Hop to it in the Garden

Southern Leopard Frog blends in with the surroundings

As springtime turns toward summer things are really starting to hop around here. Literally! Seems that this week I cannot walk a single path in my beautiful wildlife garden without tripping over one of our amphibian friends. Southern Leopard Frogs (Lithobates sphenocephalus) of all shapes and sizes startle me as I peruse the native plant […]

A Dozen Dragonflies

Male Roseate Skimmer Dragonfly (Orthemis ferruginea) are probably the most eyecatching of Odonata

This time of year it is always a playground of critters at my place. Especially noticeable in recent weeks is the return of the numerous species of dragonflies that grace my place. Having a pond is key to encouraging reproducing Odonata. Don’t have room for a pond? As long as there is a similar water […]

Bird Population Soaring

four healthy eastern bluebirds

Spring 2015 is once again proving to be a banner year for bird broods in my beautiful wildlife garden.  Bluebird brood #2 has successfully hatched and 4 healthy mockingbird babies located in a holly shrub not 15 feet away joined them this past week.  It is dizzying watching the two sets of parents feed the […]

Native Plant Appreciation Week, Osceola County Florida

plantsalepubA

Today’s article is going to be about promoting the use of native plants, mostly because I forgot that today was Friday and didn’t do any critter research. I’ve been busy promoting The Central Florida Native Plant Sale (3rd annual) which is today, April 10, 2015 from 4-7 p.m. and tomorrow from 8 a.m. – 1 […]

Ladies of the Day

Olive colored female on Florida Native Plant Southern Bayberry; Wax Myrtle (Myrica cerifera)

Notwithstanding their common name, I’ll start by clarifying that they aren’t all ladies.  After all, in North America the order odonata need male and female to reproduce. I’m not clear how these insects acquired their common name.  Damselflies are an interesting group of insects. Predatory in both larval and adult stages, these are insects you […]

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

longtailskipdorsalMay2012

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

bluebirdpairnestboxFeb2015

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 […]

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