While adult butterflies often obtain nectar from a wide variety of plants, most rely on very few plants to provide food for their caterpillars. One of the easiest ways to increase both the number and variety of butterflies is to incorporate larval food plants into the landscape surrounding your home. Enjoy planting these important caterpillar food plants and watch the beautiful variety of butterflies come to your backyard through the spring and summer seasons.
There are many plants that are both pleasing to the eye and provide songbirds with valuable sources of food long after the flowers themselves have withered and died. Below is a partial list of some plants that are easily grown in Georgia gardens.
This hardy plant is related to Georgia's native thistle and normally blooms in midsummer. Like the thistle, goldfinches and one or our states newest residents, the house finch favor bachelor button seeds.
Bird Feeding Basics
Over 100 bird species in North America will supplement their diets with bird seed, suet, fruit and nectar feeders. While feeding birds, a few steps can be taken to ensure you "do no harm" to the birds. If you are not careful, you may unintentionally encourage window collisions, predation and the spread of disease.
The brown-headed nuthatch can be attracted to the backyard by creating proper nesting habitat along with good feeding stations supplied with sunflower seeds. While three species of nuthatches can be seen in Georgia, the 3½" brown-headed is the smallest, and it is the only nuthatch that sports a brown cap. The other two nuthatches found in Georgia are the white-breasted and red-breasted.
What is a Lichen?
Lichens are some of the most amazing living things on this planet. Often the first form of life to colonize a new area of rock they occur all across the known world. Lichens are commonly seen and also commonly overlooked. Any structure that has been standing for a reasonable amount of time is likely to be adorned with lichens. Particularly, they are common on older buildings, stone walls, in graveyards and on most perennial (living more than 2 years) plants, particularly trees.
Georgia is home to 11 hummingbird species during the year: the ruby-throated, black-chinned, rufous, calliope, magnificent, Allen's, Anna's, broad-billed, green violet-ear, green-breasted mango and broad-tailed hummingbird.
The ruby-throated hummingbird is the only species of hummingbird known to nest to Georgia. These birds weigh as little as a first-class letter. The female builds the walnut-sized nest without any help from her mate, a process can take up to 12 days. The female then lays two eggs, each about the size of a black-eyed pea.
By Terry W. Johnson
Each spring, a parade of flowering plants marches across the Georgia countryside. As I write this column, when I pause and look out across my yard, I am regaled with the beauty of the blossoms adorning Chickasaw plums, redbuds, yellow Jessamine, daffodils, jonquils, forsythias and pear trees. Around this neck of the woods, they are always at the head of Mother Nature’s spring parade of flowers.