2013 in my Biodiverse Wildlife Garden

My beautiful wildlife garden

The pond in my beautiful wildlife garden

For my last post of the calendar year it seems I have created a tradition of sorts, recapping some events in my beautiful wildlife garden. In keeping with this tradition, I will once again highlight an encounter of particular interest to me or one that was a little different for each month of 2013.  To see what occurred in prior years, visit the links for 2012, 2011 and 2010.

January:  A human view of a Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus), sitting in a Long Leaf Pine Tree.

February:  Some sort of sowbug which I was surprised to learn isn’t an insect at all.  They are crustaceans, akin to crayfish and shrimp. This one wasn’t your typical “roly poly” as it didn’t curl up when touched. On my list to learn more about.  I do know that they are beneficial in that they break down decaying matter.
March:  A damselfly caught having dinner on a lilypad.
April:  always my favorite encounter, the coming out party of new bluebird nestlings. I was blessed with four broods this year.
May:  Bee Killer Assassin Bug (Apiomerus floridensis).  Beneficial, eats hornworms and beetles, but given the common name, appears to have a preference for bees.
June:  I had my first visit from alligators this year.  Surprising and fascinating!
July:  Jagged Ambush Bug (Phymata fasciata) noshes on some poor skipper butterfly.

ambushbugSkipperJuly2013AAugust: The highlight of my year:  an entomological playground discovered on my oak tree. Green June Beetle (Cotinis nitida), Dark Flower Scarab (Euphoria sepulcralis), Southern Yellowjacket (Vespula squamosa), ants and more!

entomologyAug2013SeptemberWarning: cover the children’s eyes A ménage à trois of Ricebugs (Stenocoris spp.)

ricebugs093013October: I came home to find this beauty building across the driveway. Orb Weaver (Eriophora ravilla)
November: The ability to hide on a the thinnest plant stalk gives a Long-jawed Orbweavers Spider (Tetragnatha spp.)  the nod for November.
December:  Last but not least, I am liking the lichen in my garden. The pattern and texture of some of the species is so beautiful.  This is another aspect of wildlife gardening that I want to explore further in 2014.
I hope you have enjoyed my 2013 recap and may you have a healthy and happy 2014 in your beautiful wildlife garden.

© 2013, Loret T. Setters. All rights reserved. This article is the property of BeautifulWildlifeGarden.com We have received many requests to reprint our work. Our policy is that you are free to use a short excerpt which must give proper credit to the author, and must include a link back to the original post on our site. Please use the contact form above if you have any questions.

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  1. Marilyn says

    I love your biodiverse universe! In this world we live in, that is so often so much ruled by greed, selfishness, and thoughtless destruction, how thankful I am for people such as you who have made a lasting commitment to nurture, protect, cherish, and celebrate our many fragile wild life forms. Si many lovely photos, which do I love the most? Possibly the modest damselfly—but the bluebird nestlings would win any cuteness contest. Oh, and mustn’t forget those naughty ricebugs. “Cover the children’s eyes, but ‘Grandma’ must put on her glasses to see just what is what there….” Thanks for the smile, Loret. Happy New Year!

  2. says


    A fabulous year you have had! Love the images and commentary. Here’s to a beautiful, native plant filled, critter and human happy, New Year!

    ps- thanks for all your support this year.

    • says

      Hi Heather!

      Quite a year it twas. The attraction seemed to be sap, although I didn’t really think that oaks produced that much sap. What initially attracted my attention was a viceroy butterfly. I leaned in to try and get a picture, but it quickly flew away. That’s when I saw the gang. They were there for quite a while. Amazing encounter….one of my favorites.
      loret recently posted..GLADE LOBELIA (Lobelia glandulosa)


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