Category Archives: Wildlife

Unnatural Selection: Cardinals, Cowbirds and the Mob

There seems to be something attractive about plant stands near our front and back doors.  So far, we have tried to assist in three attempts by Carolina Wrens to use them as nesting sites, which makes getting in and out … Continue reading

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Pests and Parasites

A very effective agent of biological pest control, this tiny wasp in our backyard is preparing to lay an egg on (or in) the little green aphid.. When the egg hatches, it will live inside the aphid, munching happily away, … Continue reading

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Winter Rations

I’ve often thought of our Sweet Gum tree as more of a Bitter-Sweet Gum tree, mainly when I rake up piles of the spiky little balls it sheds with great joy and abandon.  I think I am not alone in … Continue reading

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Galls Galore

Besides having some spectacular fall colors this year, another thing our drought didn’t seem to hurt was the prevalence of oak leaf galls.  I’m not sure why, but we seemed to have a bumper crop of them this year.

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Hitting the Trifecta

It’s not often—or ever before, to be honest—that I’ve had the chance to photograph several stages in an insect’s life journey in just a week or so, but I think I nailed it recently. We’ve got some wild senna growing … Continue reading

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Where have all the berries gone?

This is what the fruiting head of Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) often looks like after the berries have matured.  What berries, you say?  Ask the birds that ate them all, especially the robins that love to gorge on them and leave … Continue reading

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There Be Giants Here!

Found this in our backyard today, so new that it’s wings weren’t even fully expanded.  A big surprise, considering the dearth of butterflies this season, at least here.  We’ve never seen this one before, but I think we’ve seen its … Continue reading

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No Free Lunch: Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

Have you got milkweeds around?  If not, why not?  Have you ever noticed how many insects they attract?  Finally, have you ever noticed some of these insects dangling lifelessly from the milkweed’s flowers?  Ever wonder why?  (I hadn’t, until recently….) … Continue reading

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A Bounty of Broom Moths

Have your Baptisia been looking a little ragged lately?  Check for these little guys.  We are certainly having an outbreak in our yard, maybe due to the weirdness of the spring this year (?).  I expect the Indigos will survive, … Continue reading

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Ants in Your Plants? The Magic of Myrmecochory.

Let us again consider the Bloodroot, one of spring’s most lovely and ephemeral visitors.  Having emerged in March, the little herd in our yard is just now finishing with its crop of seeds, and here they are.  Almost, but not … Continue reading

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