The troops are re-assembling for duty
Ground spiders are everywhere, of course. I always wear tall garden boots especially in the early spring because I don't want them jumping in my shoes or scurrying up my pant legs.
So far, I have seen some ladybugs in particularly warm, sheltered areas and ground beetles, centipedes, and wasps.
Yesterday, a bunch of tachnid flies (I think that's what they are -- these are yellow and look like tiny round, furry flies. I get the giant black ones, too, but I haven't seen those yet.) and two kinds of syrphid flies were buzzing all over one of my garden beds. I had discovered that a purple sprouting broccoli had been infested with grey aphids and squished them -- well some of those flies headed straight for that plant and were exploring it. So I think the rest of the aphids will be gone soon. They were also checking over my tomato seedlings that are hardening off. I hope they went to inspect my celery seedlings too, because I KNOW there are aphids in there.
5 praying mantis ootheca in one of the Japanese maples, 3 in the other one next to it, 2 in the magnolia, and that Carolina praying mantis ootheca in the Ginkgo in between. There will be plenty in the front yard when the weather gets hot. I haven't tallied up the ones in the back yard yet.
I saw two big slugs so far (only during daytime -- haven't gone night hunting yet), but I'm seeing the mulch scattered about and beak marks, so the grackles that are striding around are probably doing their part. I protected the peas from the birds until their true leaves were grown (though as soon as I removed the protective covering, they pulled out a couple of late sprouters. ) I'll need to protect the corn as well when I sow the seeds.
Earthworms are everywhere. Robins are at them and so are the moles.
I found some grubs, wireworms, a big fully colored cutworm, and a few of the dark grey colored smaller caterpillars that coil up that I'm assuming are younger instars of cutworms. Those went into the birdbath. Funny thing is by the time I bring the next find, the ones I put in the water are already gone. Usually, there's a robin or another bird nearby, shaking drops of water off his/her wings.