Category Archives: Plants

Spring (finally) springing

I admit I’ve been waiting for something good to post…the year’s first lady beetle or first warbler or first life-list bird. By this time last year, I had all of those! Heck, I had a clutch of lady beetle eggs … Continue reading

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Posted in Arachnids, Birds, Blackbirds, Insects, Plants, Spiders, Thrushes, Warblers | Leave a comment

More haiku, because they’re addictive

Indian Corn Pearlescent kernels, Nestled against their neighbors, Gems in a coffer. Cat Ears stiff as sailcloth Whiskers poised like galley oars The hunter embarks. Lady Beetle Smooth-shelled hemisphere Candy-colored polka dots Beneath: the dark jaws.

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Posted in Cats, Lady beetles, Mammals, Plants, Poetry, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Haiku for a windy day

Willows blown sideways Like kelp in a strong current Wind is air’s riptide.

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Posted in Poetry, Trees, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Poison ivy: a burning question

[T]there really are a few benefits to humans. But as a nature-lover and birdwatcher married to a botanist, I’ve learned that poison ivy is very beneficial for wildlife! Continue reading

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Posted in Arachnids, Birds, Butterflies and Moths, Insects, Mites, Plants, Poison Ivy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Ashy-Gray Lady Beetles

Despite the name, not all of these beetles are gray; some are black with two red spots. They are also not the only gray lady beetles around… Continue reading

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Chilocorus kuwanae lady beetles

Chilocorus kuwanae has no common name in English, and has been introduced to North America for biocontrol. It is a beautiful species, glossy black with two red spots. Continue reading

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Posted in Bug Links, Chilocorinae, Insects, Lady beetles, Life Cycles, Plants | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Life List Bird #194: Bicknell’s Thrush

I spent a wonderful afternoon sitting in a willow tree in Philly’s Roosevelt Park (incongruously right across the street from all the sports stadiums, but a great birdwatching location nonetheless). I had my binoculars and one hand and cell phone … Continue reading

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Posted in Birds, Blackbirds, Mimids, Plants, Thrushes, Trees, Warblers | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Perspective

I’m probably the only person who looks at a milkweed plant literally encrusted with aphids and says “Oh, that’s beautiful!” Hey, with two dozen tiny coccinellid mouths to feed, it is. And aphids themselves come in a dizzying array of … Continue reading

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Birds and bugs, oh my!

I had a GREAT bird and bug commute. Since I left the house an hour early, I spent an hour strolling in Old City, where a single tree had 7, count ‘em, 7 species of warbler, including the very rare … Continue reading

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Posted in Aphids, Birds, Butterflies and Moths, Insects, Lady beetles, Plants, Warblers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The wonders of milkweed

My happy moment of the day was seeing a big patch of 3-foot-tall milkweed – that means two things, a) monarch butterflies and b) lady beetles eating oleander aphids. Didn’t see oleander aphids, actually, but where there is milkweed there … Continue reading

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Posted in Aphids, Butterflies and Moths, Insects, Lady beetles, Milkweed, Plants | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment