Friday, June 29, 2018

"That Takes the Cake" Cake Show 2018

That takes the cake science of cake

While the event took place way back in February, I've been wanting to write about it and I'm just now getting to it.  So why in the world would I, who blogs about bugs, be writing about a cake show? Those who really know me, know that I love to bake....and I love to eat what I bake.....

I also love watching shows about baking- Great British Baking Show, anyone?  I used to be obsessed with Food Network's Cake Challenge shows and had a deep amazement for Colette Peters, Bronwen Weber, and Mike McCarey.  Another fun diversion I have to indulge all things baking is the annual cake show that happens in Round Rock.  I used to drag my husband along with me, and have taken the boy on a couple of occasions, but decided the past two years that I enjoy the show best when I go by myself.  That provides me with the opportunity to spend as much time as I want ogling items.

Sara Weber's cookie bug bitesSo all this is leading up to the 2018 show which was themed "Science of Cake". Could it possibly be any more perfect for me? The answer would be no, it could not.  So I went and totally geeked out on baked goods with a science theme.  My absolute by far favorite piece was a display by Sara Weber of Sara's Sweets.

Y'all, she did an entomological display.  Let me repeat....chocolate cookie bug bites!!  I fell in love with them instantly.  The display was so great and right on theme as it looked like it was pulled from a museum.  She even had a card that told what the insects displayed were!  So Sara, here's to you and the endless hours you most likely spent crafting your delectable cookie bugs.  This entomologist is forever a fan!

Sara Weber's cookie bug bites display

Friday, June 15, 2018

Webworms (...and bagworms)

Webworms or bagworms...which do you really have?  Many people have been asking me about "bagworms" as of late, but after asking a few questions I discover that they have webworms.  So, what's the difference?

· Form small cases that hold larvae, pupae, or female adults and eggs
bagworm· Cases are often found on evergreen trees & shrubs such as cedar, juniper, cypress, or pine
· Cases are made from silk and plant material laid down similar to shingles on a house, overlapping in layers
· Newly hatched larvae spin a silken thread & either are carried to a new plant by wind or attach themselves to the plant they are on and begin to build their own silken bag
· Bags remain on plants even if bagworms are dead
· Bags are transportable; larvae carry them along as they move about the plant
 · To manage bagworms, handpick bags off the plant and dispose of them

webworms· Spin webbing over branches of host tree to enclose foliage they feed upon
· Attack over 88 species of plants, including fruit, nut, and ornamental trees and shrubs
· Use web as a protective covering; spin webbing immediately after hatching out of egg
· Webbing remains on tree even if caterpillars are dead/ no longer there
· Webs can be pruned out of the tree or opened with a stick/ spray of water to allow predators to eat caterpillars
· When using a pesticide, webbing still needs to be opened

Friday, June 1, 2018

Attracting pollinators webinar online today!

When: Friday, June 1, 2018 at 1PM CDT
Where: online here

pollinator on flowerLast year in the series, we met our native pollinators. This year, we will learn how to attract them to our own yards and gardens. In this webinar presented by Elizabeth "Wizzie" Brown, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, learn the fundamentals for creating your own pollinator oasis.  Moderated by Marcus Garner and Allyson Shabel, Regional Extension Agents, Alabama Extension. The link to the event is here:

Note: on June 1, the link to the live webinar opens about 15 minutes before the webinar. If you try to log in earlier, you will get an error message.

For more webinars in this series, see 2018 All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar Series.  The webinars are brought to you by the following eXtension Communities of Practice: Ant Pests, and Urban IPM; and by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Clemson Cooperative Extension and University of Georgia Extension.