Home-made Witch’s Broom for Halloween Costume Prop or Décor

Witch Broom Against Tree

This super easy to make witch’s broom is made of a tree branch (the handle) and thin branches that were collected after a bush was pruned. The broom in the picture is made of the reddish wood of a silky dogwood bush. All I did was gather the twigs, trim them to a similar length and tie them to the broom handle. Perfect for a costume or for Halloween decorating.

Witch Broom leaning against old barn

Asparagus Beetles in My Garden

Asparagus Beetle Dorsal View Size ComparisonWhat is this bug that is black with off white spots on its wings, as well as some reddish parts and is crawling on my asparagus plants?! -You ask.

Unfortunately you have the common asparagus beetle, Crioceris asparagi.Asparagus Beetle Infestation My plants were badly infested with these beetles.

Asparagus Beetle Damage on aspraragus plant

What to do? I pick them off. Check your plants daily. Better yet watch for eggs on the spears and pick them off. This is the first year that I had a problem with these insects and I will be on the lookout next spring.

Plants damaged from the common asparagus beetle.Asparagus Beetle climbed on JapaneseAnother look at the asparagus beetle.This Assassin Bug might be your friendAn assassin bug is my friend in times like these.

Want to know more?

http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/asparagus-beetle-organic-control-zw0z1301zkin.aspx#axzz36z2rC3Ib

 

Raising A Spring Peeper: Tadpole to Frog

Spring Peeper tiny New on finger

Watching the transformation from tadpole to frog is so fun to watch. I’ve been raising different kinds of frogs for a while now but this was my first spring peeper. The egg that I was lucky enough to find was super tiny. I found it in a roadside ditch filled with water. It was an area near my house that I’ve seen (and heard!) adult spring peepers during breeding season. This is between February and June. They lay eggs individually and attach them to submerged aquatic vegetation. This is in contrast to other frogs of Maryland that lay their eggs in clumps or strands.Spring Peeper Tiney Tadpole Here you can see the tiny tadpole (above) and when it got a little bigger (below).

Spring Peeper Tadpole No LegsNo legs yet.Spring Peeper Back Legs

Back legs!Spring Peeper RaisingA frog raising container can be anything with a wide mouth. What I mean is that you don’t want something shaped like a glass. You want something with proportionally more surface area. This baking dish worked well.Spring Peeper FeedingIf the lettuce that you are feeding your tadpole(s) starts to rot, take it out. Add fresh food.

Add small pieces of lettuce at a time to prevent soiling the water.

Change out half of the water in the container as needed. Usually every other day but more frequently as they grow and if you have multiple frogs. Replace the water with clean room temperature water. Make sure you don’t add water with bleach in it.

Use a turkey baster to suck up the nasty water and feces that accumulates at the bottom of the container.

Spring Peeper Legs N TailThis spring peeper crawled out of the water. Make sure you have a cover on your container when they start growing legs. You don’t want them to get lost in your house. Spring Peeper Shrinking TailThis frog is absorbing its tail.Spring Peeper Absorbed TailGoing going gone!

Here is the link to my post on raising green tree frogs. Here you will find more tips on raising small frogs.

I hope this post has inspired you to want to raise your own frogs. Best of luck.

 

Frog Hunting in Maryland: Have Fun Searching for Spring Peepers

Spring peepers are noisy little frogs. You can hear them calling their mates early in the spring. A fun thing to do is to go out on a warm spring evening after a rain and look for them. Bring a flashlight and continue looking after dark. All you have to do is follow the sound!

See the dark x on its back? This mark will help you distinguish a spring peeper from other frogs.

Spring peeper (Pseudacris crucifer) calling

Learn more about spring peepers at this website from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources:

Spring Peeper Size Comparison with garden hose I love these little frogs! Look at the skin under its chin. You can see the folds of extra skin needed for its vocal sack.Spring Peeper Climbs rusty garden stake

Spring Peeper PeeksThis is a male spring frog we found one evening by following the sound of its blasting call.

Have Fun Making Your Own Time Traveler Gadgets: Dr. Who Inspired

JadesLocatorO(Here you see a portable Detector Device3B.)

Have a blast making your own time traveler devices. These were inspired by the show Dr. Who on PBS. Children will love creating their own gadgets: all they need is junk parts and imagination!

My clever daughter made these gadgets and she started by raiding my robot making box. This box is a box filled with parts of broken items that I thought could look good as part of a robot. She used a hot glue gun but younger children will likely need you to do the gluing to their specifications.

I hope this will help get your creative juices flowing.

Make your own Dr Who Gadgets

Here you see: A Super Sonic Detector and its on/ off button

a Surveillance Bot147 and an Electronic Spyglass.

DrWhoGadgetsAO

Here you see a portable Detector Device 3B and a Medical Scanner 919 (can detect disease)

an Electronic Lighter (extinguishes light or illuminates the immediate vicinity) and a Sonic Toothbrush (picks up particles and analyses them).

Not only do you get to invent gadgets, you also get to work out their capabilities.