Worms and Flowers

Bugalicious!! Another Crazy Papier Mache Project

Posted in How To by Lzyjo on May 2, 2009

Yesterday I was hoping to share some photos of my garden, the first in a weekly series, but it rained all day. Instead of going outside, I started a rainy day project. My most hated pests inspired by recent comments on garden pestilence and by another hobby of mine, origami, which I never have an excuse to mention on this blog. Bugs and origami have nothing to do with one another except for Robert Lang. I am a huge fan of Robert Lang, one of the premier origami artists, specializing in extremely realistic, animals, insects, mammals, and sea creatures. Do check out his galley. Mind-blowing!

Anyway, this is what I came up with. Four Godzilla style bugs of freakish proportions!
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Here are the rough sketches I made after looking at various photos of these bugs. Left to right. Squash vine borer, EEEEWW! Boll Weevil, AAAAAAAH!!!, Colorado Potato beetle, Bleug!!! and Squash vine borer, Blech!!!

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While raiding the burn box for newspaper and cardboard I found two of these perfectly bug-shaped cardboard thingy doodles! How lucky!!

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I started by cutting out cardboard forms shaped like the general “footprint” or outline of the body. Above is the squash bug armor.

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Colorado potato beetle. One big ball of newspaper with two smaller protrusions for the head. Simple!

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The boll weevil. This one may be my favorite so far. Not sure about these legs, so I slept on it and will try some reinforcements today.

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Squash vine borer without wings. I love the shingled body!! It went together quite easily with lightweight cereal box cardboard from caramel popcorn.

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And with wings. Can you tell I am having fun?!

Two-faced Spider and Walking Stick

Posted in Bugs by Lzyjo on December 25, 2008

Hey! What’s the stick on the foundation?! I always feel honored when I see a walking stick. After all, it’s not everyday that one sees this delicate sage-like creature.

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This guy has been living between the A/C compressor and our house. He’s so big he eats other spiders.

The coolest thing about this spider are his two faces. The photo below is his underside, which is perfectly colored to warn off any predators.

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It’s nearly impossible to tell which way he is facing, except the true back is more rounded with more yellow coloring.

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ETA: This spider is Argiope aurantia, commonly known as the black and yellow garden spider, or writing spider. The stabilimentum is an important identifier of this spider’s web. Although the purpose of the stabilimentum is disputed, only spiders that are active during the day use them. Some believe it provides a visual warning for animals too large to be captured by the web, while others contend it attracts insects. I think this particular spider is female, as their body can grow up to 1 1/2″ long, twice as large as the male. The female spins her web in a sunny field, or around outbuildings. Then she waits for the male to find her. Garden spiders breed once a year. The male will set up a separate web near the female’s and begin courting her by plucking the strings of her web. As seen in Isabella Rossellini’s Green Porno, the male spider sneaks up behind the female to slip his sperm into the female’s genital opening, which is called the epigyne or epigynum(if you look in the top photo you can actually see this spider’s epigynum, it looks like a brown circle on her underside). At this time of the year the spider has only a few months to lay her eggs and protect them, before the frost kills her. Next Spring, when the little baby spiders hatch, it will all begin again.

Butterfly!

Posted in Bugs by Lzyjo on December 24, 2008

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Every time I step outside there are tons of butterflies. I think I saw four different kinds and I wasn’t even trying.

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I take any sign of life as a good sign. There sure aren’t any butterflies flying over Nashville.

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