The Good in Grapevines

cardinalgrapevineJuly2014

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

flagmarch2010

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

whatbird2

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 […]

Where Native Plants Grow, Butterflies Are Sure to Follow

Check out those fuzzy slippers!

A little over a week ago I mowed the dogs’ area of the yard.  I don’t like them looking at me with eyes that seem to say “MOM, this stuff is tickling our butts, crank up the mower and get with it.”  We had a few days of rain since that time, so, naturally, as […]

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