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Insects and pests

Providing winter hospitality to wildlife

Providing winter hospitality to both vertebrate (birds mammals, lizards, etc.) and invertebrate (insects, spiders, worms, etc) wildlife is an important consideration when tidying the garden at the end of the season. It really is a balancing act on how much fall cleanup to do. On the one hand, maintaining an attractive landscape year-round is an overall goal for most, but doing so while providing wintering habitat for beneficial insects and wildlife is even better. I try viewing my yard from...
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Methods for identifying plants is a great learning experience

I admire the knowledge of plant biologists, especially that group of expert botanists who make me feel like a novice in comparison…those are the people I love to hang around with at any given opportunity to improve my own skills and knowledge. Every time I look up a plant description, a little place in the back of my mind remembers that someone or a group of someones very similar at some point in history discovered my exact plant of interest, describing it in extreme detail and giving it a...
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The best monster movies get their ideas from nature

I’m pretty sure I know where writers get a lot of their ideas for monster movies…from the insect world. Case in point. One minute I’m happy the monarch butterfly and eastern black swallowtail larvae are munching away on the larval food plants I especially planted for them, then next they are part of a buffet for the local wasp population. Walk by a sweet fennel or milkweed of any kind and you will see various wasps flying around looking for caterpillar prey. I understand it is part of the...
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Gardening in comfort

This is the second time of the year when the jungle needs the most weeding…the first being early spring. But unlike spring, it’s now hot and the mosquitoes are in abundance, not to mention the humidity makes the simplest task a chore. The weeding needs to continue though or the undesirables will reign supreme. So on really hot days, in addition to my normal insulated water bottle, sunglasses, hat, sunscreen, gloves, weed prong, hand pruners, basket and iTunes, I have added a 100’ outdoor...
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