Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sunday In The Yarden

First post from the Organic Yarden...

I'm a edible garden enthusiast, and have a few years of gardening under my belt.  We've had some successes, some failures, but have always had fun gardening and eating the harvest.

I love sharing my gardening progress and photos, and this is the reason for starting the blog.  Today, there are a few good shots of what's going on in the garden, and here we go!

Sweat Bee - Halictidae - Lasioglossum - Green Onion - Scallion - Allium Flower
Sweat Bee - Halictidae - Lasioglossum - Green Onion -
Scallion - Allium Flower
In this photo, we have a couple of little bitty sweat bees coupling up on an Egyptian Walking Onion flower.

This is one of only a few excellent coupling captures achieved since regularly photographing the garden.

For some reason, I've always envisioned insects mating similarly to the frogs...  The girl makes her eggs deposit and then the boys come along and fertilize the eggs.  It continues to surprise me.

The Egyptian Walking Onions were grown from some store bought diced up onion stumps.  We just plugged them into the dirt after using what we wanted and they thrived.

Lycopersicon lycopersicum 'Principe Borghese' - Sun Drying Tomatoes - Apoidea - Anthophora californica
Lycopersicon lycopersicum 'Principe Borghese' -
Sun Drying Tomatoes - Apoidea - Anthophora californica
We've also been getting lots of love from my absolute favorite bees.  These bees are a type of ground bee.  The name is Anthophora californica.  I haven't noticed any female bees.  The males are identified by white foreheads and thick hind legs.

They are just so darling as they fly around frantically, waving around their derrieres.  This morning a couple of these boys were very amusing when after landing on a flower they began buzzing even more vigorously.  I can only imagine they are trying to shake down more pollen.  I'm not really sure why they were doing it, but it made me laugh.  These boys are quite difficult to photograph, they're so busy and wary.

Chrysopidae - Green lacewings - Apochrysinae - Egg Stalks
Chrysopidae - Green lacewings - Apochrysinae - Egg Stalks
In this photo to the left, we have lacewing eggs.  Lacewings are quite delicate looking, pale green insects that are voracious garden predators in the larval stage.

Lacewings also appear to be very indiscriminate in choosing where to lay their eggs...  any straight line of something will do, I guess.  Not that I'm complaining.  This is a great sign in the garden.  We have future garden predators in the making.

Luckily, this batch of eggs (one of three on this particular cage), will be in very close proximity to our tomatoes and the larvae should have ample food supplies upon hatching.

Ornate Tree Lizard - Urosaurus ornatus
Ornate Tree Lizard - Urosaurus ornatus
The final photo for today is of one of our garden lizards.  It appears to be an "Ornate Tree Lizard", which is a very common reptile in Maricopa County.
This lizard is active during the day, and the males tend to be quite territorial.  They are so skittish, it is difficult to catch them in photos, but this one is decent.  We don't see them during fall or winter, as they hibernate.

These lizards feast on insects including aphids, beetles, flies, ants, bees, wasps, termites, moths, butterflies, grasshoppers, and crickets. It also feeds on a variety of spiders.