The Japanese beetles have arrived in full force. I've removed many from the bushes this morning and each time I walk out there I get rid of two or three more. This is the first day that I've noticed there's more bugs than usual. There are tons of cucumber beetles, aphids, little cottony-jumpy things and a metallic blue wasp style bug that keeps flying around. There's one crazy spotted cucumber beetle that just won't sit still long enough to catch. I've removed several bunches of random egg sacs as well. Oddly, there are at least four ladybugs out there right now, but they all look a little different. It makes me nervous because I've seen some destructive bugs that look like ladybugs as well, so I don't know if I should leave them or not. They seem to like the pepper plants in particular, but there are no aphids on them and it appears the ladybugs are just sucking on the plants themselves.
I pulled another zucchini, more purple beans, my first few Jalapeno peppers and three more cucumbers which I'm going to take with me to a movie night at a neighbor's house this evening. None of the cucumbers seemed to be bitter. I had a bitter one last night and it sure did teach me to taste them before adding them to anything. The picture is rather poor and the cucumbers are in the wrong direction (I fixed them after the picture), but here's the plate I put together.
Thank you to Granny who sent me a whole packet on canning its processes. I'm going to see about learning how to can or freeze things well.
Lastly, here's a picture of the flowering okra. It's just beautiful, isn't it?