Tag Archives: nature

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

Posted in Gardening, Landscaping, Musings, Native Plants, Society, Uncategorized, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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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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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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

Posted in Cooking, Edible Native Plants, Foraging, Gardening, Landscaping, Native Plants, Seasons | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Posted in Insects, Musings, Natural Areas, Photography, Seasons, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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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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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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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The Return of the Stinker

Hard to believe but stuff’s coming up!  Not just the ubiquitous daffodils that pop up just in time to tease us about a yet-distant spring, but other stuff.  Like Wild Leeks.  Yeah, smelly old Allium tricoccum. What is this plant … 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.

Posted in Insect pests, Insects, Native Plants | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment