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Insect Maneuvers

June 15, 2011

I spotted this guy flirting with the Cat Mint and then, fickle bee, the Cornflower.  We were pretty well kept in bees last year, and I’m anxious to revive our reputation as lunching grounds for rooftop pollinators.

Bee in the Nepeta

Bee piloting through the Nepeta

Bee in the Bachelor's Buttons

Bee in the Bachelor's Buttons

A caterpillar (inch worm?) devastates an unripe tomato last summer

A caterpillar (inch worm?) devastates an unripe tomato last summer

Insects come and go on the roof but their presence always confuddles me.  The sight of them on a hot rooftop in Bushwick, particularly the caterpillars, suggests a talent for mobility and a perseverance in the face of adversity that I am too profoundly envious of to properly understand.  How do they know we have plants?  Do their eggs lurk in the soil? Did they drop from the scabbed feet of the pigeons our neighbour keeps on his roof? Do they just drag themselves up the sides of the building?  It’s all too much to compute, so I just admire the bees and pitch the caterpillars off the roof (if they’re foolish enough to be caught mowing down my dill).

2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 18, 2011 5:01 pm

    You might identify the dill-eating caterpillers (try that caterpillar book that Suzannah has). The swallowtail butterflies use dill as a host plant. I look forward to future posts!

  2. August 17, 2011 12:04 pm

    Given the barren wasteland that is a Bushwick rooftop, the relentless heat & the lack of protection from wind (not to mention often having to negotiate with bldg owners/management to even get entry to the roof let alone do anything up there), this looks to be quite an accomplishment!

    Love all the info – e.g. I was wondering about the bees, noticed your plants look untouched by hungry insects like caterpillars etc so I’m enjoying moving through your entrees on insects etc & having these kinds of issues addressed. .

    This is a great incentive for me to move from the – buying a few potted plants & a tomato plant for my deck, then sitting back with my morning coffee & wondering why the lavender looks so droopy when I’m out there again after work (apparently it doesnt like to dry out? Note to self: remember to water plants in the morning) stage, to the beginning novice gardener stage…

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