Tag Archives: gardening

A slow start to spring

After experiencing the snowiest and fifth-coldest winter on record in southeast Michigan, it’s no surprise that many plants have been slow to emerge this spring. Today I compared the current development of my garden perennials to photos I took in March of … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Beach strawberry

Beach strawberry (Fragaria chiloensis, Rosaceae) can be found among beaches, coastal dunes and grasslands along the Pacific Ocean from Alaska through South America. I came across the individual above at Redwood National Park in California this April. As with other strawberries … Continue reading

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Young eastern cottontail eating grass

The other day I noticed this young eastern cottontail (Lagomorpha: Leporidae: Sylvilagus floridanus) outside my back door eating some grass. I have a number of these rabbits around my house in southeast Michigan, and if they stuck to eating grass they … Continue reading

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Spring is Springing

Here in southeast Michigan (and indeed in much of the country) we’ve experienced one of the warmest winters on record.  Even though spring doesn’t officially start until tomorrow, for over a week it’s been more like May than March.  Our … Continue reading

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Plant-Insect Interaction: Squash bug on zucchini plant

Back in March I found one of these squash bugs (Anasa tristis, Coreidae) overwintering in a rotting tree here in southern Michigan.  Now that it’s warm and their favorite food plants are flourishing, they’re out in force.  I found a … Continue reading

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Plant-Insect Interaction: Horned squash bug on yellow straightneck squash

When looking at some yellow straightneck squash plants (Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbitaceae) in a Michigan greenhouse the other day, I found a bunch of these horned squash bugs (Anasa armigera, Coreidae).  If you zoom in on the head, you can see … Continue reading

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Plant-Insect Interaction: Striped cucumber beetle on yellow straightneck squash

While out in a southeast Michigan greenhouse the other day, I noticed some striped cucumber beetles (Acalymma vittatum, Chrysomelidae) on yellow straightneck squash plants (Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbitaceae).  Adult beetles feed on the leaves of many plants in the family Cucurbitaceae, … Continue reading

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Plant-Insect Interaction: Eastern carpenter bees on common marigolds

Similar in size and appearance to bumble bees (Bombus sp., Apidae), the bee shown here is actually an eastern carpenter bee (Xylocopa virginica, Apidae).  You can tell them apart by looking at the top of their abdomens.  Bumble bees have … Continue reading

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Plant-Insect Interaction: Northern paper wasp on an American red raspberry

Although we’re well into autumn, the American red raspberries (Rubus idaeus, Rosaceae) in my garden are still producing flowers and berries.  The decreasing temperatures and sunlight have slowed their production, but they’re not done for the season yet. I found … Continue reading

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Plant-Insect Interaction: Silver-spotted skipper on Russian sage

Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia, Lamiaceae) is perhaps my favorite garden perennial.  It’s a small woody bush that grows in an upright habit.  It requires almost no watering or care.  It’s covered in interesting and attractive deeply-lobed leaves.   It even looks … Continue reading

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When dew is not dew

Sometimes when you head outside in the morning, you can see drops of what appear to be dew on the leaves of some plants.  While dew commonly forms on plants as atmospheric water vapor condenses, what you see isn’t always … Continue reading

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