Sunday, March 21, 2010

Cherry Limonade Beverage Recipe :: Easy and Refreshing

Try this refreshing drink to quench your thirst.

After hiking or biking the trails there is nothing more refreshing than a Cherry Limónade. It's so easy to whip up and it's addictive!

Here's my recipe:

Cherry Limónade Drink Recipe by Biologie.
Serves 1.

  • 1 Cup ice
  • 1/2 Cup Limeade
  • 12 0z can of Cherry 7up or similar soda pop (diet or regular)
  • 1 maraschino cherry
  • 2-3 slices fresh lime

  1. Add one cup of ice to a 20-ounce Mason jar.
  2. Pour limeade over the ice, add flavored soda pop and stir.
  3. Top the drink off with a cherry and fresh lime slices.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Buggin' Out On Thursdays :: Mystery of the Bug Butts

Found! Bug butts sticking out of some dried mud on a fence post has me stumped! What were they doing there? Are those wasps butts? Did they nestle in from the cold and get frozen in time? How bizarre!

It's Buggin' Out On Thursdays!

Here's a close-up (below) of one of them sticking out of the mud.

What is it?

What kind of bugs have you seen lately?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My Veggie Garden :: Attempt Two

Photo: Raised Bed Veggie Garden © Biologie.

My raised bed vegetable garden is now a total of 36 square feet. That's still small but at least I have a little more room to work with than I did last Fall. I planted my new Spring vegetable garden on Monday and tied a soaker hose along the top of the beds. After I had it all hooked up I realized it would have made more sense to line the soaker hose along the inside of the beds so I might re-do all that before the plants really start taking off.

Last fall I planted a pesticide-free vegetable garden of mostly squash. My beautiful and healthy squash plants were devastated by squash vine borers. I even took a picture of one of the adult moths (pictured left) sitting on my squash leaf and wondered what kind of bug it was but I forgot to identify it, to my later chagrin.

The vines went from thriving and blooming big gorgeous flowers to withered and dying, practically overnight. The squash plants had been attacked from within by the larvae of the squash vine bugs and I couldn't see the damage until it was too late! The adult female lays her eggs at the base of the plant and when the larvae hatch they burrow inside the stem and begin eating the plant alive from the inside! After they are finished with the buffet, they exit the stems and work their way into the ground to pupate and emerge the next spring to start the cycle all over again.

To manage the menace of squash vine borers, the first step is to know what the adults look like and keep an eye out for them. Organic controls are outlined at the National Sustainable Agricultural Information Service: Squash Bug and Squash Vine Borer.

I'm spraying the new transplants with a home-made organic pepper spray recipe my dad uses on his garden. I'm not sure if it will keep the borers at bay but it does help keep off the bugs that like to chomp the leaves.

Organic Pepper and Garlic Spray

  • dishsoap
  • several cloves of garlic
  • 6-10 hot peppers (hotter the better!)
  • 1 gallon water

Place garlic, peppers and a small amount of your water in a blender/food processor and puree. NOTE: Avert your face when you take the lid off because the fumes are very strong. Strain the mixture and add the liquid to your gallon of water.

When you are ready to use the solution on your garden, fill up a spray bottle, add 2 tsp dish soap, shake and spray every few days on the tops and undersides of plants and leaves until the pests are under control.

Shake well before each use.

Here's my newly planted Spring 2010 Veggie Garden!
My Spring 2010 Veggie Garden Mosaic
Wish me luck and Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

BlueBonnets :: The State Flower of Texas

First Bluebonnet of Spring 2010!

The Bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis) is the state flower of Texas. They are just now starting to bloom in my backyard. I hope we have a ton of them this year. Last Spring we had very little rainfall so I didn't get very many.

I love these pretty blue flowers which grow in a spiked cluster, each one shaped like a little bonnet. When the individual blooms are pollinated, the white centers of the flowers turn a pinkish red.

Bluebonnets also come in colors of pink, white, and Texas A&M maroon! I've only had the blue ones growing naturally in my backyard and wouldn't consider scattering the seeds of the other colors because my favorite one is the blue.
"It's not only the state flower but also a kind of floral trademark almost as well known to outsiders as cowboy boots and the Stetson hat. The bluebonnet is to Texas what the shamrock is to Ireland, the cherry blossom to Japan, the lily to France, the rose to England and the tulip to Holland." -Jack Maguire, historian

Documenting the wildflowers that are coming up in my backyard this Spring is so much fun! I can't wait to see what's next.

Here's what's been springing up so far:

Spring 2010 Backyard Wildflowers

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Buggin' Out On Thursdays :: A Little Side Tour

It's Buggin' Out On Thursdays!

