Birds, violets and butterfly eggs

robin eggs

Spring has finally arrived here in northern Kentucky.  An exploration of my brother’s yard this Easter weekend revealed all kinds of goodies!  The lovely violets are in full bloom.  We picked, washed and froze some of the flowers in ice-cube trays to use later in glasses of lemonade for a pretty splash of color.  These […]

Looks like a little Lorax

Look at that cute face!

My brother Wayne took some great photos this week of these adorable little mason bees emerging from his homemade bee box.  There are around 130 species of these wonderful pollinators in North America. The males are the first to emerge from the nest box.  All of these photos are of males – they have longer […]

Fungus Gnats Love Your Houseplants

1 fungus gnat larva

  Fungus gnats are tiny flies that will take up residence in the soil of your houseplants.  Many people consider them to be pests, but they usually do little or no harm to mature healthy plants unless their larvae exist in large numbers.  From all I’ve read online, the adults do not feed and only […]

Tortoise beetles for weed control

adult eats sweet potato vine

I think tortoise beetles are adorable!  They are about the size of ladybugs (also cutie-pies) and have been studied for use as a means of bio-control for noxious weeds such as field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) that likes to sneak into my beautiful wildlife garden when I’m not paying enough attention to weeding.  Over the years […]

Ladybugs in the garden

The no-spotted ladybug (Cycloneda polita) , native to North America

There are thousands of species of ladybugs (family Coccinellidae) across the world, with over 450 different species native to North America.  They come in a range of colors including orange, red, yellow, pink, brown or black.  They can have many spots, few spots or no spots at all.  We see their cute likeness on everything […]

Tiger Moths and Woolly Bears, oh my !

Isabella Tiger Moth

The air is crisp in my beautiful wildlife garden. The leaves are painted like a sunset and the woolly bear caterpillars are on the march. Normally, I warn folks not to handle caterpillars that look prickly just in case they are the stinging sort. But every kid knows the woolly bears are safe. These gentle […]

Fall Flowers

green sweat bee on aster

Asters Fall has arrived here in Kentucky and I am enjoying the last flowers of the season before they’re gone.  Asters are some of my favorites since they attract so many pollinators.  They are also the host plant for the hungry caterpillars of Pearl Crescent butterflies. I still have some Pipevine Swallowtail butterflies zipping around […]

Silvery Checkerspot Butterfly

Silvery Checkerspot butterfly (Chlosyne nycteis)

Years ago my brother noticed that some kind of insect critters were skeletonizing the bottom leaves of his purple coneflowers.  They didn’t bother the flowers, just those large bottom leaves that drag the ground.  We turned a leaf over and discovered a group of about 20 tiny caterpillars munching.  No amount of internet searching at […]

The Mildew-Eating Lady Beetle

20-spotted lady beetle -ADULT

As most of you probably know by now, I’m obsessed with photographing insect life cycles.  I’m not satisfied until I have all the pieces of the puzzle.  If I find eggs, I want to know what hatches out of those tiny little packages of life.  If I see a grub or a caterpillar, I want […]

The Lovely Luna Moth


The Luna moth (Actias luna), or moon moth, is my favorite of our native giant silk moths.  Their pale green color and swallowtail-shaped wings are unique and beautiful.  As with all giant silk moths, the adults only live long enough to mate and lay eggs . . . about a week or ten days.  They […]

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