Garden Photo of the Day

What’s Bugging Jeff?

a daredevil wasp 

Jeff plays a little eye-spy with his thriving insect population. And tomorrow, we'll see what's bugging Tim. 😉

"I rarely rarely spray any sort of insecticide in the garden except for scale-I will do anything to annihilate them. I am fortunate to have a thriving insect population throughout all season long. If you move slow enough you can spy some amazing things."

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Echinops with a rare honeybee

finally a butterfly sitting still 

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  1. User avater
    HelloFromMD 01/12/2016

    Wow, Jeff I'm amazed you even saw the butterfly in the next to last photo due to camouflage. I really enjoy the insect life in the garden, too. Happy new year.

    1. jeffgoodearth 01/12/2016

      Nancy, I like to color coordinate all my bugs

      1. terieLR 01/13/2016


  2. user-4691082 01/12/2016

    What insect is on the Callicarpa Americana ? Great photography, by the way!

    1. jeffgoodearth 01/12/2016

      that is a very ragged Cicada nearing death (notice it's tattered wings),,,,,,,,,,,,and thanks!

  3. Jay_Sifford 01/12/2016

    Lovely shot of summer in the middle of January. Thanks!

    1. jeffgoodearth 01/12/2016

      Jay, I have been cold for way too long

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 01/12/2016

    Oh, my...joke's on me...I gave that second to last picture extra scrutiny because I couldn't spot the insect. Once I read Nancy and Jeff's comments and looked back up at it, the butterfly couldn't be missed...duh. Hard to pick a favorite although I relish any opportunity to see your beautiful pitcher plants, Jeff...with bugs or without! Do they (the pitcher plants) totally die back with the first frost?

    1. jeffgoodearth 01/12/2016

      nope, they remain upright and with vivid colors. if we have heavy/wet snow they get broken. I clean them up in spring to begin anew. you really need some, Mike

      1. User avater
        meander_michaele 01/12/2016

        Wow, I would have never guessed that such exotic looking, colorful foliage stays up in freezing temps. I would have thought that it dissolves away like hosta leaves. Well, you are more right than ever...I do need some!

    2. laurelmagrini 01/12/2016

      Haha! Then that butterfly is successfully camoflagued!

  5. katieerb 01/12/2016

    I love the photos, a good reminder of why we should not be using chemical sprays in our yards.

  6. diane_lasauce 01/12/2016

    Nice shots!

  7. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/12/2016

    Great minds think alike, Jeff. I'm sure that I'll be accused of copying you tomorrow! :)
    These are such great shots. I love bugs; at least the beneficial ones. I always get excited when I see a real honeybee in the garden; the most recent articles I've read say that the wild (not native, though) honey bees aren't in any real danger: just large colonies and commercial operations.
    Hands-down, my favorite photo is the Sarracenia. Amazing shot and such great detail of the downward-pointed hairs on the inside! I hope my little pitcher plants I bought this year bulk up next.

    1. jeffgoodearth 01/12/2016

      Sarracenia , at least here, have always fattened up quickly. The pitchers are cool but the flowers are other worldly. Great minds? or are we both in possession of the same kind of crazy?

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/12/2016

        Unfortunately I'm going to have to choose Crazy for $200, Alex, and hope it is the Daily Double......

  8. annek 01/12/2016

    Your posts are always so much fun, Jeff. Great photography and charming guests to your garden (well, most of them). By the way, what do you use to annihilate your garden of scale?

    1. jeffgoodearth 01/12/2016

      I rarely have scale and I have banished most susceptible plants from the garden (except burning bush that's the ONLY Euonymous here) I have used horticultural oil in late winter usually. I have in the past used Dysyston but stopped that a long time ago finding that a mix of rubbing alcohol and water (3 to 1 ratio) with a few drops of Dawn works just as well as the other.

      1. annek 01/12/2016

        Thanks! I'll try your formula?

      2. User avater
        meander_michaele 01/12/2016

        Love that formula much less intimidating that doing something with dormant oil. Thanks for asking, Killian, because I wanted to know also.

        1. jeffgoodearth 01/12/2016

          it has worked for me hope you have the same success

      3. sheila_schultz 01/12/2016

        The only issue with scale we have is Oyster scale on my front Aspen. My tree guy suggested a soapy water spray as opposed to dormant oil, but he didn't mention adding rubbing alcohol. It's definitely worth a try! I'm thinking I should start buying rubbing alcohol by the case, I seem to go through a lot this time of year spraying my succulents.

  9. GrannyMay 01/12/2016

    Any excuse to see your Sarracenia is a good one! They are gorgeous! It is a positive sign to see lots of bugs in the garden. Good for you for not using insecticides. Anything that has a cautionary label is something I would not want to add to my environment.

