Webs, and webs and more webs…

Everywhere we look, it’s the same…

Webbing in tree

 

webbing

…strange goings on in our neighborhood yards, over the trees and bushes. At first Hickory thought this was the culprit:

Halloween spider

Then we ran by this house.

Halloween spider web

We squirrels can’t imagine anyone wanting a spider this large living close by, but finally decided it’s to a fascination with wildlife statues going too far! Please stay safe today.

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Thirsty Thursday

This old squirrel went on a little explore recently and ran across a set of clever human constructions, all of stone.

Rock path - drainage solution

First, a path put in on an awkward slop. Ol’ Wally thinks this is a smooth enough surface for humans to travel, but it is also rough enough to slow running water on the slope, and since it’s permeable, hopefully some of the water is absorbed into the soil in a light rain.

Rocks surrounding drain

Second, this nice rock wall around a storm drain keeps the soil from filling it in.

Low rock bench?

Third, this long, low stone, between a tree bed and a path…it’s not high enough to really serve humans, so I’m not sure what they use it for. But as a squirrel, I thought it made a great running platform.

One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

We’re back with your mystery answer: This shrub is a Winterberry.

Winterberry Shrub

Ms. Flora can’t say for sure which winterberry this is, because, as she says, “the humans have changed it all around.” But it’s a part of that family.Many humans plant it because they like the look of the berries, but it also grows in shade! But better than others that grow in shade, like azaleas, this shrub has berries that we can eat.

Winterberry Berries

We squirrels find the skinny branches hard to climb, but it’s a favorite of mice and chipmunks manage nicely, too. The real beneficiaries are birds–more than 48 different kinds will eat winterberry berries.

Oops on that ‘bonset’!

We posted what we thought was a boneset plant back on September 29th.

Lateflowering Thoroughwort

But it turns out this plant is an Eupatorium species, and related to boneset, but it’s Lateflowering Thoroughwort. The Thoroughwort has leaves that are opposite each other, but the leafy parts do not go all the way to the main stalk. Instead they each have stems to the stalk, like this:

Thoroughwort leaves

A boneset would have leaves that seem to grow all the way to the stem and are merged with each other around the stem. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen that plant, but are trying to find one.