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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What are Baby Turkeys Called?

what are baby turkeys called

Today I had an amazing encounter with a family of turkeys in our yard. Two baby turkeys and their mother spent more than an hour relaxing and walking around. I wrote all about the encounter here (turkey vs. bird garden statue) but as I was writing I kept wondering what …

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