Friday, October 22, 2010

Lynx Spiders: It's a boy and a girl and a boy etc....

I guess by now, if you've read my articles at Wildlife Garden or here, you have figured out that I am all about gardening for wildlife and appreciate when the critters procreate.

Some people consider spiders creepy....I don't particularly want them populating in my house....that would mean I must have bugs in the house...but I do try to encourage them outside, so I don't blanket my garden with pesticides or chemicals.

October, it seems, is green lynx spider maternity month in Florida. I have many of these gals on the plants in my garden, including the bidens alba, solidago (goldenrod), wax myrtles and dog fennel all with nests in various stages of production. There are fascinating "quick facts" about these pretty arachnids over at

Today, the sac on the beautyberry successfully came to life.....mucho life. How many will survive is an unknown, but I saw the lizards close by and I'm sure the birds are preparing for the feast as well. Wasps, other spiders and praying mantids all partake. Since it is the return time for lots of migratory birds from the north, I'm glad I provided a habitat for the spiders that will feed them.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Blog Action Day - WATER!

I just found out it is Blog Action Day 2010 and the subject is water. A very important subject, I might add, especially here in Florida where we rely on the aquifer for our drinking water and every other kind of water. As can be seen in this 30 second video, during rainy season water isn't much of an issue.

However, I just was out in the yard and the pond is lower. We haven't had measurable rain for days. Dry season arrived suddenly and early this year. Soon the four-foot deep section of the pond will be empty, luckily the 15-foot deep section never has run dry...but it always is a concern. Once the four-foot section empties out there really isn't enough circumference for me to paddle the kayak around any longer and these days the extent of my paddling capabilities is limited to my backyard pond. Hopefully rain will arrive soon to replenish so I can continue to get this exercise. It serves a reminder that we really shouldn’t be using our potable water for gardening. It can all to quickly disappear.

I keep rain barrels and rain buckets and I took a scoop today to rinse out the compost container I use to transfer coffee grounds, veggie peels, fruit stems and my daily sudoku page from my kitchen into the compost bin, strategically located next to my brush pile in a corner of my property. I always make use of the collected rainwater whenever possible.

The compost was drier than it should have been, but is now revived with beautiful rainwater...water that is perfect for bringing it back to life. You should consider rainbarrels in your own garden. It is great for watering your container plants or your veggie garden. It's free and easily maintains itself…running down the teacup rain chain from the gutters all on its own. Leave the water from your tap for drinking and make use of mother nature's wonder for your garden. The plants will appreciate not having additives and the aquifer will appreciate not being overtaxed. Reduce, reuse, recycle…it makes sense for water use too!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Ceraunus Blue FINALLY return

It's been a long time since I've seen a Ceraunus Blue Butterfly (Hemiargus ceraunus).  As a matter of fact, it was last winter when a week long freeze made them all disappear.  I've been watching daily and finally their return has come.
This is a fabulous time in Central Florida.  The White Peacock butterflies are back in abundance.  I looked out today mesmerized by 7 all at once sipping nectar from the Frogfruit (Phyla nordiflora) which also serves as one of their larval hosts, although I'm pretty sure mine use the bacopa.  The buckeyes are abundant as well.  The Green Lynx spiders are becoming more and more plentiful and I've seen several females guarding egg sacs which can only mean more on the way.  Cooler nights and warm but breezy days makes it a great place to observe nature when the north is getting ready for the gardens to go to sleep.  My garden is just beginning to reawaken from the hot summer.  Stayed tuned!

Monday, October 4, 2010

A new venture!

I've been invited by to be a voice from Florida with a weekly blog post on Fridays on providing for wildlife. I'm an eternal procrastinator as you can see by the lack of recent posts here. Given a deadline I meet the challenge and maybe it will inspire me to keep up a little more often here as well. It is a grand group of bloggers and tweeters who all care about wildlife and I'm honored to be a part. Click on their logo on the left side of my page to go read the fabulous information on gardening for wildlife that has already been posted. I've picked up great tips from these environmentally conscious writers and I'm sure you'll learn a thing or two from every post no matter what area of the country you live.
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