Buggin' Out is a weekly blog post about the creepy crawlies in my life. I like bugs and love to take macro photos of the ones I find in my backyard (and occasionally a few home invaders like Peaches The Crab Spider). I try my best to identify and research the insects I photograph and share all the Bug Wonderfulness with you. It's a virtual bug collection! This house is a no squish zone and most pests are "released back into the wild", i.e., moved outdoors using the glass jar, paper magazine technique of which I am an expert at these days!

Today, I'm going off the grid a little bit. The theme is still bugs, of course, but these are made of metal. My mom and dad gave me a little basket of goodies for Valentine's Day which included a cute bee and butterfly tea light holder set plus a heavy iron FLY! I named him Frederick and he's currently my most favorite paperweight of all time. I thought it was cute that my mom picked these out for me in lieu of my new hobby and this weekly blog series.

Frederick The Iron Fly

What kind of bugs have you seen lately?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Little Fairy-land Lilies :: The Wildflowers Are Waking Up!

Spring Lilies

If you've been following my Twitter page you may have noticed I'm documenting all the Spring wildflowers that come up in my backyard. The second ones to come up are these adorable Lilies which turn the yard into a little fairyland! They are tiny and look like wild onion or garlic, however, I think they are "false garlic" (Nothoscordum bivalve) based off of information from my Twitter friend, USWildflowers. These cute flowers remind me of my little niece, Lily.

In other news, yesterday I spent a huge chunk of the day making a new banner for my Etsy shop. The old one looked just like the banner I have here at the top of my blog. The new one is more streamlined (I think) but I'm not sure if I'm finished tweaking it. Please let me know what you think: Pop over and have a look at my new Etsy banner

Is it too bright? Just right? Does it match my shop? Should I go back to more muted colors? I'd like to hear your thoughts!

Oh, by the way, in case you were curious - the first wildflowers to come up in my backyard were yellow primroses. You can see a picture on my Twitpic page if you'd like! In addition, I also found a perfect dandelion puff!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Buggin' Out On Thursdays :: Crabby Spider Promises She's Not Shelob's Sister

Peaches The Ground Crab Spider
Xysticus species

"Don't squish me! I look wicked like Tolkien's Shelob but I'm not interested in biting you or Frodo!"

I was sweeping the kitchen floor the other day when I looked down at my little pile of dirt and spied a very creepy looking spider. A little yelp of surprise escaped from my lips and I went into fight or flight mode for a second but the spider just sat there quietly. From my vantage point I thought it might be a Mutant Giant Tick like one you'd see in an old Sci-Fi Flick! Yikes. Then I thought maybe she was Shelob's baby sister. Again, yikes.

Once I figured out the "thing" wasn't going to come skittering after me like a ravenous monster it didn't take long before I had slipped a sheet of paper under her and placed a glass jar carefully over her so I could get a closer look. The spider remained very still. Not long after that and I had removed the jar and started taking macros so I could run to and see what everyone thought about my new "bug".

Mandy at BugGuide was very helpful - she's Spiderwoman! She mentioned the star of today's blog post is a spider whose species has not yet been identified in the guide. My spider and the rest of her species are a uniform peachy red (in low light she may even look brownish until you get her out in the sun). I learned the only way to truly identify a spider at the species level is to have an entomologist study the adult spiders "private parts". The appropriate term for this on a female spider is the epigynum (to learn more check out this short article at Museum Victoria). I sure wish I had taken some underbelly shots of my buddy, Peaches, so I could help identify her species for the guide. Maybe next time!

Here are four fast facts about ground crab spiders:
  • They are not poisonous to humans
  • They aren't normally found in the home and hunt outdoors
  • Rather than spin a web, they lay in ambush for prey to pass by
  • Crab spiders can walk forwards, backwards, or sideways - just like a crab!
It's Buggin' Out On Thursdays!

What kind of bugs have you seen lately?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Prince The Toad

Meet Prince the Toad!

He wants to be your Prince Charming. Get him here!

My mom and I went to the bead show on Sunday and I found so many beads! I could have easily gone completely crazy buying up the entire place. It's bead heaven. There were a lot of people there too, even though we arrived late.

I made this satin cord and lamp work glass bead necklace (starring the toad - Prince) on Monday and couldn't wait to get his picture taken so I could list him in my shop. You can see my dog Darcy in the background, I think she wanted to eat him because she's licking her chops!

Monday, March 1, 2010

I Can Haz Cheezburger presents: Darcy as the Slipper Ninja

Darcy peeking inside to see if she can snag one of my slippers. Perfect shot of my sweet doggie for a Lolz Caption.

To make your own go to Make Cheezburgers!