Tag Archive | Nature Story

Gentle Giants

Gentle Giants

We have seen them at Sea World and at Disney and even in zoological parks and they are impressive animals, but it is thrilling to see the West Indian manatees in the wild here in Florida. Manatees thrive in freshwater springs, salty bays, and river systems throughout Florida eating plants including sea grasses and freshwater […]

Delightful Backyard Butterflies

Delightful Backyard Butterflies

I planted fire-bush shrubs in our backyard to attract butterflies and hummingbirds with great success. The flowers are a good source of nectar for these creatures. cloudless sulphur butterflies and zebra long-wings are two of the butterflies that frequent these bushes. We see Ruby-throated Hummingbirds too in the early morning and at dusk flying from […]

Cultivating a Future Naturalist

“Hi! Hi!”, I hear my 16-month-old granddaughter say excitedly in our Florida room. Wondering who she was talking to, I look into the room to see her face to face with a young eastern gray squirrel that climbed on the window ledge to peer into our house. The squirrel seemed as enchanted to see my […]

How Milkweed Helped the Tiger Swallowtail!

How Milkweed Helped the Tiger Swallowtail!

Monarch butterflies continue to find the milkweed plants in our garden to lay eggs. Soon, there are only green sticks left to our milkweed plants dotted with hungry caterpillars. Anne counts 15 monarch caterpillars of various sizes. We find a small one crawling on our hot concrete driveway looking for more milkweed plants to eat. […]

The Amazing Bug!

The Amazing Bug!

As Anne and I enjoy watching butterflies sipping nectar from our milkweed flowers and monarch caterpillars devouring milkweed leaves, we see small orange and black colored insects on the plant’s seed pods. These insects are large milkweed bugs that eat milkweed seeds. This bug has a long proboscis that pierces the seed pods and injects […]

A Queen is Born!

A Queen is Born!

The queen caterpillars we found on our milkweed plants have grown, pupated and are about to hatch. We see one of the chrysalids (butterfly pupa) turn from a spring green to a dark color signifying the impending birth of the adult butterfly. Soon the butterfly breaks free of the chrysalis, hangs on to the shell […]

Voracious Caterpillars

Voracious Caterpillars

My wonderful wife, Anne, ventures out one morning to check on the milkweed plants growing alongside our home. To her dismay the leaves on the milkweeds are nearly gone. Upon closer examination, Anne discovers the reason why. There are a dozen or so monarch caterpillars on the plants eating the leaves, the seed pod casings […]