Happy May 1st – Red Peony Bloom Buds

Looks like my red peony will have some healthy blooms soon. The ants are working the blooms pretty good.
Supposedly, peonies need a lot of sunshine and don’t need ants on them to bloom. However, I’ve learned over my many decades of trying to grow them, that the varieites like this one would have a lot of bloom buds shrivel away if they didn’t get much attention from ants or other insects and bugs.
My old white peony bushes out in the yard has only one viable bloom bud between 7 of them and they get plenty of sun. Early on each bush had several bloom buds but no ants insects nor lady bugs. Sure enough, all the bloom buds shriveled away but 1.
Happily, this red peony is giving a great promise of several blooms.
(If the wind doesn’t flatten them to the ground first.)

Wishing you all a month of sunshine and smiles.


Male Cow-Killer Ant


Male Red Velvet Ant

redvelvethMy photo for the ‘2015 WP Weekly Photo Challenge – Vivid’ is a female cow-killer or red velvet ant. In the post I mentioned that they’re actually wasps. The female is a wingless wasp and has a painful sting.
The male looks similar to the female only with black wings and the males doesn’t sting.
The male in the photo is the first one that I’ve had the opportunity to photograph. He’s a smidge smaller than the female and quite fast with his wings.

*You can read more about red velvet ants at Orkin’s website:

Wildlife Wednesday – Ants

5-2-2016-antsA few weeks ago, we had an invasion of large black ants. They were on our back porch and had started coming into the house… so we went to the store and read a few ant control products. We decided on the one where the ants go in and get a snack and then go back to the nest and through the course of normal ant behavior other ants in the colony dies out.
After about a week, pretty much the ants all disappeared. It’s a relief not to have to worry about the ants invading our home.

Here’s a video that I took of the feeding station of the ants feeding and leaving.

Wishing you all a pest-free Wednesday!