Skink Wars and More on These Sleek Lizards

The solo one from above that was leaning on the wall.

I was on the patio late one afternoon and the trashcan was rocking.  I glanced over since you never know what creature of nature will be visiting my place.  I figured that maybe a black racer or water snake had slithered underneath the wheels setting the rocking in motion. Then I heard thrashing and a […]

Bluebird Babies Shepherd in Spring 2015

Lots of mouths to feed

Big doings at my Central Florida home today.  First day of spring and what could be more rewarding than having the first brood of Eastern Bluebirds (Sialia sialis) hatch?  NOTHING! I saw mom and dad doing a bit of back and fourth to the nest box early this morning. Such activity is a sure sign […]

Don’t Skip the Long-Tailed Skipper Butterfly


I spotted a skipper butterfly flitting from leaf to leaf on the ticktrefoil (Desmodium spp.). This woody somewhat vine-y genus of plants has many different species.  I’m still not confident in my identification to species, and I tend to think that this one is introduced rather than the native. Since I saw the butterfly on […]

Butterflies are Free

Nectar sources such as Bidens alba are great to attract adult butterflies such as this Gulf Fritillary Butterfly

Planting beautiful and aromatic nectar sources is an easy way to attract adult pollinators. A flower garden will really draw them in. And everyone enjoys the beautiful colors of the flowers and the butterflies and bees that land. But, it is equally important to provide for the next generation. This means planting larval host plants. […]

National Invasive Species Awareness

You need to get beyond the beauty of a flower and realize the effect on the environment as a whole Caesarweed
(Urena lobata) Non-native Invasive in Florida

It is National Invasive Species Awareness Week 2015.  Somehow the memo that came to my neck of the woods didn’t highlight the “AWARENESS” keyword in the promotional name.  As a result, it seems the invasive species around here thought it was an invitation to move in and celebrate…like Mardi Gras.  HARUMMPH!!!! Early in the week […]

Bluebirds Staking Claim


It’s a brisk day here in Central Florida with record lows hovering around the freezing mark.  The birds are in full flurry, tanking up on the various berries and fruits that are available for winter dining in my native plant garden. I was pleased to see the Eastern Bluebirds (Sialia sialis) are back house hunting […]

Balance in the Garden: Can Fruit Flies Help Weed Control?

They have such beautiful wing markings

Funny that when I think of fruit flies I immediately feel the need to swat something around the bowl of fruit on the counter or rinse the nearest apple. They really don’t conjure up visions of garden weeds. But, if you think of fruit in terms of a dictionary definition: The ripened ovary or ovaries […]

There are Different Types of Ladybugs?

Spotless Lady Beetle (Cycloneda sanguinea)  has white markings on black face

The ladybird beetles a.k.a. ladybugs were out visiting this week.  It feels like spring here in Florida, so they are busy scouring the leaves and flowers of plants seeking nourishment.  Both adult and larva, side by side, munching away on aphids, scale or other pests. I’ve several different species around the yard and this week […]

Florida Winter Birds

The Catbirds continue to enjoy Sumac fruit as it dries

I’ve had two recent avian visitors that for me are a real treat.  You see migrating birds aren’t exclusively a phenomenon of northern climes.  Florida also has migratory visitors, some merely passing through and some that stay a few months but don’t breed here. If you prepare a Florida winter wildlife garden to their liking, […]

Arbor Day? Yes! And It’s All About Florida Trees!

A live oak provided the perfect nesting spot for Mourning Doves

Florida weather puts us ahead of the April National Arbor Day planting curve.  The third Friday of January is officially designated as Florida Arbor Day (in Louisiana too!).   Tis our dry season, so I suppose we plant now to get the roots reaching deep for water before rainy season hits and makes it easy.  This […]

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