Happy Holidays 2014

holiday2011

I’ve done Christmas theme posts in the past including “In the Wildlife Garden, Naughty or Nice?” (2011), “Revising the 12 Days of Christmas” (2012-NPWG),  “The Color of Christmas in the Garden“ (2013), “A Berry Merry Christmas“ (2010) to name some. In keeping with what has become a tradition of sorts, this year will be no […]

Snuffleupagus: In the Garden Stuck on You

a little creepy, but beneficial

The great reptile hunter was at it again.  I saw my dog Chili lying in the grass, alert and stretching out her paw like she was batting at something.  And, of course, she was.  Meet Timmy the turtle (named after a pull toy I owned as a toddler…ahhhh memories!). Timmy is actually a three striped […]

Itzy and Bitzy…New Spiders for Me

Ahhh, you are in the jumping spider family (Salticidae)

The Groundsel Bushes (Baccharis spp.) a.k.a. Saltbush have been a-buzz.  By far the most visited of all shrubs in my Florida native plant garden this week.  Various wasps and ants and beetles have been mining the leaves for tasty morsels of the Groundselbush Beetle (Trirhabda bacharidis) larvae and/or aphids or scales. I was surprised that […]

Saturday Night Live Musical Guest in the Garden

You can see that the antenna is broken

I eyed a beefy looking katydid the other day, lounging on the leaf of a Redbay sapling (Persea sp.).  It was munching away probably trying to gain some nourishment to build up its strength.  This guy…and yes, it is a male…appeared to have done battle with a predator at some point. Antennas were broken off […]

Balance in the Garden: Ichneumon Parasitic Wasp

My latest Icheumon Wasp find on Redbud

Sometime ago I talked about how some wasps keep a garden in balance by using other arthropods as their larval hosts, laying eggs to hatch and feed off the caterpillars of moths or butterflies or beetle larvae.  It’s Nature’s way of ensuring you don’t get too many of one species.  The food chain in action. […]

Aphids are Good? Wait….WHAT???

syrphidCowbaneHoverOct2014

Down at my pond recently, I waited patiently for a flower fly to land for a photo op.  I use a point and shoot camera and have yet to find that the sports setting is effective at getting close-up photos of insects so I don’t use it.  I took a random shot or two while […]

A Heron By Any Other Name Would Be Easier To Identify

Who's out there on the island?

This is a fun time of year in Florida.  The birds are returning from their summer digs so I get a wide array of visitors.  I glanced out at the pond the other day and eyed a thin white head poking up through the cover of native grasses.  There standing on the tussock in the […]

Night of the Living Dead

Is the planthopper dressing up for Halloween?  The coloring seems ghostly

How does one control pest species such as grasshoppers and plant hoppers?  Often Mother Nature takes over control TO control.  Grasshoppers and other pests have some natural predators besides birds, and it isn’t just fauna. Think PATHOGENS… disease-causing agents!  All natural, no chemicals involved.   In recent times I ran into two examples of this phenomenon […]

Native Plant Garden of Gold

Solidago spp.

We’ve cooled down some in Central Florida, although by Northeast or Midwest standards it still is steamy and hot.  Still, it is Florida Autumn and the garden is reflecting the standard fall colors everyone is so accustomed to. As the golden flowers unfold, the birds wait with anticipation for some of the flowers to go […]

Inviting Dragonflies to Lunch in the Garden

Erythemis simplicicollis (male)

I noticed someone enjoying a bit of lunch in the garden recently.  It was an Eastern Pondhawk Dragonfly (Erythemis simplicicollis) and based on the coloration, a male. Males become pruinose blue with white claspers and a green face.” More often than not when I come across an Eastern Pondhawk in the garden it is one […]

Strays in the Garden

muskovyClose

Hear the word stray and most likely you think of a dog or cat running the neighborhood while some irresponsible owner is oblivious to the whereabouts of their pets. My area?  We get a different category of strays.  Next door currently has a stray chicken hanging around.  A couple of weeks ago, a gang of […]

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