Friday, September 2, 2011
Don't Know My Eggs From my Aphids
Almost without notice, our activities have shifted toward getting ready for next year's garden. While clearing out the residue from the second planting of peas, a young milkweed plant was pulled and placed in the weed bucket. A large number of golden eggs caught my eye but I placed the entire plant in the bucket. The chance that I may have inadvertently trashed monarch butterfly eggs haunted me. Monarchs are described as laying their eggs thinly on many different plants. What I saw on the milkweed stem was a large number of eggs. Finally the milkweed stem was removed from the weed bucket and tied to a standing milkweed plant. I had to give the eggs a chance to hatch.
A picture seemed appropriate to record my actions. While taking the picture I had noticed ants working the eggs. I figured that some of the eggs would be eaten by the ants. Examination of the picture revealed that the eggs were actually aphids. The camera sees much more than my old eyes. It plainly shows the length I went to in order to save aphids and ants from the indignity of the compost bucket. We have never claimed to actually know what we are doing.