Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ailanthus webworm moth on dahlia

Too lazy to pore over my bug guides, I e-mailed this photo to my trusty friend Mike, who ID'd the insect as an Ailanthus webworm moth (Atteva punctella). "One of my favorite little moths," he wrote. He said they are commonly seen this time of year on goldenrod. I want a better macro lens. Waaaaahhh! This is a species dahlia—D. atropurpureathat I bought from Old House Gardens this spring. It hasn't grown as much as I'd hoped. Maybe next year. It got knocked silly during T.S. Hanna last weekend—from the torrents, not the wind. We got 4.75 inches of rain on Sunday. Another 2 inches fell today.

The weeds are taking over now that there's moisture. That cybernetic organism nutgrass (keeps coming back, just like the Terminator) has invaded even more beds. It is creeping in from the lawn. Bermuda grass is snaking underneath the agave. I worked it a little bit and managed to avoid falling into the prickly pear cactus. I went out this evening and weeded in the drizzle for about a half hour—until my Keds got good and waterlogged. I came back in soaked and defeated. Nutgrass. Sigh.

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