forced them to move to another location. The back deck?