Fireflies in the Garden

Elkmont synchronous Fireflies, Photo Credit to Judd Patterson

  Fireflies in the Garden, a Poem by Robert Frost Here come real stars to fill the upper skies, And here on earth come emulating flies, That though they never equal stars in size, (And they were never really stars at heart) Achieve at times a very star-like start. Only, of course, they can’t sustain […]

What’s Scaring the Wildlife?

High Voltage Power Lines Span the Countryside, photo from Kid's Brittanica

  On a recent trip to Village Nurseries in Huntington Beach, CA, my first trip to this garden center, I was surprised by its location; the nursery was located in a corridor of High Voltage Power Lines. When I inquired about it, I learned that many nurseries and Christmas tree farms rent land from the […]

Marshland Magic

Ballona Wetlands, Freshwater Marsh, Photo by Kathy Vilim, California

  Standing at the street corner, the signal light changing, I cross over CA Hwy Route 1 (locally called Lincoln Blvd) leaving behind the long line of  new vertical home construction and picking up a trail into the Ballona wetlands to the west.  Immediately, I am in another world, one of Willows & Sycamore trees, […]

Springtime Native Plant Garden Tours

Ocean Friendly Native Plant Garden, 3783 Redwood Ave., Mar Vista, CA

Spring is coming, and I already have two Native Plant Garden Tours on my calendar! Both are around Earth Day (April 22, 2014), and I can attend both as they are on different weekends.  There is nothing like a garden tour to get me on my feet and off my garden bench! I so enjoy seeing […]

February Blooms in California

Lemonade Berry Bush (Rhus integrifolia) Santa Monica Mtns, Photo by Kathy Vilim

Lemonade Berry Bush is covered in Bees! Someone forgot to tell these guys that Valentine’s Day is over~ look at all the love these blooms are getting! While most of the country is cold and full of snow, ice & sleet events, out here in SoCal the picture is very different.  We have some nice […]

Milkweed and Monarchs

Monarch Milkweed, Asclepias eriocarpa, Photo by permission of LasPilitas Nursery

  2013/2014 Winter in California~ Hundreds of orange wings take flight in the afternoon sunshine, cruising on a warm breeze~ Monarchs are leaving the shade of tall eucalyptus trees in the groves where they roost.  There are a handful of overwintering spots for Monarchs in the Central Coast of California, from Pismo Beach north to […]

Is It Time to Ditch That Lawn?

Wildflower Seeds from Theodore Payne Nursery

It is so dry that deer have appeared on the Pepperdine lawn.  Anyone who has spent any time in Malibu or has just driven up the Pacific Coast Highway has seen that huge expanse of green-covered hillside that is the front lawn of Pepperdine University.  I try not to think about how much water it […]

Please Don’t Feed the Wildlife

Reseda Lake Park Project, Urban Restoration, Photo by Kathy Vilim

Tall, brown grasses part, and a pair of orange feet appear.  A male Mallard is emerging from his island hideout with his partner by his side.  She blends in so well with her brown feathers, that I didn’t see her at first. The male with his green head catches the sun. He steps off the […]

Monarchs on Christmas Eve

Monarch at Christmas Eve, Santa Monica Mtns CA, Photo by Kathy Vilim

The magical Season of Christmas is upon us.  Scenes of snowy landscapes and star-filled night skies are to be expected in this week’s posts.  But here I am in So Cal with no snow to talk about.  Instead, I have my own gift to contribute:  a visit by a handsome Monarch (Danaus plexippus) on the day […]

Of Currants and Gooseberries

Golden Currant (Ribes aureum gracillimum) with Anna's Hummingbird, Photo courtesy of

  It’s mid-December, hardly the time to think of planting anything, right? But, here in Southern California, it’s different.  The ground is not frozen, and the rain softens the soil. The first rains of the year will fall now and nourish new roots, helping new plants to acclimate. It’s time for planning your spring wildlife […]

Autumn is Harvest Time, Thankful for the Bounty

Hollyleaf Cherry (Prunus_ilicifolia) Photo Credit:

Juana shakes the oak tree with her sisters until acorns drop from the branches. In this way, the Tongva Women harvest acorns together. It is Autumn, and the acorns are plentiful. Once collected, the acorns are laid out in the sun to dry. Later Juana and her sisters will store them in a large grain […]

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