Category Archives: Wildlife

Going Native

Our yard—front and back—is a curious place, located at a cultural and environmental crossroads.  Depending on one’s point of view, our yard is a treasure, an eyesore, an oasis of biological diversity, a blight on the neighborhood, something to be … Continue reading

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A Seagull Named Emma

We have never had a seagull in our backyard, at least to my knowledge. So let me be clear up front that if you are expecting a heartwarming tale of an errant seabird squawking its way into Nadia’s heart or … Continue reading

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The Long Travelers: Leaf-cutter Bees, Part II

Life travels, and a lot of it has made the journey to our backyard.  That includes Nadia and me–a few hundred miles from my point of origin for me and considerably more for Nadia.  Some of this life travels north … Continue reading

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Cutting-up in Columbia: Leaf-cutter Bees in the Yard

One of the joys of yard-watching in our urban wilderness is that you never know what you might find and where curiosity might take you.  One fine summer day as I patrolled our domain, camera in hand, I came across … Continue reading

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More Caterpillar Creepies

Our backyard has many amazing things, but this one had me puzzled for quite awhile.  However, I think I may have found the answer to what exactly this is: Until I sat down and really looked at this carefully, I … Continue reading

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Death on a Milkweed

Walking out of our yard today to walk Bonita the Beagle, I glanced quickly over a few young milkweeds growing on our curb next to the street.  Something under one of the leaves caught my eye.  This, to be exact: … Continue reading

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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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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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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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