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Category: Plants

Damselfly in the Rain Garden

Damselfly in the Rain Garden

Today I found my first Damselfly in the Rain Garden!  It is holding on to a Common Rush that I planted.  Remember that Damselflies and Dragonflies are different.  Most Damselflies hold their wings together while resting, but Dragonflies can’t do this- they have to hold their wings out.  This one isn’t quite holding them together, but I believe that this is a Damselfly since its front and hind wings are about the same size and shape- Dragonfly wings differ.  It…

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Bugloss with Bugs

Bugloss with Bugs

If you’ve seen plants blooming right now with small blue flowers, they could be forget-me-nots.  But, if they are taller they are probably Evergreen Bugloss as shown above.  These plants originate from Europe, and maybe they are evergreen there but here they are just perennials according to this website. Luckily some native insects appear to like them.  According to Insects of the Pacific Northwest by Peter and Judy Haggard, the beetle shown above is a Pidonia Scripta which is a…

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Oxalis and the Sun

Oxalis and the Sun

Oxalis is one of my favorite wildlife garden plants.  It is native to the Northwest and it is an effective groundcover. One of the more interesting things about Oxalis is how it reacts to the sun.  As I posted about last year, Oxalis leaves fold up when touched by direct sunlight, at night, or in the rain.  Check out the photo above.  See how the plant looks different on each side of the shadow line? Very cool! Related posts:Oxalis -…

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Spit in the Rain Garden

Spit in the Rain Garden

More insects are moving into my rain garden!  See what looks like a glob of spit on my Highbush Cranberry shrub? Moving the spit aside reveals this- a spittlebug nymph.  The photo is a bit out of focus, but you can see its eyes.  I posted about spittlebugs last year.  I’m yet to get a photo of an adult, so I’ll have to be on the alert this year. On the same bush I found this red beetle. I have…

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Camas in Bloom

Camas in Bloom

My friend Joe took this incredible photo of a camas flower at Camassia (the natural area near my house).  The camas is in full bloom there right now and, as you can see, the honey bees like it.  Notice the loaded pollen basket on the bee’s “knees”.  Check out my Honey Bee post from last year for more information on their pollen gathering. There are other varieties of camas though.  This photo above is of my front yard right now….

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Ant Farmers Raising Aphids

Ant Farmers Raising Aphids

My rain garden is starting off very well.  Although it is dry in this photo, our typical spring Oregon weather has kept it very wet and the plants are growing and some are even flowering already. While looking at one of my red-twig dogwoods, I noticed some ants were crawling around on it.  This seemed strange. Until I saw one of them approach a bright green speck on one of the leaves… It was an aphid!  Were there more? Oh…

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Pacific Bleeding Heart

Pacific Bleeding Heart

I walked down to the river to see the Great Blue Heron rookery on Friday, but now that the tree leaves have filled in there isn’t anything to see.  No herons were flying around and everything was very quiet.  The noise levels will pick up a lot once the eggs start hatching. Near the lookout though, I saw this impressive patch of Pacific Bleeding Heart.  Most people are familiar with ornamental versions of Bleeding Heart.  Our native isn’t quite as…

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Walnuts for Band-tailed Pigeons

Walnuts for Band-tailed Pigeons

The sound of wings flapping made me look up at my Walnut Tree yesterday.  Sure enough, there was a Band-tailed Pigeon, a bird well known for making a clapping sound when first taking flight. As I’ve posted about before, there are two easy ways to tell Band-tailed Pigeons and Rock Doves (the common city pigeon) apart.  One is the white line behind the Band-tailed Pigeon’s head as seen above.  The other is the Band-tailed Pigeon’s yellow beak and feet. It…

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