Little Butterflies

Hickory and I saw a little movement in the plants, and really doubted that it was anything but the wind. Then, there it was again.

Have you humans ever tried to get a good look at these tiny butterflies?They’re about the size of my paw and hardly sit still. That’s a zinnia leaf it’s on, to give you an idea. Luckily, Hickory spotted the bright red band running across it, and that made the identification easy–it’s a red-banded hairstreak!


One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

Hey there!

Recognize this flower?

Give us a guess in the comments. I’ll be back later to check your guesses.


This stunning wildflower is Ironweed, named for its tough stem. It’s also pretty hard to dig up the roots and in some places you humans are finding it more on the weedy side of wildflowers–native, but taking over.

Since Vernonia noveboracensis is a member of the aster family, and has all those tiny flowers that put out gobs of seeds, who would expect anything else?

Miz Flora is pleased with the bright color, and Ironweed loves a wet area, so that might help out in a few awkward garden spots. Keep in mind, it’s almost as tall–7 feet–as a Joe Pye Weed, so don’t put it in front of anything small!

Thirsty Thursday


You humans may not have recognized Hickory’s mystery plant on Sunday, but surely this wetland plant is familiar?

Cattails commonly grow in wet areas and that brown fuzzy thing on their stalks is their idea of a flower–which butterflies ignore. Its seeds are spread by wind like a dandelion’s and can take over with strong rhizome roots if the moisture conditions are right.

One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

Hey there!

Know what this plant is? The butterflies seem to like it.

I’ll check back later for your answers in the comments!


Maybe this view of the bush in it’s habitat will give an additional hint?

If you’ve guessed that this is a wetland, you’re correct. Like a willow, this bush with the ball-shaped flowers likes its roots wet. Common Buttonbush, Cephalanthus occidentalis, is found in freshwater marshes, swamps and along floodplains in eastern and southern North America. It’s a favorite mid-summer nectar source for butterflies because, like composites, there are many small flowers grouped together. That makes for an easy food stop!

One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

Hey there!

This fellow wildlife is a bit out of place on a lawn, but do you recognize it?

Maybe you know what this mystery animal is, but do you know if it’s male or female? I’ll check your comments later!


We had a guess from a regular follower that this was a toad. It isn’t a toad, and usually the way to tell a toad is that they have bumpy skin. Well, a second look here and maybe we have to retract that. This frog is covered in bumps. But they are the little ones and toads are bumpy with a more ‘warty’ look.

This frog is a Northern Green Frog…and it’s a girl! Notice that circle behind her eye? It’s the frog’s eardrum, more properly called a tympanum. The female green frogs have a tympanum smaller than their eye, and in the males it’s bigger.

Here’s Dr. Matthew G. Bolek’s website page of frogs for a great comparison of many different kinds of North American frogs.

This frog found her way into a local yard and somehow ended up in a trashcan of rainwater. We hope she made it back to a pond!