The Mourning Cloak

Well, okay. One more. (Not a series!)

Still Life With Katydid

Heading out tomorrow at the crack of godawful, to visit my parents, do a gallery opening, all that good stuff. I am already tired, so this may be the Death March of the Wombat. We’ll see. I shall leave you with a katydid. Seriously, check out that face. Also, I got a barred owl in […]

Spiny Oak Slug

Dude! Dude! Check this guy out! Happened to be looking in exactly the right spot while building my swale and went “Wait a minute, that’s not a normal leaf…” This is Euclea delphinii. He will turn into a brown moth with big green spots on his wings. While trying to learn more about him, I […]

Random Things In The Garden

So my hickory tree—the big one outside my window—is being systematically defoliated by a pack of walnut caterpillars. They are large and look stingy, with their long white hairs, they congregate in groups, and they are quite large. Even a relentless friend of wildlife such as myself will admit to bein’ a little squicked out. […]

Grapevine Beetle

A handsome member of the scarab family, this rather large beetle showed up on the side of my garage. They eat wild and domestic grapes and Virginia creeper, although the damage they cause is so minor that most authorities suggest it’s not worth bothering controlling them. As we have no domestic grapes here, I’ve got […]

Oh my freakin’ god.

So apparently the world is divided into two groups. People who know that lawn crayfish exist, and people who go “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!” Up until an hour ago, I belonged to the latter group. And then I was idly raking leaves off some tender plants in the narrow, soggy flowerbed alongside […]


Stumbled over this while putting up Redneck Flowerbeds along the fence. (Ingredients–one 2 x 8, two metal stakes, one mallet, one chain link fence. Add dirt and mulch, plant vines along fence line so that you don’t have to keep staring at the @[email protected]#!&! chain link.) My botanical knowledge is pretty extensive in some very […]

Stuff In My Yard: Pineapple Sage

´╗┐Salvia elegans It’s fall, definitely and thoroughly fall, and the real show-stopper in the garden at the moment is the pineapple sage. My mother grew pineapple sage, and I remember it fondly as a small potted annual herb, pleasant-smelling and vigorous, but not particularly large, and I’m not sure if it ever actually flowered. Now […]

Pickerel Frog

Well, look at you! This handsome little fellow hopped out from under one of my bags of topsoil, and I managed to snap a few photos. (He was happy to just hang out on the dirt for awhile, perhaps hoping that I would go away.) I believe he’s a pickerel frog–he’s a little bigger than […]

Stuff In My Yard: Shrubby St. John’s Wort

Shrubby St. John’s Wort Hypericum prolificum Despite the name, shrubby St. John’s wort is not the same as the stuff you get in bottles to treat the blues, nor the one that makes cows get weird sunburns. That’s a noxious weed. This, however, is a North American native, a compact, not-terribly-large shrub found throughout the […]