Author Archives: Chris Erickson

Plant spicebush, sit back, wait for spicebush swallowtails.

The two spicebush are about 12 inches tall. They have about 40 leaves between them. From a landscape perspective they are basically invisible. And they are crawling with spicebush swallowtail caterpillars.

Mountain Mint: Pollinator paradise

This should be the first plant in your new wildlife garden.

Waiting for Andropogon gerardii

It doesn’t just take humility to learn from and be restored by a sprouting grass, it also takes the perceptiveness to recognize where your human limits brush up against something much greater and more mysterious.

Reusing Yard “Waste” In the Spirit of Spring

Re-using last year’s dead plants and a look at a favorite portrayal of spring: Alexei Savrasov’s “The Rooks Have Returned.”

The goldenrod gall fly

The goldenrod gall fly, its goldenrod host, and its many predators may not at first seem like the kind of story that informs and gives meaning to our lives.

Summer thunderstorms, winter cold, same lessons

It is nearly February, the third month of winter. Louisville winters are on the mild side but I’m still tired of being damp and cold. I’m tired of cold floors in the morning and gusting winds while I take out the trash.

Smoking mushrooms

It wasn’t until I naively googled “smokers” and “smoking mushrooms” that I realized the joke had been on me for a long time. How could I have not noticed our innocent childhood names had multiple meanings?

Befuddling leaves and accidental tree friends

While I was feeling increasingly frustrated what actually happened is I got to know a tree better than I’ve known any tree in my life.

The elusive, magnificent wheel bug

I stopped to look at the strange bumblebee, saw the un-mistakable spiked ridge on the back of the insect eating it and dropped my shovel. Finally, a wheel bug!

Plant milkweeds, sit back, wait for monarchs

I started to feel like Ray Kinsella from Field of Dreams, hearing whispers in the humid, sticky Kentucky evenings, “if you plant it, they will come.”