Sunday, May 23, 2010


It is turtle egg laying season again. Our dog practically broke my neck in her eagerness to check out this turtle on our embankment the other day. We made sure that dogs and children watched from a considerable distance. M commented, "Mommy, turtles lay eggs so slowly!" Yeah, well, it took some time for her to be born, too, as I recall...
We have lots of ladybugs this year. Unfortunately, I think it maybe because we have so many aphids.
And lots of other weird and wonderful bugs have been making an appearance recently, too. Also less wonderful is the start of mosquito and evil-orange-squash-destroying-bug season.
My husband took this photo of a bee. Luckily, we seem to have lots of these.
My husband also took this photo yesterday from our yard. Birds Birds Birds.
And, finally, it seems to be a bumper year for frogs. The girls find them all over the place. Big sister frog...
And little sister frog...
We even had a baby frog on the inside of our toilet window last night.


thefukases said...

wow, a veritable zoo!

I'd love to see a wild turtle. I think that'S one thing we don't get here!

do you get the horrible biting midges too? I think they're called buyu?

I had my first bite already. Not impressed!

Vicky said...

What lovely photos! And like Heather I'm jealous of the turtles. They don't live up here and when I go to Honshu it's always a thrill to see them. I did get some frogs in the garden last year which is odd as the nearest tanbo is about 3km away.

We have lots and lots of bumble bees this year, way more than last year which is a relief. I am wondering if that contributed to our rubbish harvest, along with all the rain and NO SUNSHINE. Hope it's all better this year.

Xana said...

We live next to a river so we have LOTS of turtles. In a few months we will have baby turtles. I found one in the hinge of the door to my classroom once, just in the nick of time. Almost got squished! I didn't realize they were so much less common in the colder areas. I think the ones from our river are mostly descended from pets (from the booths at the summer festivals) who were "set free" in the river. Poor things. They are not native to Japan, however, and are crowding out the local species.

We do not get horrible biting midges, thank goodness! We have terrible mosquitos (next to the river) which is plenty. My husband was bitten twice last night and it is only May. Lucky for L and I, my husband and M are way yummier. So we are okay as long as we stick near them. I think it must be that yummy O blood.

I do hand pollinate pumpkins and zucchini because I haven't had much luck leaving things to the bees, but the other fruit and veg seem to do okay. I haven't seen many bumble bees, mostly little tiny ones, and we had a killer bee nest on the roof of my classroom last year.

Claire said...

Never seen a wild turtle here either. Frogs are out in force though along with the slugs and orange beetle things. Do you have to get to the zucchini early in the morning to pollinate them? My crop was totally rubbish last year -any hints? BTW artichoke has already doubled in size. definitely too big for where it is!

Xana said...

Hi Claire,
I tried twice to reply to your thread on Gardening~in~Japan but it wouldn't post. Sorry about that.

I usually try to pollinate my zucchini and pumpkins by about 9am, and they are fine. You don't need to do it at the crack of dawn. And (unless you have a big field of them) it only takes a minute. In fact, maybe you can get your kids to do it. M likes to do it, but zucchini flowers are often harder to reach than pumpkin. Just pick the male flowers, peel off the petals, rub the pollen on the female flowers and you're done.