In the Garden: Cloudy with a Chance of Confusion

None of the angles revealed enough for a firm species identification

I met a new butterfly this week.  This particular butterfly is one of the skippers. Skippers are in the Superfamily Hesperioidea, as opposed to say, Swallowtails or Milkweed Butterflies that are in the Papilionoidea Superfamily encompassing Butterflies (excluding skippers). Skippers are a diverse bunch and often hard to identify. This skipper was rather large, dull […]

The Worms Crawl In but Do They Swim?

A "raft" of webworms float on the waters

This week I noticed that there was some webbing on a Baldcypress tree I planted a while back. At some point my property was likely home to many of these trees as is evident by decaying knees I see when the pond level gets low.  These majestic trees require wet conditions during part of the year […]

Wildlife Deception as a Defense

Closeup of a complete Glass Lizard from November 2010

Tanner, the English Setter was headed out for his afternoon stroll of the yard.  I saw something over behind a tall cluster of Bidens alba and it seemed to be thrashing.  Tanner zoomed on over and flushed out a Red-Shouldered Hawk.  The hawk flew off with its feathers somewhat ruffled in the quick getaway. Tanner […]

Garden Duplicity

Wait, those antenna look threadlike and there are no knobs

When I’m walking around my beautiful wildlife garden, I’m always on the alert for something that just seems out of place.  In the process, I’m often rewarded with some pretty interesting encounters. Recently I was finishing up the morning tour of the dog area when my eye was drawn to the Bidens alba.  I spotted […]

When Wildlife Moves On

Florida Softshell Turtle

I’m a bit sad. Well, not yet, but I will be soon.  I caught Thomasina, *my* Florida Softshell Turtle (Apalone ferox) trying to make a break for it. Generally quite shy, it is the first time I got to photograph her out of the water.  She was slinking her way through a grassy path in […]

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 […]

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