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Monday, May 11, 2009

Wildlife Pictures

Yesterday, on Mother's Day, was the first day that I noticed that there were two ducks with about 11 or 12 babies each, they are so quick and impossible to count. Here is a picture of one of the moms and some of here babies. They are sooooo cute. They seemed to be having so much fun swimming around as fast as they possibly could, and they can move fast too.

I know that this picture does not look like much, but when I walked up to the creek about 6 goldfinches flew out of the water. They were taking a bath. I wish I would have noticed that they were there so that I could have moved a little slower, and could have possibly got a picture. That would have been a really, really good picture.

I didn't get a picture of the goldfinches in the water but I got this picture of a male (right) and a female (left) goldfinch. They are such pretty birds.


Aphid Problems
When I was bringing in my flats of plants today, for the night, I looked closely at a flat of my peppers and noticed an aphid! I hate aphids!!! They are such a pain. Unlike other bugs aphids do not actually eat parts of the plant, instead they just suck the life out of them. So if you do not look closely at the plants you may not notice that they have aphids until they have multiplied a lot. Luckily, I looked over a lot of my plants and only noticed a couple flats of peppers and some eggplant with aphids. I dealt with most of them and will look everything over really well tomorrow.

Here is what I usually do when I notice that I have an aphid problem:
  1. If you do not have as many plants as I do you can usually had pick a lot of them. I usually get a cup of water, sometimes I put a little dish soap in the cup. Then I take a q-tip and dip it in the water. You can then take the aphids off of the plant using the q-tip. The aphids will easily stick to the q-tip and you can dip the q-tip back in the water to get the aphids off. This is much easier than trying to remove them with your hands.
  2. Today I hand picked some aphids off, when I got sick of that, I took a spray bottle put some dish soap in it and filled it with water. I sprayed the plants, mostly under the leaves and in the middle of the plants (that is where they like to hang out). I let them sit like that for a few minutes.
  3. I took another spray bottle filled with just water and sprayed the plants again, holding them upside down to wash off some of the dish soap so that it would not bother the plants. If you spray them lightly with the dish soap water mix you may not have to do this but I put a good amount of dish soap in the spray bottle, because I wanted to be sure to kill all the aphids. If you spray them with too much dish soap it can hurt the plants, probably will not kill them, but could put them back a little bit.
I am not too worried about the aphids, since I will be planting them outside in a couple of weeks. I usually do not have to worry about aphids once they are outside, I think that nature takes care of them then.

Signs of aphid problems
There are some things that you can look for that could give you an idea that your plants may have aphids. Here is what to look for: Stunted growth and sometimes leaves may curl or turn yellow. Usually it is a lot easier to notice these signs in very very young seedlings, larger plants may just not seem to grow or become stunted. Look under the leaves and in the middle of the plant, they do not like to just sit out in the open. You can easily see the aphids on the plants if you look often. I tried to get a nice close up picture of them but was having a hard time getting my camera to focus on the plant, and just wanted to get rid of them so I gave up on the picture. If I have anymore aphids left I will try again tomorrow, but hopefully I got rid of all the aphids. Really when you think of it aphids are probably one of the better bad bugs to have, because once you get rid of them your plants will be just fine, they are just a pest.

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