    1. jeffgoodearth 01/12/2016

      May, I tolerate a little damage in the garden and I don't expect every leaf to be perfect. seems when people start to spray just a little,,,,,,,,,,,,,,they are hooked because all the good bugs are dead too. it's a vicious cycle

  10. GrannyCC 01/12/2016

    Great pictures Jeff. My 7 year old Grandson loves Sarracenia and bugs so I will have to show him your pictures. He has his Sarracenia in a bog garden in a metal wash tub so we are hoping they will come back this Spring.

    1. jeffgoodearth 01/12/2016

      they will come back and of course venus fly traps are always fun

    2. jeffgoodearth 01/12/2016

      here is a photo (I didn't take this) that your grandson might like. it's a fun visual I think

      1. GrannyCC 01/12/2016

        Thanks Jeff

      2. GrannyMay 01/12/2016

        That Volkswagon bug is a favourite!

      3. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 01/12/2016

        Love this!

  11. sheila_schultz 01/12/2016

    The sun is shining outside my window and now I'm looking at these wonderful images of your beauty's and their bees (sorry, I couldn't resist)... I'm pretending it really is Spring! Thanks Jeff!

    1. jeffgoodearth 01/13/2016

      beauty and the bees :) you always give me a chuckle

  12. schatzi 01/12/2016

    When I became a master gardener 22 years ago, I belatedly learned to appreciate insects. One of our wonderful professors was a very enthusiastic entomologist who taught me a lot. Your pictures are great, as usual, Jeff. Looking forward to Tim's, tomorrow. Especially love the butterflies, or as I call 'em, flutterbies.

    1. jeffgoodearth 01/12/2016

      don't forget,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,snakes are good too

      1. schatzi 01/13/2016

        After many years of snake phobia, I have reached an accommodation with garter snakes, but anything larger is welcome to stay out of sight. With the garter snakes, if I inadvertently disturb one sunning, I apologize as it scurries away! Several years ago I covered my compost pile to keep the rain out and gained lots of slugs and mice in it. Then one day I went out to add some stuff to the pile and disturbed the biggest garter snake I have ever seen! And lo and behold - no slugs, no mice! Unfortunately, he moved on but probably not too far. I seem to have lots of garter snakes in the garden every year. They are really kind of pretty. And I love that they eat slugs and mice. Spiders are also roundly despised, but they are great predators too. Unfortunately they are not selective. I hate to see a bee in their web. But that's nature.

        1. jeffgoodearth 01/13/2016

          snakes still startle me when I happen upon one unexpectedly. I have a green snake that lives on the east side of the house among the succulents in summer. I don't see black snakes until I see/hear frogs in the pond and then,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,the snakes arrive

  13. thevioletfern 01/12/2016

    I love all the life in your garden Jeff! One of my favorite things about gardening is discovering new visitors.

    1. jeffgoodearth 01/13/2016

      the grandson and I stalk the insects here in the yard and when the packsaddles arrive,,,,,,,,,,,,,we become even more observant. those things HURT

  14. greengenes 01/12/2016

    Good morning! These are all so beautiful! Great shots and good advise! Slow down to smell the roses!, to see the butterflies and bugs! This is such a lifter on a dark and dreary northwest kind of day! Thanks!

  15. Meelianthus 01/12/2016

    Beautiful photography Jeff ! and amazing flying creatures. We don't get many butterflies here, what a thrill for you!

    1. jeffgoodearth 01/13/2016

      there aren't nearly as many butterflies here as there once was. i'm trying to plant more things they like

  16. willysmom 01/12/2016

    Thanks for such great photos, Jeff - insects on plants are one of my favorite photo subjects. And thanks, too, for the scale spray recipe. But, everyone, please be careful with this if used as a spray: alcohol (even diluted) with any amount of soap added can kill ANY insect if it lands directly on them in a sufficient amount. It is also very toxic to aquatics of all kinds, so please don't use it anywhere near natural water. I fight scale, too, but luckily only on houseplants where I can touch each one with alcohol on a swab; obviously this doesn't get the "crawlers" stage of scale, so I will try the spray indoors. Thanks again!

  17. perenniallycrazy 01/13/2016

    Cool photos Jeff! I'm being to see the tie-in between your love for horticulture and your former occupation - entomology! Ever consider it as a secondary career? Then you can teach us to erradicate unwanted critters in our garden too.

    Amazing patience and timing too BTW. I don't think it was easy to take most of these shots. Thank you!

    1. jeffgoodearth 01/13/2016

      I did spend quite a bit of time just sitting very still . the trick was finding time to do it when Nic wasn't around

  18. wGardens 01/13/2016

    Love your close-up photos, Jeff. Looking forward to tomorrow's photos. Always love seeing your gardens through your camera!

  19. User avater
    LindaonWhidbey 01/13/2016

    Great photos, Jeff. You've combined two things that I appreciate, beautiful plants and beautiful bugs, but I also appreciate that the very beautiful Japanese Beetle does not live where I live....yet.

    1. jeffgoodearth 01/13/2016

      Linda, we were once literally covered up in Japanese beetles but then,,,,,,,,,,,their population seemed to collapse. we still have them just not enough to be a real problem. I did learn that they LOVE rhubarb so it was banished from the property

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