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Entries in nature blog (56)

Sunday
Oct142012

Everything But the Birds...

If anyone is wondering why I haven't featured my bird photography in a while it's because there's hardly been any birds traversing the backyard.  Just a bad several months in the recent past.  Hoping the cooler temperatures to come will bring some new life in the backyard.  

At the loss of birds to photograph, I rounded up a few other subjects that are full of life in the backyard.  I hope you enjoy the photographs below.  Nature is always a big part of GadgetSponge.  I keep upcycling and repurposing the focus of my work to keep things out of landfills to benefit nature in a special way.

Monday
Sep242012

Monday Visitors & Plants

My friend Pam told me she saw some Monarch eggs on her butterfly weed plants.  I was hoping they weren't far behind for me.  I checked my plants this afternoon and sure enough, I found a Monarch caterpillar...

And I never get tired of seeing the honey bees with all the hardship they've faced in recent years.  I sure hope they can bounce back.  They are usually all over the Mexican Heather plants, but they've definitely taken a liking to the butterfly weed plants lately.

I usually always have some Milkweed Bugs hanging around.  Their vivid "warning" colors let birds and other predators know that eating them would be bad news for them.  They accumulate toxins from milkweed plants in their bodies.  They only aggravate me when I'm trying to collect the seeds from the Butterfly Weed plants like the pods shown in the next photo...

The wind will pick up the fluffy ends of each seed pod and send it out with the wind to propagate.

The Turk's Cap plants are going as strong as ever and keeping the hummingbirds happy along with the feeders.

All the rose plants are all blooming already after pruning them in late August.

 I planted this Purple Spider Flower in early Summer and it has thrived.  Loves the heat and doesn't require a lot of watering.  I clipped and limb and rooted it in some potting soil and dirt mix and it took right off again.  It's my new favorite.  The plant is now a bush measuring about 36 inches wide and 48 inches tall.  The butterflies, moths, and bees love it.

Tuesday
Sep182012

Catching the "Tiger" by the tail...

I had this Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly visiting the backyard today.  Looks like something caught one of its tails.  Maybe a bird.  Maybe a cat.  Who knows.  Thankfully, it survived.  

If you're looking to attract these beauties to your yard, you might want to plant some of these trees:  Yellow Poplar, Black Willow, Lilac, Black Cherry, American Hornbeam, Red Maple, Spicebush, American Elm, Sassafras, among others.

Every butterfly has "host plants" that it uses to lay eggs onto and the caterpillars eat the leaves of those plants and then go to form a chrysalis.  If you see some of your leaves being eaten on certain plants, be sure to check because you might already have a host plant.  Look for very small to larger caterpillars before you go to spraying poisons.

Sunday
Aug122012

After The Rain...(yesterday)

Roseate Skimmer Dragonfly

Gulf Fritillary Caterpillar

Tuesday
Aug072012

GadgetSponge Featured in Birds & Bloom Magazine!

It's a great day!  A couple of my repurposed birdhouses have just been featured in the just-released issue of Birds & Blooms magazine.  Birds & Blooms is by far my favorite magazine because it incorporates both birds and plants.  

If you're interested in the same topics, you won't regret subscribing to this magazine.  It's VERY affordable and you'll love every issue.  Thanks Birds & Blooms!