On the very day I learn about an aphid’s “twin tailpipes (cornicles) at the rear of the insect,” an aphid appears in my kitchen and shows me twin tailpipes. See here on my arm? 6 legs, 2 antennae, and then the 2 dealies poking out the back? Cornicles. Continue reading “Sidewalk Nature: Aphid Alarms”
“Bottlebrush buckeye!” I yelled on the sidewalk, but not super loud, so I wouldn’t embarrass the middle-schooler with me.
“Hmm,” said the middle-schooler. “I thought it was a ball in a sack.”
We were both right. All buckeye seeds hang in a ball in a sack. Continue reading “Sidewalk Nature: Bottlebrush Buckeye”
Sometimes I gobble blueberries by the cup. Sometimes I drown them in heavy cream and then gobble by the cup. But this morning, I was restrained. I nibbled my blueberries slowly, one at a time, parcelling them out as the summer treats they are.
A lacewing is glad I did.
Because look: Continue reading “Kitchen Nature: Blueberry host”
Sidewalk Nature: Wild black cherries are ripe! Prunus serotina.
We need more native black cherry trees, so come chew a few drupes and plant the pits? Continue reading “Sidewalk Nature: Black Cherry”
Lyre-leaf sage. Isn’t it a pretty name? And a pretty flower? But this is another of those “weeds” people poison and mow and pluck out of precious lawn grass. Lyre-leaf sage is native, it spreads by seed, it can make a lovely groundcover (a good native alternative to Ajuga / Bugle), and I just this minute learned it is an excellent nectar plant for hummingbirds. Continue reading “Sidewalk Nature: Hummingbird weeds”
Here’s my article from our neighborhood newsletter.
In it, I share what I’m trying at home
- Diverse lawn
- Shrinking lawn
- Lazy lawn
- Native lawn
- Messy lawn
- Toxin-free lawn
Our kid is sick, I’m stuck at home, and it’s too cold and wet to sit in the yard. But, I have been able to get out for two neighborhood walks.
Here is my report for Earth Day:
Saw confirmation the Osage Orange tree we drive past every is a boy. I’m still learning the gender spectrum of tree species: some are male, some are female, some are both. Some have “perfect” flowers with male and female bits, and some trees can surprise you with twigs that morph into one or the other. Osage Orange trees are dioecious: either male or female (usually), and now I know not to expect fruit from this particular specimen. These flowers are male:
Here’s a few seconds of rain tapping hundreds of umbrellas. Mayapples (Podophyllum peltatum) were one of my first wildflowers, and are still a favorite. The fat, green parasols have a cartoony cuteness, as if the Lorax grew spring ephemerals under his Truffula trees. Continue reading “Park Nature: Early April”
Maple flower flurries.
No sitting on the porch with a teacup today: falling flowers flit past the brim despite my hand as cover.
This is one of those milestones of spring easily missed, especially if you don’t happen to live or walk or park under a Sugar Maple.
I love this moment. It helps make up for the maple flowers leaving, and the maple leaves coming. If I pay attention to all the steps—from bud to budburst to flower to leaf to fruit—spring feels slower, more manageable, less panicked. Continue reading “Sidewalk Nature: Maple Flower Flurries”
Got this envelope in the mailbox today:
It reads: “Address lawn threats now. Love your lawn this summer” Continue reading “When lawncare means poison”