iNaturalist

There are so many kinds of plants and animals in the garden, many of which have wandered in on their own rather than being deliberately cultivated, that I sometimes turn to outside experts for help identifying newcomers.

Sometimes I ask for help from Facebook friends, but often I turn to the iNaturalist website, where subject-matter experts will help to identify species they’re most familiar with.

You can see some of the observations I’ve submitted here:

If you’re an iNaturalist user, follow me @mcavalletto to keep up with new finds!

Burdock & Ladybugs

Another reason I like burdock is that it supports a lot of insects. A week ago, I noticed that seemingly overnight, the undersides of the flower clusters had been swarmed by hundreds of aphids. I pulled out the hose and blasted a bunch of them off with a few quick squirts, but that only thins them out, it never gets ’em all, so I was very pleased to find a couple of ladybugs crawling around on it the next day. Although they’re cute, I know they’re fiends for aphids.

And even better, by the end of the week I was seeing ladybug larvae crawling around, clearing out the lingering aphids. A few days later, I can no longer find any aphids at all.