Sunday, July 6, 2008


It has been a critter filled day here at Aunt Debbi's Garden.

The temperature is below 90 so out into the garden I go. The chore list includes weeding, spreading compost, and killing weeds in the pathways with boiling water. Smells a lot like cooking spinach. Why would anyone every cook perfectly good spinach and make it into a green gooey mess? It is so lovely as a salad.

The first visitor we noticed was a giant swallowtail butterfly. It was sipping nectar from the zinnias. We check the lemon tree to see if it had laid any eggs. Instead of a bird poo looking caterpillar, all we found was actual bird poo on the lemon. Too bad, maybe later

The next visitor was a two lined skink. It was not actually a visitor. Baby Monkey kidnapped it from a neighbors house and brought it home. I made him release it in the garden after the poor things tail fell off.

I came back into the house to put the pot back on the stove to boil when I noticed something large and dark on my shoulder. It moved when I tried to brush it off. I asked Middle Monkey to identify it. He starts screaming, "It's a giant cockroach." I find myself dancing around the kitchen screaming, "GET IT OFF, GET IT OFF!!!!" He runs for a towel yelling, "This may hurt." Not sure what he was planing on doing. About the time he took a swipe at it with the towel I hear a loud click. Praise the Lord it was not a giant cockroach. It was a black and white click beetle. We played with it for a little while and let it go on the deck.

On further research I find that the click beetles larva eat corn plants. Hmmm, maybe we should have let it go someplace else.
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  1. It's been a critter day for me too! Must be something about these here parts, huh! I laughed picturing you running around yelling: just what I'd do!

  2. I think it sounds like baby monkey and peanut would get along very well! She's forever tormenting innocent bugs until I force her to set it free. I'm so mean to her. Poor thing.

    I thought it was a funny image of you running around the kitchen too. Ew, cockroaches are totally gross!

    I think spinach is wonderful raw as well. Why would a person cook it? (Unless you're adding it to your lasagna sauce mix to trick the kids into eating extra veggies)

  3. Ah that is a very good idea. I sneak swiss chard into a bunch of recipes. Mine all eat the spinach raw, so no need to be sneaky.

    roaches are disgusting.

  4. We may have rain, but you have BUGS! My kids would go nuts to be able to explore all the little creatures in your habitat. Click beatles -- how cool is that?

  5. Sigh. I love skinks! I grew up with them down in Nashville and miss them to this day (no skinks in scenic PA, alas). At least the poor guy's tail will grow back. (Wish we could do that!) As for the click beetle, yucko. No bugs on us/in the house/on the pets, those are the house rules. If only bugs could read! After watching a truly fabulous fireworks display in our backyard on Saturday night, I came back inside to discover my arch-nemesis, a tick, on my shirt. You never saw anyone run for the door so fast! Now, about that spinach, it's a funny thing: I love mustard greens and kale, which most people insist on cooking, raw in salads. I feel exactly the way about cooking them that you do about cooking spinach: Why turn those luscious greens into green glop? But I love cooked spinach, Indian-style or with vinegar and salt, and find raw spinach disgusting. It's a texture thing. But I'll never think about pouring boiling water on weeds again without thinking of your priceless description!

  6. Hi Sherry, That bug would have been just fine outside and not on me. However, I draw the line at letting them live in my house.

    Hi ofb, okay, I was raised on canned spinach with butter and cider vinegar. Weird, but I had forgotten about that. Still, I want it fresh. Skinks are cool. You don't see that color of blue often in nature.

    I bet silence would have out done me on my "get it off dance." No plants were trampled and cats did not get involved.

  7. I need to try the boiling water on the weeds on my patio-thanks! Funny about spinach-I craved it cooked (from a can!) when I was pregnant, but not before or since. I prefer it raw in salads too, and never thought I'd eat it cooked again, until I tried this recipe. I swear, it tasted almost like candy!

  8. Lisa, that does sound good. Wilted spinach I can handle. Boiled spinach, nonononono.