Tag Archives: Plants

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

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

Posted in Books, Musings, Natural Areas, Seasons, Society, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Cooking, Edible Native Plants, Foraging, Fruit, Gardening, Landscaping, Photography, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Posted in Insects, Native Plants, Photography, Seasons, Uncategorized, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Posted in Gardening, Insect pests, Insects, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Native Plants, Seasons, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Fall Medley #1

Posted in Art, Native Plants, Photography, Seasons | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Edible Native Plants, Gardening, Native Plants, Photography, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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