Thursday, May 31, 2012

Carex grayi

Gray's sedge or burr sedge!  Thanks to my readers who helped identify this for me!

Given the information about this sedge, I am surprised to find it growing in my shady forest.  It likes wet, but typically it needs more sun than my woods get.  But this little patch has been growing back every year, so it must like it here.

Blue-Eyed Grass

It's a good thing I let the lawn get so ragged, because it gave the blue-eyed grass time to bloom. This little iris-family wildflower looks so much like a clump of grass that it is impossible to see in the lawn when not in flower. To complicate matters, the plant itself is small, but the flower stems are long and oddly jointed. They flop over into the surrounding grass and bloom a foot from the parent plant. No doubt it is their seed dispersion strategy.

The others I have found usually sport two or three blossoms at once, but This one must have twenty flowers on it!

Some Beautiful Lawn

A lawn abloom with hawkweed, down the street from us.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Red Spotted Purple

This one was tough to identify, because it doesn't appear on the Audubon website. It isn't a swallowtail! I had to search elsewhere to figure out that this is one of two forms of Limenitis arthemis. The southern form looks like this. The northern form has a big white band across the wings, and is called a "white admiral". In between the two ranges, they produce offspring with mixed markings. This was photographed on our stinky compost heap. Chris got some nice macro photos that he will post later.


This winter, Chris tied back the raspberries with wire so that they wouldn't slouch so. The strawberries at their feet are thrilled with the extra sun! They are loaded with berries.

Kaylee Goes Foraging

When left to her own devices, she eats the white strawberries, tops and all.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Wildlife Successfully Attracted

When our front lawn was just a bunch of sad, overheated grass, very little lived there. Since I have added Gabe's Garden, young garter snakes showed up in increasing frequency. This one is now all grown up, and a permanant resident.  He (or she) was spotted several days in a row in one particular flower bed, but also surprises me occasionally in the meadow or a nearby bush.  A few days ago he left me a skin.

Boys in the Swamp

As I had predicted, the rock out in the swamp is a fabulous destination for young explorers.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Black Swallowtail

Papilio polyxenes, spotted at Tangerini's. This one had me stumped, because it was smaller than a monarch. Black swallowtails should be a bit bigger.

Audubon has a fantastic page for identifying butterflies of Massachusetts:

Eastern Comma, if I'm not mistaken.

Polygonia comma. This butterfly was circling the plants at Tangerini's Spring St.Farm, and just wouldn't hold still!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Finally, Lawn!

Chris had put down compost and seed. It made the weeds really happy. It became a toss-up as to whether the new grass would be killed my mowing, or by the shade of the very happy weeds.

American Lady

Composting Toilet at Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary

I was impressed at the water-free toilet at Broadmoor. It had no odor! The only drawback to it was that the inside of the toilet was a dark and scary hole. I had reservations about my son sitting on it. But he wasn't the least bit intimidated.

Delicious While it Lasted

We had to eat the asparagus in self-defense for a while.

Painted Lady

Butterfly with Funny Name

It's called a "Question Mark".  For real!

Red Admiral

It's blurry, but considering I took it with my phone while holding my daughter in the other arm, I'm okay with that.  

Wildlife at Broadmoor

Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary

Thursday, May 24, 2012


I have been too busy chasing the kids to update the blog, or to wield the mighty camera! But I have discovered how to post from my iPhone. So, perhaps this blog can be brought back from the dead now.

This has been a spectacular spring for butterflies. Here is some sort of skipper.