1. 1.
    traveling from place to place, especially working or based in various places for relatively short periods.
    "the peripatetic nature of military life"
    synonyms:nomadic, itinerant, traveling, wandering, roving, roaming, migrant,migratory, unsettled
    "I could never get used to her peripatetic lifestyle"
  2. 2.
  1. 1.
    a person who travels from place to place.
  2. 2.
    an Aristotelian philosopher.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

NN/SOTS: Festival of the First Fruits (of the Summer Season)

I found these bugs having a party, a festival, yesterday afternoon on the first fruits of my yellow pear tomato plant. At first I thought they were assassin bug nymphs--something I've posted about before--which are beneficial insects for the most part, eating pests that chomp on my veggies and flowers. I say for the most part because they also fancy a fine meal like Caterpillar a l'orange Dog, and I now know that those bird-poo-like caterpillars are something special and not to be destroyed. At the citrus seminar I attended in Crestview several weeks ago, when the speaker suggested removal and disposal of the citrus-loving caterpillars, our extension agent spoke up for the poor things and suggested donating the orange dogs to the Panhandle Butterfly House. They grow into those magnificent giant swallowtail butterflies and are expensive to purchase. The speaker was surprised and a bit amused to hear that the Butterfly House would be thrilled to receive what most citrus growers consider a threat to their crop. As you can see here, citrus isn't exactly a trouble-free thing to grow. To get back to what I thought were assassin bugs, though, something did not seem right about these bright red bugs hanging out together and not trying to eat each other. I left them alone for two good reasons. One, it was getting ready to storm, and two, I didn't want to assume that they were on my plants for some evil purpose without doing a little more research.

I know what this stink bug can do to a plant. It will suck the juices right out of it, leaving nothing but dry bones. Would those bright red bugs take care of it for me? Not a chance. They are nymphs of the leaffooted bug, Leptoglossus phyllopus, not a good thing to find in the veggie garden, especially when I'm ready to start enjoying its first fruits of summer in this fine month of May. If I can't control them by picking them off one by one or shaking them en masse into a pan of soapy water, I guess I'll be sharing these first fruits. Of course, if you have any other suggestions, please share them with me, and we'll have something to feast on...

Green beans...

Bell pepper

I'd rather not use pesticides to control the pests. There are other assassins which visit the garden--besides the obvious ones--like my spider friend here. I hope she enjoys her own festival of first fruits and that she brings lots of friends to celebrate.

Please visit for this week's Nature Notes/Signs of the Season post and links to other bloggers' nature-related posts.


  1. Good morningi w2w, I share your methods of gardening. Much as I hate spiders, I make myself work alongside them (carefully:) I always grow an extra tomato plant for the tomato hornworms. Love those sphynx moths they become if left alone.

  2. I've been seeing those red bugs, too. Looks like your veggies are coming along nicely. Way to go!

  3. When I was a children, I remember we used to grow vegetables in our orchard. We used to cover each fruits in its flower form with papers so that no bug would sting it..

    Also thanks for ur comment in my blog..About the corporal punishment in Kerala.

    No, quite recently the government here has avoided such embarrassing punishment methods.

  4. Those leaffooteds must stay south of here, I've not seen them in these parts. We've got plenty of stink bugs though! It might be interesting to show some southern bugs at my next "The Good, The Bad, and The Bugly" presentation to let folks know the different kinds of creepy crawlies down in your neck of the woods. Would it be okay if I used your photo of the leaffooted bug you posted here? Of course you'd get full credit as photographer.

  5. Marnie, I used to be so afraid of spiders that I would climb up on a chair and yell for someone to smash it if I saw one in the house. Now I keep a jar handy to scoop it up and take it outside to the garden. I've tried growing extra plants too, but the caterpillars don't seem to understand the gesture. They chomp on all of the plants and require a little assistance to move where I want them to go.

    FB, I hope you don't have them on your plants! I'm hoping to get at least some of the tomatoes before the bugs devour them. I'm even picking them while they're still a little green.

    Tomz, there is special, lightweight cloth to keep the bugs away. I'm just too cheap to buy any, and besides, I think the bugs are interesting to study. I guess the garden is becoming more of a laboratory to me than anything else.

    TC, you're more than welcome to use any photos you like. I'd be honored. I wish you would get someone to record your presentation and maybe post it on YouTube.

  6. I knew I had seen these before! Probably on my veggies but most definitely on the prickly pear. Too cool! I'm going back to study the link now. Yup, we are right on with our methods on dealing with pests.

  7. We don't use chemicals either, and enjoy the beautiful bugs that come to visit - up to a point, of course.

    I really enjoyed your post!

  8. As always, an excellent post. So much fun to read and full of very interesting information! I love learning something new, esp. about bugs. ~karen

  9. It's so disappointing when we can't enjoy the fruits of our land.

  10. Great post, I guess there are some "good" bugs out there. Your have a wonderful garden and it is nice that you do not use chemicals or poisons.

  11. Hello W2W

    What a nice vegetable garden! Very interesting to find some veggies we don't have. I have never seen yellow pear tomatoes. I'm afraid of worms and bugs so I usually remove them with tweezers. And I'm so impressed that you use no pesticides!
    PS I enjoyed reading your May 7th post very much!

