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Roach Leaf-Surfing in our Pond

If you need a laugh today look at this poor fellow.
Do you think the fish will put an end to his leaf-surfing?

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Strange Crab Spider - Photo


The spiky back of this spider reminds me of a crab shell.
My son took this photo in our yard this morning.
Can you identify this amazing spider?

Spiders are very beneficial in the garden.  They eat many insects including aphids, caterpillars, cucumber beetles, flies, grasshoppers, leafhoppers, plant bugs, and thrips. There are over 38,00 species  of spiders in America, that is a lot of helping fangs!
How do you encourage spiders to come stay in you garden? Plant tall plants for spiders to cast their webs on.  Flowers are also encourage spiders in the garden. Plant cover crops late in the summer so the spiders can have a site to overwinter their egg masses. Leaving a small portion of the garden mulched, for moisture , cover and this will create a place for the spiders to lay their eggs as well.  A great way to encourage spiders to stay in your garden is to plant a beneficial insect border or row.  Plant this in the spring for beneficial insects and do not till it under.  Spiders can lay their egg masses in this area and thrive there.  This will encourage your beneficial insect population as well and you will be killing two birds with one stone.

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Strange Spider in the Garden

Have you ever seen one of these?
Josh took this photo in our back yard this morning.
We see all kinds of beautiful creatures here in Central Florida but this
large spider is a first for us.
Can you identify her?

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Grow Giant Green Beans - Photos



My "Jumanji" vine did well this year. It grew from one huge bean.
Real Name: Canavalia ensiformis



It is actually the largest edible green bean, eaten all over Central America and Asia.


 Our bean pods were over 14 inches long.

The beans can be roasted and ground for a near identical coffee substitute or cooked like fresh peas or dry beans. The pods taste like broad beans (Italian green beans).

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