Shadbush: A Spring Blooming Beauty

Shadbush is one of my favorite native trees as regular readers of this blog know. I like it because it is small and beautiful and at the same time inconspicuous. Except when it bears fruit in June, it doesn’t look like a fruit tree. And the berries are not what people are used to, so…

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail drinks nectar

Butterfly Family: The Swallowtails

Swallowtail butterflies are large and command attention. Swallowtail butterflies are classified as members of the subfamily Papilionidae (Swallowtails) of the order Lepidoptera (butterflies, skippers and moths). They are found worldwide except in the Arctic. The Papilionidae include between 475 and 563 species worldwide. Of those species, twenty-eight occur in North America. In North American our…

tree - dogwood

List of Native Trees for Philadelphia

Fairmount Park provides a “Recommended Street Tree List” that consists of both native and non-native trees. I modified that list by removing the non-native trees. The original list contains more trees that are suitable to harsh urban conditions of pollution, soil compaction and lack of water. It is just that those extra trees are not…

great spangled fritillary butterly

Providing Food to Attract Birds, Butterflies and Other Animals

Providing food is the surest way to attract birds, butterflies and other animals to your backyard nature habitat. I like the challenge of managing my small backyard habitat. I choose plants, try them out and replace them if they aren’t popular with the animals I want to attract. In choosing what to put in your…