June 24, 2020
Meadow asters and goldenrods

Our Transformation to Native Plants

We started planting natives by creating a butterfly garden while Gary was working on his horticulture degree. A modest-sized rectangular area of lawn in our side yard was transformed with native plants we found at local native plant sales. Butterflies and other pollinators became regular visitors to our yard – just like that! When we purchased a 4 acre rural residential lot for a new home in 1999, our plans became much more grandiose.
June 9, 2020
Eastern Calligrapher fly (Toxomerus geminatus) on Golden Ragwort (Packera aureus)

Calligrapher flower flies are great beneficial insects

I think Calligrapher flower flies are top contenders as one of the best beneficial insects you can have in your garden. You probably have Calligraphers and don’t know it because they are small and look more like little bees and wasps than flies. These flower flies are great beneficial insects worth knowing.
May 28, 2020
Close-up wildlife of early season native Andrenid bee feeding on Golden Alexanders

Golden Alexanders Support Tiny Wildlife

    The first big wave of showy color in our meadow each spring is the native plant Golden Alexanders (Zizia aurea). The tiny wildlife it attracts requires a close up look. The flower show starts with a flush of greenish yellow from the buds. Next, the yellow to golden flowers last for weeks and are replaced by new buds that keep forming. This native plant plays an important role in our yard for wildlife. […]
May 15, 2020
Red spotted Purple butterfly caterpillar on Beach plum (Prunus maritima)

Camouflaged Caterpillar

I had been staring into a recently planted Beach Plum (Prunus maritima) and suddenly found a caterpillar that camouflaged perfectly with the plant.
May 6, 2020

Hello nature enthusiasts!

Welcome to Focus on Natives! We will be sharing interesting observations and photographs captured from nature around us. No traveling to other continents. We’re in our backyard, local parks, and roadside ditches. Beautiful and fascinating nature is all around us, but we all need to look closer. And help nature. On our property we converted abandoned cornfield and mature hedgerow to an open meadow and woodland restoration. By nurturing natives, we have demonstrated that in […]