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

A Poke, a Grab, and a Click

Top Photo: pokeweed raceme with flowers and unripe fruit. Pokeweed is a native, eastern North American plant. It grows in undisturbed areas. Its main stalk, stems and even flower racemes are shades of purple-red, boysenberry to magenta in color. It can grow more than six feet in height. It’s one of my favorite weeds. The entire plant is listed as toxic. But, I’ve read where the deep purple berries can be made into jam after the seeds are removed. InRead more

Fall Fruit, Nuts, and Flowers

Many plants and trees are beginning to show the signs of seasonal change. In the Wetlands the hues have shifted from the deep greens of summer to the much lighter hues of early fall. Willows and Sycamores have committed to the change. The Dogwoods are close behind; their fruit will soon be bright red. Poke Weed’s deep purple berries are greedily being gobbled up by Gray Catbirds. The waxy berries, or nuts, of Wax Myrtle should be ripe in timeRead more