How many eyes does a bee have?

How many eyes does a bee have? Five!

Today Cristina ran in the front door shouting “COME LOOK”. There were six pairs of small bees mating on the floor of our front porch! It was early spring and it was the first emergence of the mason bees who live in the small holes in our porch chairs. They …

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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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How to kill ivy without herbicides

How to kill English ivy

How to kill English ivy No offense to the English, but please get out of my yard. Here in the United States, English ivy plants are an unwelcome invasive species. It has been the bane of my existence for the last 12 years while trying to transform our North Carolina …

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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 Clean A Bird Bath

how to clean a bird bath

We have a bird bath in our front yard and love to watch the birds splashing happily and enjoying a drink. But if not maintained properly, a dirty bird bath is less attractive to birds and can actually spread disease to both birds and humans. So here’s a quick lesson …

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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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