WFSU Ecology Producer Rob Diaz de Villegas starts to pay attention to every creepy crawly in his yard, learning about the many relationships between plants and animals, and the life and death struggles of critters at the bottom of the food web. Along the way, he also learns about a wide variety of native pollinators, and which weeds benefit his yard.
A warmer than usual January had our flowers in various states. iNaturalist helps me identify a mysterious, unseasonable caterpillar and a few weeds.
It was a slow month for insects, but several plants were re-sprouting leaves, and we start tp see blueberry and lemon flowers. Also, iNaturalist identifies several weeds in the yard, arming me with the information I need to decide what stays and what goes.
iNaturalist helps identify more weeds. I also use it to ID insects in the yard. Are they beneficial, or pests? That partially depends on your point of view.
Pollinators became active, and we see a monarch butterfly lay eggs. Also, we continue to use iNaturalist to identify insects and weeds.
I’m sure plenty went on in our backyard this June, we just weren’t here for much of it. We did see a summer look for a winter visitor to the yard, and in the week after we got back, our first black swallowtail eggs of the year.
So many pollinators in the yard, including a few species of native bees. Also, iNaturalist helps me identify several “weeds” in the yard. I found a couple of interesting natives, and a couple less welcome plants. Also, predatory insects, weird looking nymphs, and a Carolina wren nest.