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Seen these Signs of Nature Babies?

29 Jun

   Butterfly larva.  (Looks like a painted lady butterfly. See more info about development stages here)



Teeny tiny egg shelll! Seen any new birds nests?






Here’s the egg next to a sharpie, for scale… I will leave this egg on the raised herb beds outside the play area in case anyone wants to take a peek!  –





Hollow Joe-Pye Weed or Trumpetweed (Eutrochium fistulosum)

23 Jul

Hollow Joe-Pye Weed Image: Wasowski, Sally and Andy, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center


Flowering in late summer to early fall, Joe-pye weed (Eutrochium fistulosum) shows pale purple or pinkish florets. The stems are purple or greenish, and the plant can grow 5 to 12 feet high. This member of the Aster family is known to attract “scores of butterflies,” according to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center‘s database, as well as honey bees and swamp sparrow birds, which eat the seeds.

Related: What’s In Our Butterfly Garden 



Monarda fistulosa L. (Wild Bergamot, Bee Balm)

3 Jul


Monarda fistulas. This is a plate from The Botanical Magazine, Volume 5. 1792 Author: William Curtis

Monarda fistulosa L. This is a plate from The Botanical Magazine, Volume 5. 1792 Author: William Curtis


Known as wild bergamot or bee balm (Monarda fistulosa L.), this perennial is a member of the mint family. Its nectar attracts birds, butterflies and hummingbirds. According to Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, wild bergamot is very easy to start from seed. Maybe we should try to collect and dry the seeds for next year?  Its beautiful — and considered especially beneficial to bees and butterflies! –Denise     




Gourd Birdhouse

29 Jun


Have you seen the apple-shaped birdhouse hanging from the tree near the picnic tables? It’s a birdhouse hand-crafted from a gourd, by Linda, seen in this photo with Benji and her product. We met Linda and her wares at a farmers’ market in Berlin, Maryland this weekend while we were visiting my parents.

According to Linda, who grows, cleans, dries, stains and seals each gourd herself, the hole is just the right size for song birds, but too small for much else…I don’t know much about birdhouses but I thought this was both cute and cool. Any concerns? Questions? Deb says the hole placement may be problematic as it can collect rain water…I’m not too sure but will defer to the group. –Denise



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