In this posting I'll share some of the plants and insects I've ID'ed so far. There are a lot of Box Elder, Acer negundo, but they are all growing in thickets and don't stand out too well. One of the easiest trees to pick out was this Tulip Tree in the mown part of the yard. The leaves have a distinctive tulip-like shape. I'm guessing it's about 20 years old.
There are a number of what appear to be ornamental cherries on the property but these are in need of some TLC. What I'm pretty sure are the native Pin Cherry, Prunus pensylvanica, looks a lot healthier, despite being in a less managed area.
|I think this is a Pin Cherry. The fruits were in small clusters, |
rather than on racemes as found on Choke Cherries
Further in the back or the property I noticed the distinctive leaves of a Paw Paw tree. This small tree/shrub has large drooping leaves. I did not notice any fruits, but I understand that they are favored by the wildlife, so I may never get a chance. I did see some Zebra Swallowtail butterflies which use the Paw Paw as a larval host.
|The upper wings of this Swallowtail were in constant motion.|
The previous owner planted a wonderful assortment of flowering plants near the house, including a bunch of Butterfly Bushes. I will probably replace some of these with native alternatives, but for now we will enjoy the variety of insect pollinators they attract.
I found the website Gardens with Wings to be very helpful in IDing these butterflies.
There are also a number of invasive plants that I will need to deal with. One of the first we noticed was a displaced mid-western native Catalpa Tree. These huge leaves really make the seedlings stand out along the roadsides.
|This tree is no more.|
|Stiltgrass can be recognized by a silvery line |
along the mid-vein on the top of the leaf.
|I started to pull at this vine, but then I noticed |
the barbs all over the plant. This will have to
wait until I have my gloves on.