Youth Garden Creepy Crawlies

I have been saving pictures for this post since July. But I never really got around to putting them together, researching the critters in the photos, or writing anything. And I kind of don't want to. I'd rather learn more about plants than bugs.

So here are some fun pictures of critters encountered while volunteering at the Washington Youth Garden. What finally kicked me into gear on this was looking at an Arboretum visitor's Flickr album of insects and other creepy crawlies from the Youth Garden. She has some wonderful photos there!

Looking at these makes me want to feel once more the bright sun beating down on my sweat- and dirt-covered arms. I can't believe I am saying this: I miss summer!

I think this was taken with my mobile phone on my first day of volunteering in May. That's a worm snake I found on my pitchfork while dumping a load of leaf mulch into a wheelbarrow. These guys don't like the light, and they are extremely strong for being so little! We set him free; the second one we found ended up living among the eggplant, if I remember correctly. The hands and torso belong to another volunteer whom I just ran into about 10 minutes ago in the cafe I'm currently sitting in in Adams Morgan.

This isn't a snake--it's actually a worm! It was huge.

This spider was also featured in the Flickr album mentioned above. It was larger than I think the Flickr lady said--maybe two inches. Or maybe its bright colouring just gave it a larger presence. Either way, all of us stopped weeding and mulching the paths for a while to come look at this guy.

Pretty butterfly. It looks like the butterfly that the Flickr lady calls the Great Spangled Fritillary.

This was taken in October, during the second round of cool-weather crops. This should be celery, but instead, it's this caterpillar's lunch. I moved it to the fennel--apparently, fennel, being related to celery, is another host plant for this particular caterpillar.

And this is what I found on the fennel when I went to drop off the caterpillar. I won't even try to identify this bug, but I enjoy the colouration.

Praying mantis on the rosemary! I harvested some of that rosemary and hung it up to dry in my "kitchen." I use it for crock-pot soups/stews sometimes--it's excellent!

The treasure of the Youth Garden volunteers--this adorable pup demanded our attention while his master tromped through the Arboretum trying to find his son who wandered off. We were more than willing to oblige the little fonfer!

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3 Responses to Youth Garden Creepy Crawlies

  1. Kenneth-Nice post. It's great working with kids. The worm snake is a great find!! We have the same spiders here in GA. Those guys get Gi-normous! Imagine walking through the woods at night and have one of those jokers hit you right in the face and it feels like they are the size of your face and there web gets all over you. (Shaking my head, bad memories).

  2. Kenneth, I got the Ground Cherry seeds, thank you! Love those garden spiders, they always show up on my tomatoes towards the end of the season and we have to be careful not to prune away any branches with them on there, I hate to disturb them. My grandmother always said they were good luck if you found them in your garden. I have been a lazy blogger this week, but busy inside getting my seed starting area ready!

  3. You know, I've seen long earthworms like that one. They look like two or more have been joined together with tape or band-aid wrapped around them. What is it?


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