Saturday, 16 May 2009

Duh ? morning .. and get those ants off me !!

This morning was truly one of the biggest DUH ? mornings I have had in a while.
I was up to see if I could catch a nice sunrise and to my great surprise we were due for rain and thunder storms most of the day .. but .. it hadn't started yet when I sneaked out the deck door to take some garden pictures .. all the while in total ignorance that I had a smudge from hell on my camera lens ( I use that description because it is one of those smudges you can't quite notice until you down load) and by then it is too late.
I'm finding my new camera is great long distance but some how .. and this is the incredible part .. I'm not getting the clarity for plant pictures that I did with my older one ..
I have so much work to do in the garden I can't quite figure out what to do about the situation other than thank the fates I still have my old one and it works the way it works .. lesson .. do not pass on your old camera to some one else until you truly know it is what you should do ?
So .. whats up with the picture you may well ask ?
I feel like my peony ..... overwhelmed by lots of tiny twinges (aka ants, but we won't go there) .. brain farts ? stalled thinking ? cloudy thought process ?
SMUDGED under the old skull cap ?? ...
The remedy will be lots of physical work in the garden to blow out the cobwebs and organize my inner workings ..
Hold on Penny Peony !! the ants have to leave sometime don't they ??

No .. the ants don't open the peony .. they are strictly there for the free drinks !!


Outside In said...

Ahhh, but the ants eats the sap away so that the peonies can open.

Cinj said...

I thought peonies needed ants to open. I had some peonies with no ants that never opened last year. Maybe I'm just crazy....

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

Joy, well it certainly looks like they are trying to open it.

GardenJoy4Me said...

Cathy .. I thought this too for a while .. but actually it doesn't open the buds .. they keep other destructive bugs off though so they are a type of protective guardian ..
Cinj .. there is probably another reason why your peonies didn't open .. it really wasn't about the lack of ants ..
Debbie ... they are very busy collecting what sap/nectar there is on the bud .. and keeping bad bugs away ...
One of the sources I found to post here is more neutral than most .. and it sounds pretty reasonable to me ..
Have a look ?
Ants on Peonies
Q) I was visiting a friend today who has many varieties. The buds were
covered with ants. She commented that she needed to spray them with an
insecticide. I thought I had read that ants were beneficial to the peonies.
Is that correct and if so, just how do they help?
A) Do not try to get rid of the ants on your peonies. This is a
natural and temporary activity. It is believed that peonies produce
small amounts of nectar and other ant attractants to encourage ants
to help in opening the dense double flower buds found in many
peonies. The ants may be found covering certain varieties and
avoiding others, this is totally normal.
Once the buds have opened the ants will disappear - also normal.
Some people think ants are REQUIRED to open the flowers, but
this does not to appear to be true.
It seems a debatable question whether ants are beneficial or
harmful. I think they are neutral.
Should you spray a pesticide to get rid of the ants? That is
a definite no. Since the ants are not harmful and some pesticide
residues are harmful, why endanger yourself, the plants or the
peony's pollinator (good insects) with poisonous sprays?
Just don't spray.
Instead just enjoy the unique interaction of ants and
peonies; an evolutionary effect thousands of years in the making and
posing no problems in the long run.

our friend Ben said...

Ugh, Joy! You're quite right, ants are there for the nectar, not to "open" the buds. But sheesh, they certainly destry the aesthetics, don't they? I'd never spray chemicals for any reason, but mercy, I always hated cutting peonies for the house and bringing the inevitable ants in with them. Now I just try to enjoy them outside.

Kathleen said...

Good advice about keeping the old camera until the new one is figured out Joy! Sometimes there is a pretty big learning curve. I notice wasps on my peony buds ~ they must like the nectar too??

tina said...

Ants are definitely good. They usually disappear when the bloom is open. I did have some peonies in Germany on whom the ants never left the blooms. I had to shake those flowers forever! I miss those peonies. They are called Pfingsrosen in German. For me that always sounded like spring rose and such an apt description.

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

You're way ahead of me now, peonies are all UP, but forming flower buds? Not yet! However, we have officially declared spring to be in full swing, including the spring showers and oh yes, the weeds, the weeds, the weeds...

Rose said...

