Everywhere we look, it’s the same…
…strange goings on in our neighborhood yards, over the trees and bushes. At first Hickory thought this was the culprit:
Then we ran by this house.
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.
This old squirrel went on a little explore recently and ran across a set of clever human constructions, all of stone.
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.
Second, this nice rock wall around a storm drain keeps the soil from filling it in.
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.
Well, it has been 26 days for this late Monarch chrysalis, but it finally turned dark.
We could see the wings in their orange and black pattern as the skin of the chrysalis thinned.
Later when the butterfly emerged, it didn’t stay around long, but headed south right away!
This is the time of year when it seems you humans go crazy with your wildlife decorations. Most we don’t understand, but this one we found funny.
Have a great week!
We’re back with your mystery answer: This shrub is a Winterberry.
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.
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.
Many trees are changing color, but some plants prepare by ripening berries.
Any guesses what this shrub is?
We’ll check back later!
We posted what we thought was a boneset plant back on September 29th.
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:
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.
The Oak Leaf Hydrangea–a native species we see planted in many yards–turns a beautiful color!
Here’s that Monarch chrysalis we showed a week ago, from eh caterpillar of two weeks ago.
We’re beginning to wonder if it is going to hatch? Has anyone seen them winter over?