Category Species Profiles

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.

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.

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.”