House sparrows beware!

I’d never thought much about house sparrows, except to notice that they’re among the most-frequent visitors to my bird feeder (whenever Sarah fills it for me). Then, a few days ago, my neighbour M called me over to show me his homemade sparrow deterrent, based on the Magic Halo. He’d made the halo frame from […]

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Keeping deer out of the garden

On a visit this summer to Earth Bound Gardens in the Bruce Peninsula I discovered their very effective way of keeping deer out of the garden, particularly their hosta and lily glade. These were being regularly eaten down to nubs until they used this simple trick. Their hosta bed is in a clearing, surrounded on […]

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A field to have a field day in

Right next to our community garden is a field of white asters. Wow, I thought, the bees must be having a field day. Then I noticed. They were! This one makes me think of a bee angel. Hard at work, busy doing all the things that bees do. Hanging around, packing in the nectar and […]

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Red Admiral Butterfly

I’ve been suffering a major case of butterfly envy. My neighbour M. has been luring the Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) over to his mature purple butterfly bush (Buddleia) for some time. This year, they seem more plentiful than ever. Hooray! But they’ve been giving my new Buddleias a wide berth. Then came this plucky little […]

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Who knows what lily beetles lurk…

So-called-summer 2009 has been the summer of love for lily leaf beetles. Since I wrote about them on June 1st, they’ve been arriving by the thousands, camping out and making music. And they’re hungry. Turn your back for an instant and you’re growing poles, not lilies. The whole stem is defoliated, leaving the bulb nothing […]

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How Bees Go At It: A Closeup View

Helen insists on saying, “Lo and bee-hold!” I however, would not stoop so low. Sarah here. I’ve been talking this morning to Damian Grounds of HelpSaveBees about how much we like seeing the bees diving into our funnel-shaped flowers. By coinky-dink, Helen was at that moment in the process of photographing bumblebums in a nearby […]

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Masticator of all s/he surveys

The snail population in my garden took a spike about fifteen years ago when our daughter adopted one and gave it a home on a punky log I’d been thinking was an ornament (add air quotes) in my front garden. It was, like all snails, of two-for-one gender. I think she named it Snaily. Many […]

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Spiderlings. It sounds so cute.

Look who’s hanging out at my place! Spiderlings! Isn’t that a great word? On the weekend, I found this little cluster of what appeared to be eggs. Then I noticed the eggs had legs. A (gentle) poke with a twig sent the whole bunch scurrying into square dance mode. They’re very pretty; yellow, with a […]

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Bats!!! In the Belfry (Where Else?)

I live in an apartment in the city most of the time, but I have a place in the country, where my big garden is. Oh, the joys of having a Place in the Country! The fresh air, the space, the moon, the stars, the wildlife….the…wildlife that actually lives in your house, with you. Strike […]

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Carpenter bees: I’m a bee-leaver

After yesterday’s heartless post on the subject of aphids and leafrollers, it’s incumbent of me [oops, I mean: on me] to say: not all bugs are bad bugs. Not even bugs with bad-boy reputations. Even in this day of catastrophic bee decline, Google carpenter bees, for example, and 99% of the results will be about […]

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Hey rose, what’s eating you?

It has been a wet few days. The roses have been slurping up that water and their growing tips and buds are nice and juicy. Mmmmm, say the bugs, the rose buffet is now open! Not for long, bugs. First, meet the leafroller – larva of one of a number of common moths. Leafrollers produce […]

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