Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Paper Wasps

I usually like lots of insects in our garden, but not this one!  This is an 'Asian Paper Wasp' nest.  The wasps sting and they also eat caterpillars.  I noticed we didn't have many Monarch Butterfly caterpillars this year.  I went looking for nests and I found this big one on a wall.  After taking the photo, I sprayed it with flyspray.

Here's a little Monarch Butterfly caterpillar feeding on a 'swan plant'.  The caterpillars grow to about 5cm long, then they form a chrysalis.  After a couple of weeks the butterflies come out.  When they come out of the chrysalis they are bright and beautiful.

Here's a Monarch Butterfly feeding on an orange cosmos flower.  We plant lots of flowers for butterflies.  They especially like the orange cosmos plants, they must have good nectar.  Can you see it's tongue poking into the flower?  This one is quite old, it's wings are faded and damaged.

I will look for more wasp nests tomorrow!

Friday, 18 January 2013

Summer Vegetables

In summer there are lots of vegetables growing in the garden.  Our tomatoes are ripe and we have lots of beans, green peppers, 長ネギ and courgettes.  This is our bean patch, every day we pick some beans.  My wife planted them, she is good at growing vegetables!

We grow two kinds of beans.  You can see some are green and some are yellow.  The yellow beans are sweeter, the green ones have more flavour.  It only took a few minutes to pick all these beans!  Actually we also have soybeans which are almost ready, and for fun I grew some azuki beans too!

These are courgettes, sometimes they're called 'zucchinis' too.  We pick them when they are this size.  If you leave them they grow huge!  When they get big they are called 'marrows'.  They taste best when they are small.  Courgettes and beans taste good together!

Here's lunch!  I made a stir fry with beans, courgettes, green pepper, 長ネギ with ginger and garlic.  I also added some Korean 'ssamjang' paste.  We love picking vegetables and eating them =).  What are your favourite summer vegetables?