Bits ‘n Bobs



Nest of the Bagworm.

The Wattle bagworm (Kotochalia junodi) is a caterpillar that lives out its life in a mobile casing covered with thorns and twigs. The insect begins spinning its cocoon during the larval stage. As the caterpillar grows, it extends the front end of the case by adding more material. Due to their composition of thorns and twigs from the thorn trees they infest, the cocoon provides a natural camouflage that blends them into the background.
Southern Africa is the home region for the wattle bagworm, where they are common and often infest wattle plantations, which cover more than half a million acres (2,000 km²) in South Africa, primarily in the Province of KwaZulu-Natal. The caterpillars are controlled by the insecticide Btk or, for small infestations or localized impact, simply by hand-picking the cocoons from trees.
The females never leave the cocoons to become moths. The males emerge from their cocoons in June only long enough to fly about in search of a mate, dying soon after fertilizing a female. The females lie motionless while the males extend their abdomens into the female’s case to mate. Up to 1500 eggs are produced, but only a few survive the perils of their youth.
The wattle bagworm spreads in a unique way. After hatching as a caterpillar, the insect spins a silk thread and hangs from the end for a few days. The wind or a passing bird sometimes transports the caterpillar to another tree, spreading the species quite effectively.

Courtesy of Wiki.

…and now you know!

Back to the garden. The back garden to be precise!

Two shots of Butternuts in various stages of growth.


The smaller one is about the size of the average Baby Marrow one finds in Supermarkets out here – about an index finger and a half in length.

I’m letting the other one grow as much as it can, mostly to see just how big it will grow but also for a good crop of seeds for next season.

Experiment. Sweet Potatoes in a Pot. Seeing if I can produce a worthwhile crop.

Baxter chilling. I think the tongue is his way of telling me he really isn’t interested in playing ball.


Rain on its way.


Out and About… 

Jewel City? Really? Not quite the inner city gem in my opinion, but an interesting combination of colour.

”Take me higher.” That smoke ain’t no Marlboro!

On the way to the flower market to buy roses for an order. The most direct route is not the most scenic drive, but it occasionally offers some diverse photo opportunities.

Walking the Dog.

Up Mons Road

Autumn is definitely in the air , and also on the paths and roads. Ridge Road, a few days ago.

Klip Street.

I’ve mentioned before of the local municipality’s somewhat lackadaisical approach to  keeping things ‘clean and tidy’, well here it seems a few enterprising residents have hired their own ‘clean-up’ crew to sort out the pavement and verges outside their properties in Steyn street. Good for them!



19 thoughts on “Bits ‘n Bobs

  1. We grew zucchini one year in a outdoor planter box … and they got H.U.G.E.!!! One wonders if they will keep growing until bugs or weather bring them to a halt.

    Liked by 1 person

          1. His response? “I don’t remember.” sigh He didn’t grow any last year — and you know how memory is the first to go! Especially with us old folk.

            In any case, he said the one that was so “really, really big” (ala Ed Sullivan) was hidden under the leaves so he didn’t notice it right away. He guessed that it had probably been growing for about 2 to 2-1/2 months. The other thing he said is they seem to grow faster and bigger with lots of water.

            Hope that helps.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. I shall leave it as long as I dare – we are due frost in Jo’ burg mid April – and I will certainly make sure it gets lots of water.

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Around 3 -5 months, when the leaves begin to turn a bit yellow, or before the first frost ( if you get frost that is) I doubt you do where you are but we get frost at our altitude.
      I’ve never tried to grow them in a container before but I’m guessing the same rule applies?


        1. A year? Well, I think we can safely say they are ‘done’.

          Clear the vines first – the leaves can be eaten as an alternative to spinach, by the way. Nice, lightly fried in olive oil.
          Lightly dig around the patch with a fork, and try to avoid damaging the tubers, digging from the outside inward- If you can, clear away as much soil with your hands and lift the potatoes as you find them,. They will be there.
          Let them dry in the sun for an hour or so then you can take them indoors. If you want to store them, let the skins harden, or wash and prepare and eat straight away.
          I’ll be interested to know what you find under the soil.
          You can send me photos too, if you fancy?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. “They”? How many are we talking about here? The ground vine made it out to a 2 metre radius before I whacked it back.


          2. Not necessarily. It would depend on the conditions they were ”stored” (in the soil) You’ll have to dig them up to find out.
            Look at it as John’s Gardening Adventure. 🙂
            If nothing else, it will be a learning experience.

            Liked by 1 person

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