Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving Week 2014 - Including Our Attempt at Killing a Fire Ant Mound

We have had both very cold and warm days this fall.  Even though the plants are looking winter drab, we still have new and interesting things going on now.  Since the trees have been losing their leaves, we have to clean out the swimming pool filters more frequently.  We found this frog in our pool basket.  The water was SO COLD.

This frog is very different from the one I found in September 2014 - that frog was solid green, where this one is spotted.  I believe this frog is a "Plains Leopard Frog".  See link for a picture of the green frog:

We found this wooly caterpillar.  I believe it is the caterpillar of the giant leopard moth.  We did not touch it as we were concerned about getting stung.

Due to all the recent rains, the fireants have been building large mounds in the backyard.  Here is one in the blackberry patch.  We boiled a large stock pot of water and poured on it.

It is amazing that any of the ants lived through the boiling water, but they did.  The live ants brought all the dead ants out of the mound and placed them on the edge of the mound.  See picture below.

This is a close up shot of all the boiled alive dead ants.  I wonder how many ants survived?  Must have been a lot for them to have been able to bring up so many dead ants to the surface!

We found this centipede in our house - he was removed promptly to the outside.

On to the vegetable garden.  We have some broccoli that are starting to produce heads now.

I thought the summer heat had killed the artichoke plants however, they have "risen from the ashes" so to speak and are looking great this fall!

Blooming trailing rosemary - in late November!

Red Yaupon holly berries are out now.  Birds that eat these berries are bluebirds and other thrushes; woodpeckers; catbirds; thrashers; mockingbirds.

Here are the blue wax myrtle berries - I have learned that yellow rumped warblers eat these berries and I took a picture of one last year in my yard!  See post:

And finally - here is a picture of our Asian persimmon tree.  It has lost all its leaves now.  We picked most of the fruit, but left the fruit on top for the birds.