Butterfly Brawl

I am a strong believer in listening to people who know what they are talking about. Unfortunately, sometimes people who usually know what they are talking about shoot themselves in the foot, often by insisting that they know more than they really do.

Our Last Monarch

By which I mean, the last Monarch we raised indoors and then released out in the garden. Now that the southward migration has begun, I don’t expect to find any more Monarch eggs or caterpillars.

Pollinators, Known and Unknown, in the Late Summer Garden

Summer is winding down, but there are still plenty of pollinators in the garden. Here’s a collection of some I saw recently. Some are old friends, while certain others and I have never been properly introduced to others. Help with ID would… Read More

Goldfinches, the Vegan Birds

Our Cup Plants (Silphium perfoliatum) are full of Goldfinches these days. Goldfinches love Cup Plant seeds. Also Echinacea seeds, Sunflower (Helianthus) seeds, and Thistle seed, among others. But of those 4, I only have Cup Plants.

Hummingbirds: Tiny, Feisty, and Fun to Watch

We’re seeing hummingbirds with greater frequency around the garden. I suppose they are getting ready for their migration to southern Mexico and Central America, where they spend the winter.

Monarch on Mexican Sunflower

My favorite butterfly on my favorite annual flower. That’s all.

A New Wren Family in the Birdhouse

So we have more wren babies in one of our birdhouses, this time the blue one near the west hedge of the Back Garden. Earlier today Judy was watching and taking pictures as the parents frantically tried to keep the nestlings fed…. Read More

A Summer Picnic for Pollinators

There was a lot of buzzing in the garden the other day, buzzing and fluttering. So I decided I would do a little pollinator post. Judy was out of town, though, so these pics are not be up to her usual quality.

Our First Home Grown Monarch Butterflies

So Judy and I just raised our first Monarch butterflies to adulthood. We were nervous about trying, but then we read that only about 5% of Monarch caterpillars in the wild make it to adulthood. We figured we could do better than… Read More

Birds, Butterflies, and Bison at the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie

An hour’s drive southwest of Chicago is an 18,000-acre prairie preserve called Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie (pronounced Mi-DAY-win). The preserve was created mostly out of lands that had belonged to the now-closed Joliet Army Ammunition Plant. Today the land is part of… Read More