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.
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.
August: 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!
September: Warning: cover the children’s eyes A ménage à trois of Ricebugs (Stenocoris spp.)
October: 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.
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