Spiny-backed Spider and More

Top Photo: Spiny-backed orb weaver (Gasteracantha cancriformis) Only about 1/2” wide, spiny-backed orb weavers are distinctive for their shape and pattern. The individual pictured is mostly white with black markings and red spikes. But, they may also be yellow or red with shades in between. The spines may be black. Some suggest the spines may deter predators such as birds or even subterranean-nesting, spider-seeking, solitary wasps. I doubt birds would be put off by the spikes. I must admit, though,Read more

What’s eating the Hibiscus?

We have one hibiscus growing in Explore the Wild (ETW). You may have seen it. When it blooms the flowers are very large, about 6-8 inches across, and are pink or magenta in color. If you’ve walked by the vending area in ETW during the last few weeks you would have noticed the flowers (the plant has since gone by, it’s no longer blooming). But this is not about the flowers, this is about the leaves and what’s eating them.Read more

End of June Bloomers

Wild Bergamot is blooming along the main path to Catch the Wild as well as at several other locations around the Explore the Wild/Catch the Wind loop. Black-eyed Susan is still the most abundant flower on the loop, but is beginning to fade. Coming into bloom towards the end of this period, the big showy pink flowers of Hibiscus can be seen at the top of the boardwalk leading to Explore the Wild and along the path as you leaveRead more