Author Archives: Randy Tindall

The Forest Unseen: A Book Review

  Where backyards are concerned, size really doesn’t matter.  Even a square meter can yield a world of insight. David Haskell’s wonderful award-winning book, The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature (Penguin Books, 2012), begins its preface with a … Continue reading

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Columbine Time (Aquilegia canadensis)

When the spring columbines began popping up and blossoming in our backyard, we know it’s time to keep our eyes open for the arrival of the hummingbirds.  Sure enough, after several days of gorgeous blooms, we have now spotted at … Continue reading

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Butterflies and Beer: Get Ready for Spicebush Season

Spicebush is leafing out!  Normally it would be blooming by now, like this: But it seems that the hard winter and long spring have slowed it down like everything else, since ours aren’t blooming just yet. At any rate, you … Continue reading

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The Ballad of Quercus flatus: A Tale of Spring

The sap is rising in our backyard.  Spring has finally sprung (we think), after a couple of false alarms, and signs of life abound.  Our redbud is budding red, our wahoo is leafing out and preparing to flower (Wahooooooo!!), our … Continue reading

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Backyard Food of the Gods

Still catching up on backyard native plants articles, and the latest is this unseasonal look at the American Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana), whose Latin name is often said to mean “Food of the Gods”. Some disagree: “…Linnaeus called the persimmon tree … Continue reading

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Pawpaws, Mastodons and Zebras

Snowed in today and dreaming of warmer times.  A good time, it seems to me, to play more catch-up on the backlog of articles on the native plants we have in our yard.  This time it’s  Pawpaw (Asimina triloba)!  What … Continue reading

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Beyond the Fence

Our backyard is inexhaustible. No, I don’t mean that it never gets tired, although that may be true, but that it is so much more than a plot of land enclosed by a battered fence out behind our house, as … Continue reading

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Looking Ahead: Plant Your Peas

I know it’s unseasonal, but it’s way past time to start catching up on our Native Plants pages.  The latest entry is here.  It’s in our yard.  It should be in yours!

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A Miracle of Monarchs

We have seen very few Monarch butterflies in our backyard for the last two years, but that doesn’t mean they are not there.  Caterpillars are showing up on our milkweeds, so it seems that they must be making whoopee somewhere, … Continue reading

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A Swallowtail Odyssey: Life among the Spicebushes

It’s Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus) time in our backyard, which is good for us curious yard-watchers, but a bit hard on our spicebushes (Lindera benzoin).  We’re watching the little ones grow up and they do it fast!  Now, I am … Continue reading

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