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Montage of Photos

Dash & Pixie herding some of the ducks. If left to it, these two would spend hours randomly herding!

A mushroom with delicate netting we found in the woods a couple of weeks ago. I did a little research but can't figure out what kind of mushroom it is. Do you know?

Dash & Pixie herding some of the ducks. If left to it, these two would spend hours randomly herding!

Frame full of capped honey

Bill has started harvesting honey!!! Here is a capped frame full of the golden nectar. The bees fill each cell with honey. When it has reaches the correct percentage of sugar, they cap the cell with wax to preserve it. When all the cells of a particular frame are capped - the honey is ready to be harvested.

Garden Spider

Argiope Spider (rhymes with calliope) spiders belong to the family Araneidae. The name “argiope” is typically associated with the black & yellow garden spider. They are orb weavers and are commonly seen in gardens and fields on shrubbery and tall flowers in late summer and fall. They are moderate to large in size with an unusually large, and often oddly-shaped abdomen and may be brightly colored. Their webs are particularly large, up to 1 foot in diameter and are characterized by the white zig-zag band of silk that runs down the center of the web. Argiope spiders often wait in their web for their prey (a wide-variety of insects such as aphids, mosquitoes, flies, caterpillars, bees, grasshoppers, etc.) to come stumbling or flying in.

Bill with his used, but new to us, Tuff-Built tractor. For better or worse, we bit the bullet and got a loan for a tractor. Our less-expensive walking tractor does the job, but takes too long to get jobs done meaning all our hard work is ineffective!

praying mantis on broccoli plant

Praying Mantis in the broccoli.

It was exciting because we've never seen one on our property! In fact, we've been talking about purchasing beneficial insects (including these and ladybugs) next season.

A praying mantis is an amazing insect that can be kept as a pet. A praying mantis can catch other insects with its strong front legs. The front legs are lined with spikes and close in a certain way to have a firm grip on the prey. A mantis has a mobile head that can turn around like humans can, large eyes, large front legs to grab prey and four legs meant for walking. Praying mantids vary in adult length between 1 and 16 cm. Praying mantids exclusively eat other insects by catching them with their forelegs. They do not use poison but eat the prey alive while they hold it firmly.

The praying mantis belong to the order of Mantodea. There are about 2300 species of praying mantis described. They occur on every continent except on Antarctica. In Northern Europe they do not occur. In Europe, many people see their first praying mantis on holiday in Spain or France. In the United States praying mantids can be found in almost any state. But the most extraordinary species and highest number of species can only be found in the tropical forest of South America, Africa and Asia.

Two of the ducks Aidan hatched in the incubator this spring resting in the haymow window.

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