  12. I really enjoyed this post. I don't have much knowledge about gardening so I am happy to read that you can find a way to live with some of the insects without having to kill them all .... I have so much to learn...

  13. what an excellent photo of the bug party, shame that they're foe not friend. I avoid pesticides too but I have no advice for these bugs

  14. We had one day-long session on insects in my MG classes (and I imagine you did, too), which was fascinating. But it's hard to remember all that information when you find bugs in the garden! I think I'll be bringing my book out to the garden to help separate the good guys from the bad guys this summer:)

    Your veggies look great! I haven't even planted my tomatoes and peppers yet.

  15. wow...awesome garden! sooo naturally green..hehe...btw, nice close up shots of the bugs. And your Bell Pepper is just gorgeous...

  16. Amazing photo of your assassins! My biggest problems are squirrels, slugs and Japanese Beetles. We got rid of our wild raspberries that attract the beetles and drown the rest in soapy water. I agree that it’s better to avoid pesticides. Good luck beating yours!

  17. Meh, none 'a those things are as big 'a pest as I am, so what's the big deal?

    *LOL* Just kidding...about the big deal part...I'm still a pest!

    Just wanted to stop in and return the favor of your gracious appearance on my blog. Thank you very much for your kind concern and comments! (I've replied to you in case you didn't know).

    And by all means, long live Blogger! I too have another (hockey-related) blog on Wordpress, but Ol'B is still my favorite!


  18. What beautiful fruits and veggies you have. Hope the pest problem has been sorted.

  19. Thanks, everyone, for commenting and welcome, AJ in Nashville. I'm sorry that I've not been visiting as much as usual or replying to your comments. Working in the garden, volunteering, and getting ready to move to Tallahassee consumes most of my time these days. Things will settle down soon, I hope.

  20. Oh, I forgot to say welcome to Brian90! Hello and thanks for commenting.

  21. Happy Shavuot to you, too!
    As I'm reading this buggy party post, I'm eating green pepper slivers. Alas, we don't have our own garden, but your post reminds me of the vegetable garden from my youth and the comments my scientific parent would make (or concoct naturally) for the garden.
    I enjoy learning here. May your first fruits taste scrumptious!

    Please click here for my current post since my Google account has not blog attached to it


  22. aloha,

    i always let nature take it course with some small can't choose the good bugs, vs the bad bugs, but you can zap the bad ones with pepper/soap water!

    come and join me for the hot meme for the end of the month.

  23. Here are some tips I got from a gardening page on facebook (yes, I'm still on there--it does have a little usefulness other than annoying me!):

    1. Crushed egg shells or coffee grounds around the base of the plant will detour many insects

    2. Put about one tablespoon of chili powder and a couple cloves of chopped garlic in a pot of water and boild...strain and put in a spray bottle and spray everything with it (she didn't say how much water to use, though)

    Caveat emptor...I haven't tried any of these since they were just posted, but I plan to! I don't spray with chemicals either. The reason I grow my own is to avoid that.

    The flood set me back a little. Half my tomato plants perished from the overwatering and a couple other things just flat-out collapsed. I'm playing catch-up now. I even cheated and bought a rosemary plant from Home Depot!

    Yours are looking yummy!

    By the way, are you anywhere near the coast? I thought about you when they said the oil plume was moving near Florida :(

  24. Assassin bugs? You've got to be kidding. What a name. Reminds me of a nefarious group I'm reading about in the new history of The Crusades. They did political assassinations ( no citrus plants though) on prominent leaders such as Salidin and Richard the Lion Heart. :)

  25. Amazing bugs. It's interesting that you call them bell peppers and we call them capsicums.
    Sydney - City and Suburbs

  26. Hi, Gel, and I'm glad there was a fond memory connected with the post. Most of what I learned about gardening, well, life really, came from my scientific, philosophic parent. He was the best teacher, and the garden was the perfect classroom. Every time I work outside in the yard I think of him.

    Aloha, Noel! I'm sorry I missed the end of the month meme. I'll try to make it next time.

    Thanks, Clementine, for the tips. I think I've tried that chili powder trick before with little success, but maybe it's because I didn't use any garlic. Really, though, it might seem like inviting the bugs to a chili cookout! Just add some kidney beans and ground beef! As for your question about living near the coast, no, we live about 30 miles north of the beach, but it's disheartening all the same to know that the gunk is headed for that beautiful, white-sugar sand. Pensacola Beach was finally recovering from devastating hurricanes, and now this disaster. I do feel sorry for the people who live and work out there.

    Troutbirder, I'll bet you've seen the new Robin Hood movie. How does the historical perspective in the movie compare to the book you're reading?

    Hello, J Bar, and welcome. I was using the common name for peppers. It's funny, but I never think about using genus names for veggies! Thanks for reminding me.

  27. I came over here to see where you are and found I had missed this lovely post of yours!!!

    My garden pests right now are massive amts of aphids. I keep peeling them down and off the stems and black eyed pea pods, but then have to repeat daily! Tomorrow they are getting sprayed with an oil/soap/water mixture and strinkled with garlic powder!

    Hope you are having a fun summer so far!