After you cut out your own butterflies out of aluminum cans, you can use them in many creative ways. Here are a few ideas.
These butterflies were made by a middle school student. She is working on making a collection of them to flutter up her wall.
She choose to paint hers. Don’t they look sweet? Add antenna if you like.
Make them into a mobile. This was made by a friend.
Use them as ornaments. Here is one I made and it seemingly rests on my finger.
I attached some to my ceiling fan pulls to help remind me which is the fan and which is the light.
I like the idea of using them in the garden as garden art. Further, they can be attached to trees to help one navigate down a winding forest path.
To learn more about how these were made, you may want to see my post: aluminum-can-butterfly-candle-holder.
Japanese beetles Popillia japonica are native to Japan. They skeletonize the leaves of many of the plants in my gardens. Even if you are not a gardener, surely you have seen them before. For, they are ubiquitous.
This is Japanese beetle damage on my edamame plants.
Japanese beetles are really quite cool looking. I love the metallic green of its head and thorax. I’d really like these beetles if they didn’t much so heavily on my apple tree (and so many other plants).
This picture shows relative size.
I combat them by hand picking them off in the mornings when they are slower moving. I then feed them to my chickens; that snatch them up. If I don’t get them off in the morning, then I capture them in a jar that I keep handy. (I do this because the beetles will often fly away before the chickens can gobble them down.)
Mating Japanese beetles.
Over the past few winters, I’ve been finding increasing numbers of stink bugs coming in my Maryland home. The stink bug that I see almost exclusively is the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB). This stink bug is not native to Maryland or even the US. It is native to China, Japan and surrounding countries. The BMSB (Halyomorpha halys) is an agricultural pest. Its exploding population is a threat to our food production which if numbers can’t be controlled, will make the price of many fruits and vegetables rise considerably.
Learn more about this invasive species here.
Know the difference between this non-native species and our native stink bugs.
Many of our native stink bugs look similar to the BMSB. To be sure you found a BMSB, look at the antennae and around the perimeter of their back:
The antennae have alternating dark and light bands and when looking from the top, you will see dark and light banding along the edges of the abdomen. See photos.
I found these horned squash bugs Anasa armigera feeding on my squash and zucchini plants in June. They look similar to leaf-footed bugs but horned squash bugs have two small horns at the base of each antenna that leaf-footed bugs do not have. I hand pick them off or let one of my chickens do it for me.
They can be quite prolific.
I’ve known for a long time that you could eat daylily buds but just never tried them. I’m so glad I finally did.
I sautéed them in a frying pan with some butter and added a bit of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. They were delicious served over whole wheat vermicelli! They tasted like a cross between asparagus and zucchini.
Pick the buds when they are no bigger than about two inches long. Large pods can be bitter so I’ve read.
Add some flower petals (which are also edible) as a garnish.