Friday, November 20, 2009


This was the scene this morning at Habitat Home. Everything was covered in dew. The trees glistened and the grasses were white. What a magical sight.

Today has turned out to be a beautiful day. We have had so much rain lately that the ground is very soft. So I spent the afternoon pulling up honeysuckle in the woodlands by the house. I am now able to determine in a single glance which little honeysuckle bushes I can uproot with nothing but my gloved hands!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Milkweed seeds

MilkweedIt is raining today but this weekend was full of milkweed seeds. The dry gray pods are so much fun to open, then scatter the ripe seeds and watch as the seeds gracefully float off. It is amazing that some seeds do survive, they seem so delicate and fragile. One would think that from the great number of seeds a single plant produces, milkweeds would cover the earth. What a lovely sight that would be spring, summer, fall and even winter with the empty pods hanging on till our spring burn. I love this plant!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Asian ladybugs (Harmonia axyridis)These ladybugs are captured. They are in the new handy little vacuum cleaner we recently purchased. We had to do something. The house at Habitat Home was literally crawling with Asian ladybugs (Harmonia axyridis). On warm autumn days during harvest the beetles start to swarm and fly about and eventually get into the house though any crack or crevice. Once inside they will settle down and overwinter if you let them. But I cannot. There are just too many of them. They are colorful and they do eat aphids but I just wish they would not come into the house in such great numbers.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Rattlesnake Master

rattlesnake master (Euphorbia corollata)This is a photo of rattlesnake master (Euphorbia corollata) amongst the switch grass in our lower field or, as we optimistically call it, the prairie. The flowering balls go from white to brown. The white flower heads look great amongst the green grasses and other blooming flowers of summer. The flowers are an important source of nectar and pollen for a wide assortment of bees, butterflies, moths and insects. As fall approaches and the grasses fade to tan, the rattlesnake master turns brown and produces abundant seeds. This scene will remain all winter until we burn in the spring. It is an interesting plant from the time it first appears in the spring with large green leaves till it goes dormant in the fall.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) This little bird looks fine in this photo, but it was having problems earlier. She flew into the kitchen's sliding glass door. We were easily able to watch as she slowly recovered from the mishap.
White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) Nuthatches are great little birds. They are fun to watch as they move headfirst down a tree looking for insect larvae. The males have a black "cap" and the females have a dark gray "cap". They are year-round residents and it amazes me that something so small and delicate looking can survive the Midwestern winters and the occasional flight into a sliding glass door.