What is That? The Shaggy-Legged Gallinipper.
May 14, 2020: These days everyone wants to just get out and get on with their summer fun (except for those of us in AZ who are entering our self-imposed, heat-avoiding annual lockdown); but, remember there are hungry creatures out there waiting anxiously for your return. Case in point: The Shaggy-Legged Gallinipper (SLG). If you think this sounds like something you might hear on a show like "Moonshiners", you aren't far off. "Gallinipper" is an heirloom Southern term for an exceptionally large insect with a frightening bite. Which this is and it has hairy legs.
So, what is this bug? It's a mosquito (Psorophora ciliate), but not your average skeeter. It's unusual in many ways. First of all, the SLG is big (as you've no doubt deduced) - like 3 to 6 times as big as a typical mosquito. It's fairly rare and does not appear unless there has been abundant wet weather. It's also an aggressive carnivorous predator that prefers other mosquitoes as prey, but does not limit itself to them. On the up side, it's not a vector for disease transmission to humans...Read More >>
May Flowers Are Here Again
May 8, 2020: We all know the time-worn adage about April showers and May flowers, but in these pandemic times it seems to be a metaphor for what we are all going through. Troubles rained down on us in April, but in May hope for better days is blooming. Mother Nature is moving forward, with or without Covid-19, and she's giving us beautiful flowers to enjoy as we work our way into our new reality.
Before I get into all the flowers of May, I'd like to address the one that carries May in its name: the Mayflower (not to be mistaken for the ship that the pilgrims sailed on). Mayflower blooms spring from a creeping shrub found in undergrowth all along the East coast of North America. Their dainty white or pink flowers have a delightfully sweet scent and nectar that pollinators flock to. It is also known as Trailing Arbutus and is the state flower of Massachusetts. Read More >>
National Gardening Day in a Locked-Down World
April 13, 2020: Covid-19 has struck and nothing is the same. Most people these days would agree with that statement, but it's not entirely true. Nature has continued on unchanged. In fact, the virus itself came from Nature (not in a lab); scientific studies are clear on this (sorry, conspiracy theorists). Here is what scientists at the Scripps Research Center learned about this unique virus. There are many people who believe Covid-19 welled up from Nature as a cleansing plague to right all our environmental wrongs. It is hard to establish that as fact as Nature does not have intent - it just does its thing. And what it's doing now is producing Spring. Spring means it's gardening time and so we mark National Gardening Day on April 14th.
April here at ARBICO is usually a busy time, but this year is especially busy. People are becoming more and more tuned in to where their food comes from and interested in producing it themselves. The same can be said for growing flowers and other plants simply for their beauty. We are rising to the demand... Read More >>