Monday, April 6, 2009

Sunny Sunday

This past Sunday was nice and sunny all day long. The same cannot be said for today's weather, a return to dreary rain we had all last week. Their was some minor flooding happening in the garden, but only in the pathways. The raised beds are nice and safe for the moment. I managed to finish the first and second beds after a full day of shoveling, raking, and digging. While the first pathway was finished last weekend, there was a lot of work to do on the second pathway. Much of it still needed to be dug out, and it probably soaked up the most time. Under the white floating row cover I planted some spinach and mixed greens. Hopefully the nasty weather shouldn't harm them over the next week and the warmer weather to follow will let them germinate.

I had wanted to get the peas in this weekend, but timing just didn't allow. I still need to string up the pea towers, which I plan on doing soon. Perhaps in the morning if I can get up early enough, because the garage is dry no matter what the weather!

Speaking of the garage I did some serious spring cleaning on Saturday while the weather was not so nice. It was, however, very windy which motivated me to finally thresh out all of my mustard seeds. I ended up with a full mason jar of them, along with about as many spread to the four winds. I didn't do a perfect job and some chaff remains but since I'm just using them for growing I'm not concerned. I'm certain we'll have mustard weeds until the end of time, and I really don't think I'll mind pulling them up and munching them. I'm going to plant some of these next weekend as a part of batch two of greens, we'll see how they do.

The seedlings continue to do well. The cherry tomatoes have all opened up and are under the grow lights, the paste and big tomatoes are coming along much slower. The broccoli, basil, and onions sprouts are also under the lights now.

For two years I've been trying to track down what this guy is. One of these days I'll nail it. I took pictures of a number of creepy crawlies I unearthed during my digging. I have no idea if the above is harmful or helpful.

Not a whole lot is known about this little guy. It is the larval form of the Stiletto fly also know as Theravid larva. It is predator and amazingly fast. I couldn't get a shot in full focus as he just zipped around. They eat both beneficial insects, and not so beneficial nasties like the following.

The grub, what kind of beetle in particular? June, Oriental, Asian? I'm not sure I only know that they all look similar and eat roots that I don't want eaten. Not using any pesticides I find far more of these than I'd like when I dig, but such is life.

I'm almost positive that this big fat fella is a cutworm of some kind. Dingy perhaps, but I haven't been able to find a really good comparison photo.


Anonymous said...

This caterpillar belongs to the family Noctuidae, which includes those commonly known as cutworms. As these can be quite variable in coloration, it is dangerous to attempt a specific identification from a single image, but yours does resemble the larva of a moth known as the yellow underwing, Noctua pronuba - see

C4 said...

Thank you so much for the comment! Having dozens of other photos in the set I can pretty much guarantee that you have made the identification. Thank you again!

future reference said...

YES! Thank you! Your blog is the first place I was able to find a pic/ identity for the Therevidae larvae I found in my soil.

I live in Providence. If I learn anything special about Stiletto flies or the little red guy pictured above I'll let you know.

C4 said...

Thanks for the comment Future Reference. I'm happy to know that you've found an answer you were looking for on our blog!

Michelle went to RISD and I lived off of Branch ST. some years ago. Though I don't like cities in general I did like Providence.