Magnolia green jumping spider (Lyssomanes viridis)

Magnolia green jumper spider juvenile face portrait

The Magnolia green jumping spider (Lyssomanes viridis) is a small green jumping spider that can be identified by the four pairs of black dots on either side of its midline. *This article may contain affiliate links. We receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.* Do you need …

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American amber jelly fungus (Exidia crenata)

amber jelly mushroom

American amber jelly fungus (Exidia crenata) is a wood-rotting fungus that can be found year-round on hardwood branches and sticks after rains. It is common in North America and fairly easy to find. It is also known as amber jelly roll. This jelly mushroom used to be called Exidia recisa, …

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Chocolate tube slime mold (Stemonitis splendens)

chocolate tube slime on wood

Chocolate tube slime (Stemonitis splendens) is a species of mold that is typically found on fallen trees and decaying wood. We found the ones in these photos on a fallen log in our yard, but this mold can also be found growing on damp wood in houses. Chocolate tube slime …

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American Strawberry Bush Plant (Euonymus americanus)

American strawberry capsule with seeds

The American strawberry bush (Euonymus americanus) is a perennial deciduous shrub that grows in full/partial shade in deciduous woodlands, swamps, and sandy thickets in the southeastern US. Its native range goes from Florida to Texas and from New York south along the Ohio valley. These beautiful native shrubs are also …

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Oconee bell flower (Shortia galacifolia)

Oconee Bells flower

Today we braved the rain and went for a stroll inThe Botanical Gardens at Asheville, North Carolina. It was a chilly late February day, but we were richly rewarded with the first Oconee Bell flowers of the season! Normally flowering from mid-March to April, we had just come off a …

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Spiny Oak-Slug Caterpillar (Euclea delphinii)

poisonous caterpillar

Summer is the time of the year when butterflies and moths are everywhere in our yard. Which means it is time to search for cool caterpillars! Today I went outside to check on our native passion flower vine and I noticed someone on our deck rail I’d never seen before. …

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How to Make a Monarch Butterfly Garden

Monarch Butterly garden

Monarch butterflies are in trouble. The global monarch population has plummeted in the past 20 years, shrinking  from 1 billion to just 55 million. This has been caused by changes in agriculture, use of pesticides, conversion of grasslands to crops, and destruction of their wintering habitat in Mexico. A recent …

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