Monday, 31 August 2009

Critters, bugs and weeds

First: Insects.
Tonight I found yet more caterpillars in the poly tunnel. I thought I'd got the lot a couple of days ago, but found another 6 lurking around. Some were doing me a favour, eating a bramble shoot that came up through the earth floor, the others were having a hard time trying to nibble cucumber leaves and two really brave ones had been at the chillies. I think they were pleased to be relocated to some outdoor bramble!
Here's a side view of one of the little blighters. It's a Tussock moth caterpillar, but I'm not sure if it's the brown or yellow tailed variety. They are both pretty voracious - I wonder if I can get them to eat all the bramble for me?
Next: Amphibians!
When I was watering the outside grow bags with the tired-looking courgette plants, out popped this froglet from one of the watering holes!

I'd seen a larger frog next to the bag a couple of days before but hadn't a camera to hand, so was very pleased to capture a photo of this little chap.

It must be one of the bathtub froglets that hatched out earlier this year. I need to be rather careful when I do my clearing up and leave them some grow bags for them to use as shelters and as hibernation sites.

I love being on the allotment. Sometimes I'm there for hours being really busy weeding, digging and planting. Other times I'm there for a quick visit to pick up some spinach or salad greens and to water the plants in the poly tunnel. Now I've got a water butt inside the tunnel (Thank you Doug, for that suggestion!) life is somewhat easier! I still need to visit every 2-3 days, though, depending on the weather and temperature, to check on things.

My time at the allotment is precious. It's a time out of the usual routines; time for myself and to enjoy the plants, the wildlife and the company of the other gardeners. I love seeing the results of my work but know I have a lot more to learn and a lot more work to do before the plot is the way I want it to be.

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