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For the Love of Bugs

| 12/5/2017 1:36:00 PM

Before and after Insect Hotel

Many of my best ideas come to me while I’m showering off the positive ions each morning. Recently that cleansing solved a problem that’s been hounding me for years—what to do with the old Little Tykes plastic kitchen our children used to play with outdoors. In my mind, I’ve taken it to recycling, donated it to the church, and put it out at the curb in hopes someone would find it worthy of cleaning up. Alas, none of those things happened but my shower cleanse recommended it become the skeleton of an insect hotel.

I dragged the poor thing out of its parking spot and throughly looked it over. Other than being a bit weathered and dirty, it still seemed in sturdy condition. I emptied the accumulated water out of the base, decided which parts I wanted open and erect, then covered it with chicken wire. As I was formulating in the shower, I decided the chicken wire cage would provide structure to wire the branches to as well as give pockets for stuffing.

My next step was to poke around the garage and basement for castoff treasures to use as compartments. I gathered pinecones, gourds with holes, old and broken terra cotta, piano keys, lint, and a suet bird feeder. I also combed the garden and wildlife condominium for sticks and branches.

As you can see above, there is quite a difference between the before and after photos. One of the reasons it took so long to construct our Insect Spa and Rock Garden (as my husband calls it) is that I needed a lot more brush than I expected. This is where pruning out all those weedy volunteer trees around the yard helped out—especially nice since it took care of a dreaded chore in order to do some beloved arting. I affixed the branches with bits of baling wire (also repurposed) from the straw we purchase for mulching the veggie beds.

The photo below shows the lobby of our hotel. Directly back, the suet feeder is packed with lint. This may or may not work out and is easy enough to remove or replace as necessary. As I built I tried to think like an insect and guessed lint might make an interesting home.

1/16/2018 1:08:13 AM

Maybe a Ray Charles bug will move in and tickle some ivory for you!

1/16/2018 1:08:10 AM

Maybe a Ray Charles bug will move in and tickle some ivory for you!

12/9/2017 6:11:05 AM

You have done a WONDERFUL job!

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