I'm trying to do small amounts in the yard or garden each day since it's getting hot and I can't spend long periods of time in the heat. It wasn't too bad as the long shadows brought the yard into the shade. I went to the farm to cut a few flowers off our giant weed and check the zucchini plants. There was a yellow zucchini; it looked like it burnt in the heat. There were a couple green zucchini ready to come in. The butternut squash seem small but I think one might be about ready anyway. There are a LOT coming in. There are several watermelon on the (I think) four plants, and one looks like it went bad--it's kind of a black color, while the rest are green striped. They are round, not oval, so I think the largest of them is probably as big as they are going to get. I'm not sure why we have "space saving" watermelon; we certainly have room for larger ones.
While I was out there, I heard this buzzing and looked around. I noticed several of what I thought were those huge black bumblebees. And then I realized they weren't. What the hell are those?! They were flying around near the sunflowers, so I went in for a closer look, praying to the garden gods that I wouldn't get attacked by these damn things. I was very worried that the Palo Verde beetles* had made it back there AND were flying around.
*The bugs we've been calling Palo Verde beetles may not be Palo Verde beetles. We started seeing them shortly after a big duststorm and I found them dead in the front fountains and in the garage--dead, in the traps, at least! The bug we are getting rid of is more dark brown than PV beetle which is black; our (mostly) dead bugs are maybe an inch and a half long, so bigger and darker than German cockroaches. I saw a couple yesterday at my garden when I was tilling a square foot outside the box to get rid of some weeds; ew, I'm so freaked out.
Anyway, I watched how they were flying and landing and saw one hunting a huge horsefly (which we get seasonally since we are near a farm and a dairy; don't confuse these with the smaller housefly) on a sunflower leaf.
I have no idea what this thing is.
Or if it did this on my sunflower.
Or if they are good or bad.
I'm not sure I'm cut out for this mostly-organic gardening/farming stuff. Yeah, ladybugs and big red worms are awesome to find in the garden, while ants suck, earwigs and silverfish are the spawn of the devil, and spiders (and their webs) are annoying at best. But these huge mutant out-in-the-country bugs are giving me the creeps.