Our dog loves hackberry trees. If there is a hackberry seedling within range of her face, she finds it. Under the neighbor’s boxwood, up the U-channel of the stop sign, poking from a storm drain, or wherever. She plucks the leaves with her teeth. She will chew as many as her leash lets her have time for. The seedling may be flanked by baby elm or privet or althea or bush honeysuckle of a similar size, but she only goes for hackberry leaves. Continue reading “Hackberry Jam”
Frostflowers are neither frost nor flower, but are “blooming” right now.
Continue reading “Frostflowers”
Oaks are hard. Hard wood, yes, and hard to identify. This morning, I’m trying to key out a mystery oak on our dog walk, so I came home with a twig, buds, acorns and leaves. A few leaves are still green, and the undersides (the abaxial surface, thank you) gave me pause. Continue reading “Leaf armpits”
Field Trip Leavings is a short essay I wrote after an autumn ramble through the Meadow Tree Trail at Warner Park Nature Center. I’m delighted to report it has been published in The Fourth River: “a journal of nature and place-based writing published by Chatham University’s MFA in Creative Writing Programs.” Continue reading “Field Trip Leavings (Meadow Tree Trail)”
Fall is here, and stuff is falling. Look down. Although this site is called Look Around, sometimes and to some people, to look around is too tall an order. So look down. It’s easier. Down is just past the margins of our smartphones. And down is the quickest place to see signs of the seasons.
Welcome to Sidewalk Nature. Today’s nature is ginkgo “fruit.”* Continue reading “Sidewalk Nature: Ginkgo Fruit”
Snowberry Clearwing. Sounds like a unicorn name, doesn’t it? But it’s a type of sphinx moth—Hemaris diffinis—and before it becomes a moth, it’s a caterpillar. The caterpillar even has a single “horn,” though fake (to scare predators) and on the rear (to confuse predators). Continue reading “Snowberry Clearwing Caterpillar”
Another favorite butterfly: the American Snout. That fabulous schnoz is supposed to mimic a leaf stalk: the better to camouflage the butterfly as dead leaf. The system doesn’t work so well on a window. Continue reading “American Snout”
Please say the title of this post aloud as would Sir David Attenborough: with every “a” a long vowel. Cicahdah Drahmah. I can’t help but giggle when he hosts the periodical cicada segment of Planet Earth. Continue reading “Cicada Drama”
A windfall pawpaw yellow, overripe, and nibbled by ants is still a pawpaw. Continue reading “Parthenon Pawpaw”
Morning mist advertises neighborhoods of webs I’d swear were not there yesterday. So wet and white, and so many: 23 just in the front strip of lawn between our porch and the driveway. Continue reading “Funnel Webs in the Yard”