Just in Time for National Moth Week

Just look at those BIG green eyes

The third annual National Moth Week is winding down.  This year it started last Saturday July 19 and runs through this coming Sunday, July 27, 2014.  The inaugural celebration was back in 2012 and I highlighted some of my favorite moths at the time in my weekly article. Moths serve as food for reptiles, birds […]

The Good in Grapevines


I am sometimes dismayed by the rapid growth of my Muscadine grapevines (Vitis rotundifolia).  Then I spot a bird picking through them and I relax and am glad that I procrastinated on cutting back. Heck, this southeastern native vine can be cut back at any time. This past week I watched the cardinals dancing in […]

Yellow and Blue make Beauty in the Garden

Female Ceraunus Blue butterfly (Hemiargus ceraunus)

When I see the bright yellow flowers of the Partridge Pea (Chamaecrista* fasciculata) I tend to think of Sulphur butterflies because it is a larval host for several members of the Sulphur butterfly family. The other day I was out enjoying the diversity of insect activity on the Partridge Pea plants back in my pond […]

American Native Plants


Happy Birthday America! I thought today I would celebrate our country’s Independence Day by highlighting the benefits of some “American” named native plants in my beautiful wildlife garden. AMERICAN BEAUTYBERRY Callicarpa americana is a showy shrub with pink/white blooms and gorgeous fruits. Boon to wildlife, particularly pollinators and birds who enjoy the pretty magenta colored […]

A Garden Stick in the Mud

It had these weird pincers that looked like they were sticking out of its head

I was leaning over looking at some flowers when I spotted a critter out of the corner of my eye. I immediately thought, oh…it’s a walkingstick. I’ve seen them often around here. I glanced again because it seemed small and most walkingsticks are paired together.  I rethought my initial reaction since this guy (gal?) didn’t […]

When an Introduced Species Does the Job

Mole Cricket Hunter Wasp (Larra bicolor)

Meet the Mole Cricket Hunter (Larra bicolor). A beneficial wasp. If you’ve ever seen a mole cricket, you’ll be glad these wasps are hunting them.  Mole Crickets are UGGGGG-LLLEEEEEEE. This pretty wasp was introduced intentionally in Florida from Bolivia in 1988 and again in 1989 for control of Scapteriscus mole crickets, which are also introduced […]

Wasp THAT?

Paper Wasp on a native fern

This week I watched with interest as a paper wasp (Polistes sp.) had its hands full while at rest on some Bracken (Pteridium aquilinum)…a lovely, lacey looking fern native to just about everywhere in the U.S. As I approached to attempt a photograph, it was so preoccupied with its catch that it didn’t even notice […]

Solving Garden Mysteries


In recent days I heard the hammering of a bird outside the computer room window which faces the front of the property.  I really didn’t think much of it. Red-bellied Woodpeckers bang incessantly around here, with the males often using the gutters of my house to sound bigger and more virile to the local ladies. […]

Sunbathing in the Garden

What have we here?

I was walking around the pond in mid-April enjoying the fact that the shallow end hadn’t gone dry this year. We had the wettest “dry season” since I live here so the pond levels stayed relatively high.  I leaned over to look into the water to see what was swimming around on a bright sunshiny […]

Skullcaps, Milk Peas and Mutant Sabatia spp.

Mine all Mine! The Mutant Sabatia

It was a rewarding week in my beautiful wildlife garden.  I had two new Florida native plants in the form of wildflowers pop up.  I also found an interesting flower that didn’t follow the botanical key of any member of its genus. Some of my best finds are on trash days when I explore the […]

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