LOL, Joy, I think your brain works like mine--so many thoughts swirling around that I never know what to do next:) Lots of rain and some bad storms here have kept me from doing much gardening work. And now that the sun is out, I find I need more potting soil and supplies before I can work on pots. So it's off to the garden center, then I'll probably be too pooped to any real work...

Anyway, can't wait to see your peony open, and looking forward to seeing Bella and Lugosi in their new home:) Poor Dave! He is probably as anxious as you to have the garden back in order.

Muddy Boot Dreams said...

Don't give up on your camera. I am still trying to figure out my macro lens on the Canon. Expensive as anything, works well, but my little point and shoot Panasonic Lumix, is the bomb! I can click and shoot almost anything fast, easy, and fun.

Most of the garden centre photos are from that camera. I don't like to take my "big" camera to work, theft, damage etc.

Keep your other camera, if you still have it, you might end up using both, each one will have its best features. And give yourself some time to adjust.


GardenJoy4Me said...

Hello there 'ben" ! .. I find that is exactly what I do with these .. just leave them in the garden .. the occasional rose and a few other flowers .. but no on the peony .. having said that the girls are expert hunters of any crawling creatures so they might take care of the problem .. but me .. I'd freak out thinking the ants have invaded us ! haha

Kathleen .. girl your peonies are just so attractive they invite all kinds of guests ? haha .. Yup .. definitely a learning curve for me .. I have my old one and I'm keeping it .. so now I will have a better chance of getting some sort of picture I'm happy with ? ; )

Hi Tina .. isn't it funny how we imprint certain plants in our brains and long for them .. I have that with a wild rose bush I loved as a kid .. I think it is part of why we are gardeners .. we just love plants ? .. I wish I could remember what Dutch I did know .. but I will never forget their gardens .. that is a forever memory for the good ! : )

Jodi girl .. I have those nasty things too .. especially with how we have things piled up every where waiting for the shed to be done .. some places look horrendous with gangly ? grass and weeds lurking about .. will I ever get my garden back to at least par ?? .. Spring showers .. we have had a few of those too ! and this holiday weekend has been cloudy, windy .. cool .. not what the weather guys foretold a week ago .. I don't think they know anything over a 24 hour forecast now ! haha

Oh my god Rose ... were we separated at birth girl ? .. that is exactly how my brain is behaving and what happens to me when I go out to pick up supplies .. I never get any real work done in the garden when I do that. Today I rolled out of bed .. had coffee and granola bar and then jumped in my garden jeans to WORK .. I hope I can move tomorrow because I am aching EVERYWHERE !
I am certain Dave is pacing at night .. I see a little gnome path in the grass .. wait until he sees Belle and Lugosi (he doesn't know about them yet) .. he will be steaming if I don't find a suitable station for him and the gargoyles to sit on the deck with .. could be trouble !!

Jen girl ! That is exactly what I am doing .. I charged both sets of batteries and I have both on hand now for different jobs .. I am glad I didn't officially pass my old one on .. you are SO RIGHT ! They will both be used for different shots and I am so lucky to be spoiled by two very good cameras that have their special traits ! : )

Anonymous said...

They love all the sweet sappy juice on the buds. Once the flower opens they are gone.

GardenJoy4Me said...

Hi Racquel .. it is funny to watch them .. they are so busy ! then I get the itchy twitchy feeling and need to go do other garden chores ! haha

Gail said...

Hi Joy...My old camera died but it wasn't much more than a point and shoot. The new one does ok, but the complexity of it is mind boggling!

The last of my peonies are opening just as yours are getting ready...Happy Spring to you! gail

GardenJoy4Me said...

Hi there Gail girl .. this new one has so many options it is scary .. I still just leave it on auto and shoot what I feel like .. but I'm still testing it out .. I have my older one (same kind but a step backwards with optical zoom .. only 18 x's) I'm using both this morning .. will post later I hope ! : )
Yes .. my single plant is smiling with multiple flowers .. must be happy where it is ? LOL

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

My peony didn't get any ants this year...what color is Penny? I have 2 - one white and one pinkish/purple. The purple one opened yesterday. Show us yours when she opens, ok?

GardenJoy4Me said...

Hi Jan ! How are you girl ? .. Penny is a single red one .. the name escapes me this morning . I am waiting for her buds to open and then YES ! many more pictures to come girl : )