In recent weeks, we've been noticing more and more leaves around the garden that look as though someone's been going around hole-punching them. And while seeing punctured foliage usually elicits a sense of concern about pests and disease, something about the smooth, skillfully-crafted shape of these holes makes them seem benign to me... artful even!
A potter wasp mama puts the final touches on her vessel-like clay nest, and lays an egg inside. These beneficial insect ceramicists are not aggressive and can help protect nearby plants from caterpillar damage. So if you see a tiny pot appear unexpectedly in your garden, you might want to leave it be!
A couple of weeks ago, Seán found a mysterious, silvery pod on the ground beside the house, about the size of a lime. It appeared to have been there for a while, as it was very light and seemed dried out. We took our guesses: was it a plant-pod? Some kind of egg sac? I thought it might be an owl-pellet, due to it's hairy outside texture, shape and size. We decided to lovingly refer to it as the “alien pod”:
There was only one thing to do in order to solve the mystery – cut it open:
Due to the current heat-spells in our region, we haven't been able to spend as much time as we'd like observing who's been buzzing and fluttering around our flowers during this year's Pollinator Week. Instead, we took to the shade and comfort of our workshop to continue our Little Paintings series. We each chose a species that caught our fancy and spent some quality time interpreting their likenesses and doing some deeper research into their lives & habits.
Here's a peek at our colour-testing sheets for the portraits— read on to see the results... 🌼 🐝- – -