A Dozen Diurnal Moths

Bella Moth (Utetheisa ornatrix)

Diurnal moths fly during the day rather than at night like the majority of moths.  Some are quite pretty and are often mistaken for butterflies.  One way to differentiate between the butterflies and moths is to look at the antenna.  Moths have feathered antenna and butterflies have clubbed ends. So, here is a dozen diurnal […]

Christmas in July: Wild Poinsettia

Paintedleaf (Poinsettia cyathophora;  synonym: Euphorbia cyathophora)

Next to the patio I have a patch of Paintedleaf a.k.a. Fire-On-The-Mountain a.k.a. Wild Poinsettia (Poinsettia cyathophora;  synonym: Euphorbia cyathophora).  This area gets morning sun and begins to move into the shadow of the carport in early afternoon.  It is amazing the amount of activity that takes place each day at this beautiful native plant […]

Slither Here, Slither There

While they may bite if you harrass them, they are more inclined to warn you off with a simple flick of the tongue

The other day I was doing my daily lap around the pond (on foot, I didn’t swim it ) when I nearly stepped on one of my slithering friends. A demure Peninsula Ribbon Snake (Thamnophis sauritus sackenii) was scouting through the littoral zone of the pond in search of something good to eat. This native […]

Identifying Garden Fresh Eggs

Eastern Bluebirds (Sialia Sialis) eggs

Last month my post showed the power of love in my native plant and wildlife garden with photos of an array of mating critters. This month it seems the seeds have been planted, so to speak, and the eggs are arriving. Most obvious would be the bluebirds, that have had several broods each year since […]

Love is In the Air in My Native Plant Garden

Even winged sumac (Rhus copallinum) shows it has heart

It’s that time of year!  Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day 2015, so I thought I would share the annual lovefest in my garden.  I attribute my many reproducing critters to having the host plants they need to survive. They are the native plants that grace my wildlife garden.  A different kind of love involves the predators […]

In The Garden, I May Not See You, But I Know You’re There

Southeastern Five-lined Skink (Plestiodon inexpectatus) In case you are wondering what a skink looks like from the outside rather than what comes out from the insides

Sometimes you know there are critters in your garden, but you don’t necessarily get to see their flying, furry or feathery self.  How can you tell?  Well, they leave signs. Signs can be something as simple as a sound.  Many birds are secretive and some, like owls are nocturnal and not everyone gets to observe […]

Happy Holly-days, the Robins Return

nphappyholidays2014

I awoke this morning to temperatures that were a little cold by Central Florida standards (low 40s F). As the sun came up I grabbed a cup of coffee and headed to the kitchen window to watch the bird activity of the morning. I was greeted by the return of American Robins (Turdus migratorius).  On […]

Hit Men in the Native Plant Garden

hunting on Deertongue

I met a new Assassin Bug in my garden this week.  My place is home to several different subfamilies of assassin bugs which are predators and beneficial in the garden.  Assassin Bugs paralyze their prey by injecting toxins that dissolve tissue and easily sucking the juices through their proboscis. This fellow (or gal) looks a […]

And in This Corner…Active Arachnids

Sad when the prey is a wasp

It is Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia viridans) season at my place.  Every year at this time they set up shop…often you’ll find them hovering and protecting their egg sac for weeks.  Momma does tend to the little ones. While technically spiders are not insects as they have 8 legs (they are Arachnids), most of us […]

The Many Faces of Primrosewillow

ludwigia070213

Family Onagraceae                     Genus Ludwigia I’ve grown quite fond of Primrosewillow (Ludwigia spp.).  They provide bright yellow spots in moist to wet landscapes primarily in the Southeastern United States.*  {click on the subordinate taxa tab in the database to find the native most appropriate for your […]

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