What 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. My plants were badly infested with these beetles.
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.Another look at the asparagus beetle.An assassin bug is my friend in times like these.
Want to know more?
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. Here you can see the tiny tadpole (above) and when it got a little bigger (below).
No legs yet.
Back legs!A 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.If 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.
This 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. This frog is absorbing its tail.Going 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.
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:
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.
This is a male spring frog we found one evening by following the sound of its blasting call.
(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.
Here you see: A Super Sonic Detector and its on/ off button
a Surveillance Bot147 and an Electronic Spyglass.
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.
I’m proud to say that about a year ago, Lifehacker featured one of my original designs: Cool Thumb-controlled Watering Pot Made with Recycled Materials. I didn’t realize until just recently. (Not sure how we missed it.)
I’m excited because Lifehacker is such a great sight.