Woolly Bear Caterpillars

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you will know that I am intrigued by the common names of plants and animals. And what could be more appealing than a caterpillar called a Woolly Bear? It turns out that there are several varieties of these Woolly Bears. Here is a picture of a …

Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)

Flickers are part of the woodpecker family, but they have a few unique traits. Northern flicker, Roslyn, New York Behavior: Like most woodpeckers, northern flickers drum on objects as a form of communication and territory defense. In such cases, the object is to make as loud a noise as possible, so woodpeckers sometimes drum on …

Liriope

An organization called PlantNoVaNative.org has this to say about invasive plants: Non-Native Invasive Plants in Northern Virginia and Regional Native Alternatives  Invasive, non-native plants do not provide the same ecosystem services as natives and have a harmful effect on our environment, not only in the suburban community but also in our forests, parks, and other …

Deer eating your plants?

Yes, ours, too. We have a group of brown-eyed susans (Rudbeckia triloba) in the Meditation Garden. We were very disappointed recently when we saw this: So we started using this deer repellent: It comes in capsules, which you scatter around your plants, and then water. Clearly, it works! I understand that deer get used to …

Monarch Migration

Have you seen any monarch butterflies around recently? They’re all around our neighborhoods at this time of year. It’s hard to believe, but these butterflies are preparing themselves to fly to Mexico. Just take a look at those flimsy little wings! The butterflies find their way to a particular forest in Mexico. These individual butterflies …