紫陽花だらけ Hydrangea all over


It is the rainy season. And, it is the season of Hydrangeas.


オオスズメバチを弔う Mourning asian giant hornet


I sat a trap called "Sutochu" several days ago. It was to catch Asian giant hornets that come to my garden almost every day. It or they do not do any particular harmful thing. However, who knows what will happen, also it has been bothering me imagining there is a nest near our house.

The trap is a PET bottle with openings on the four sides, and there is a liquid inside of a mixture of sugar, vinegar, and sake.

Until today there were only a bunch of small ants, but when I checked it in this evening, there was one Asian giant hornet struggling. While I watched for a few minutes, she was wallowing. 

What was she thinking? Oh shoot, this is the end of my life. Is there anything I can do? Alas, if I come home, it is OK, however, if not, the babies left at the nest would also die. Those might be what she was thinking. I started to feel sorry, but as I have my reason, I cannot help her.

Thinking that it would stop her suffering, I poured a little of ethanol for disinfection. She stopped moving in seconds. You should not underestimate ethanol.


芍薬とバラ Peony and Rose


Last year, branches of a rose grew over peonies, and peonies were not able to receive enough sunshine. Because of that, only one peony bloomed. This year, learning from the experience, I heavily pruned the rose and lead the branches considering the peonies to have them receive sunshine. 

The result is a lot of flowers.

Even I heavily pruned the rose, it has a lot more flowers than the last year. The lesson is too much cosseting is not good.


植え替え Replant

I have several large Agaves. But this is the only one that is planted in a large pot. All the others are planted on the ground. It has been looking not so healthy for these few years. As it is big and heavy.

The reason I was reluctant to do anything about this is it is very heavy. In the same pot, however, there were several whisk ferns growing, and they didn't seem to be happy to be there. Thus, I decided to replant the agave and to save these whisk ferns at the same time.
It was not easy to remove the Agave from the pot, as it has extended the roots very deeply, and I could not use brute force to protect the small and fragile whisk ferns.

After tens of minutes, I was able to manage to remove the Agave while protecting the whisk ferns. The roots have gone far below the soil and into styrofoam that was used to lighten the whole pot. I guess the roots was not able to function in the styrofoam. The big stone there was placed at the bottom to balance the pot.

The saved whisk ferns were planted in separate pots. There are some roots under the soil in a larger pot.
I put back the agave into the original pot with plenty of more soil after I pruned unhealthy roots.

I hope all of them get healthier.


16度水槽 16 Degree Tank

It is about the temperature setting of my fish tank. Last winter, it was 20 deg. Celsius. It is 16 deg. now although the temp usually gets higher than the setting during the daytime because of the air conditioning of the room.

The reason I can lower the temperature this year is that of the disaster happened a few month ago. One weekend in the early November, we went out for a short trip for four days. Every year, I start heating in December, so the tank was not heated. A big chill came at the weekend. We encountered the first snow fall this year during the trip.

When I came home, I found unnamed cichlids and Cardinal Tetras were dead. The temp was lower than ten deg. C. Last year I killed all fish in the tank because of parasites. And this year this. I did not have a word to apologize them. What were fine were Golden White Cloud Mountain Minnows, shrimps, and unexpectedly an African Lamp Eye

As fish needs higher temperature was dead, I decided to lower the temp. Saving energy. I think I can lower the temp more, but the temp controller I have starts beeping when the water temp differs a lot from the setting. So I have it as it is.

Later I added some more regular White Cloud Mountain Minnows, and Indian Glass Fishes. They also withstand low temperature.

Now the tank is a half terrarium. This corner has been wetland above water for a while.  The area is covered with Peperomias, Microsorium, Cryptocorynes, Cryptanthuses, etc. The lava stone in the front was caved and butterworts are planted.

Another wetland area. Since it was made above water recently, plats are still struggling to adjust to the new environment. An Echinodorus major is flowering. In the back, there is also a lava rock covered with Microsorium, Aromaticus, Green Penny Fern, and another type of Polypodiaceae.

Sunken area. A view from above.

Front right corner.
Front center view.

Front left with a heater.


種かな? Seeds?


In one morning, my wife found something on the floor while vacuuming the floor. I thought they are seeds of an air plant Juncea located near the spot.

They were bearing several seed pods since last autumn and I have been expecting seeds coming out. So I carefully collected them with my fingers and wrapped in a sheet of tissue paper as I was about to going out.

外出中、妻からメールが届いた。私の幸運を祝ってくれたのだ。妻は写真を添付してくれた。 なんと、クソ〜! あの黒いつぶつぶは芋虫の糞の乾いたものだったのだ。芋虫はエアプランツの隣においてあった亀甲竜の葉を食べていたのだ。
While I was out, my wife sent me a mail celebrating my good luck. She attached a picture of this. Oh, sh*t! The black particles were the dried waste of a caterpillar. It was eating leaves of the elephant's foot located next to the air plant.

A few days later, she found another one on the vine of the elephant's foot. Hope this was the last one.


新入り達 New members

I introduced two kinds of new members in my aquarium. It is because many cardinal tetras died because of my careless changing of water the other day. 
One of them is this Golden White Cloud Mountain minnow. I wanted to get them sooner since they are robust and can tolerate wide range of water temperature. This golden ones look good, too.

I also bought this, a kind of Apistogramma I think. A girl at the fish shop kindly warned me that this type is rough natured, and are not recommended to mix with the Golden White Cloud Mountain minnow.

I thanked her and anyway I bought them all. In my tank there are this blue tetras shown below. They are rough tempered too. After I get them together, these two types of tough guys were intimidating each other. It looks like they found a solution. The Apisto's are mostly hiding between the rocks and come out only they sense smell of food, and blue tetras are swimming wildly as before, and the golden ones are swiftly dodge.