your friendly, neighborhood predators
Our sustainable garden is organic. We don't use chemicals--pesticides or fertilizers--but we get by with a little help from out friends. We have five-lined skinks, various insectivore birds, black racer snakes to eat rodents, geckos, dragonflies, wasps, spiders, toads, tiny tree frogs, ladybugs, praying mantises. They are my gardening assistants, my helpers.
It's so alive out there. But I've learned to wear gardening gloves and closed-toe shoes and long pants when I am working in the garden. I've never been bitten or stung by anything larger than fire ants, but I have to assume I am disturbing something's hunting grounds when I weed or harvest. Any friendly predator sightings out in your garden?
Oh - and our most recent resident? The big, female black and yellow garden spider that lurks (rather visibly) in the lima bean patch.
Black and Yellow Garden Spider, Argiope aurantia,
also known as the writing spider due to the heavy white zigzag pattern in the center of its web.
I hate spiders, as a rule, but this one is so pretty I react to it more like a butterfly. They're harmless to humans. And the bugs? They don't stand a chance.