Yellow Flowers, Gray Frogs, and Green Caterpillars.

Top Photo: Crownbeard. Crownbeard is a local herbaceous composite, meaning it grows in the area, has no woody stems or branches and has both disk and ray flowers. I refer to it as the unkempt, or messy sunflower. The flowers seem never to be complete. The ray flowers are uneven in shape, and in most cases are missing many petals Yellow crownbeard (Verbesina occidentalis) is common in the piedmont and can be found along roadsides, edges, and water courses. IRead more

The Fake Milkweed Bug

Top Photo: Mystery bugs. Just outside the doors leading from Play To Learn in the main building here at the museum, and on your right, is a small garden planted with native prairie plants. I stop here when I pass through Gateway Park to watch goldfinches pick the seeds from the various herbaceous plants in the garden. And, there’s a large pokeweed in the center of the garden which attracts fruit eating birds. Catbirds seem especially fond of poke berries.Read more

Sand, Dust, Florescence, and Waxy Larvae

A hole in the sand. That’s what I was looking at, a hole in the sand. Ranger Ian had spotted a bee or wasp hovering around and entering a 1/2” hole near the “sandbox” in Gateway Park. I was there to put a name on the bee or wasp and to help determine if the nest would put any children in harm’s way. It’s a large sandbox where kids use mini backhoes to fill up Tonka trucks with sand andRead more