Great Blue Lobelia

I have two species of lobelias growing naturally in my yard, cardinal flower, and the great blue lobelia. Between the two of them they flower for much of the summer and well into fall, both among my longest lasting flowers. The cardinal flower begins to flower in early summer and has only finished flowering a… Continue reading Great Blue Lobelia

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The Importance of Goldenrods

At this time of year, I have several species of goldenrod flowering in my yard. Whenever I look at them, they are full of pollinators, including this fly. They are one of the few flowers left now, so provide one last source of pollen and nectar for the remaining insects. They often get the blame… Continue reading The Importance of Goldenrods

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Aster Season

This time of year, there are quite a few asters flowering, both in my woods and in sunnier areas near the creek. They provide food to lingering pollinators like flies, wasps, butterflies, and this bee, shot with a slower shutter speed to catch its busy blur. Asters provide welcome sources of pollen and nectar as… Continue reading Aster Season

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Vulture Visitors

There is a roost of black vultures in the park next to me, and a few times a year they venture into my yard. They just made one of their infrequent appearances, around thirty birds resting and sunning near the creek. As the day warmed, they slowly took off in small groups to fly in… Continue reading Vulture Visitors

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Ironweed

The first time I remember seeing ironweed was on a walk with my dad in the Adirondacks. We were walking near what was locally known as the Old Iron Bridge and since he liked to joke he mentioned something about the plant liking to eat iron. I was very young, and for years after whenever… Continue reading Ironweed

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Garden Night Life

I most often visit my garden by day, but night can be magical too. There are quite a few pollinators out and about, but what I enjoy most in summer are the sounds. For part of my academic research I recorded primate vocalizations, and for years after leaving academia I traveled the world recording nature… Continue reading Garden Night Life

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Jewelweed

As the name suggests, many people consider jewelweed to be a weed. I consider it a beautiful wildflower, prized by pollinators. Over the years I have encouraged them in my yard. Right now, I have two species in flower. The spotted jewelweed shown in this photo with a fly visitor is more common. The pale… Continue reading Jewelweed

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Oxblood Lily

When I bought my first house, in central North Carolina, my gardening instinct immediately kicked in. My dad and aunt nurtured my love of plants, and after more than a decade of dorm and apartment living, I was thrilled to have room for a garden. With six acres, my interest rapidly turned to obsession, and… Continue reading Oxblood Lily

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Fried Egg Flower

In my first garden in central North Carolina I grew both Franklinia alatamaha and Gordonia lasianthus. One winter a major ice storm coated the Gordonia leaves which persist through winter. The tree started to bend from the weight, and I was afraid branches might break off. In dedication bordering on obsession, I ran an extension… Continue reading Fried Egg Flower

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