November Butterfly Gardens in South Texas

web-Mexican Bluewing

I just returned from a far and distant land where thousands upon thousands of butterflies filled the many native plant wildlife gardens that I visited during my 10-day stay, which included the 18th Annual Texas Butterfly Festival. Many of the butterflies were exotic (to me) southern species that just make it into the United States. Since […]

Measuring Rainfall


With rain so precious and drought gardening being the new normal, I wanted to know exactly how much rainfall my garden received. So I joined the “Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS),” bought my official rain gauge for $25, and began collecting rainfall data during the recent nor’easter.  I tallied a total of […]

Monarchs, Where are They in 2013 ?


I am very concerned about Monarchs This year, I’ve been asked more times than I can count, “Where are the Monarchs?” It is now fall and Monarchs are migrating through Cape May on their way south to the mountains of Mexico where they will winter. They’re not absent.  We’re seeing some.  But few came from […]

Hummingbird Gardens


As young leave the nest and as hummingbirds that nested on the Gaspe Peninsula in eastern Canada and other points north begin to move south, hummingbird activity in our gardens soars.  The time to easily see lots and lots of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds is fast approaching: late July through first week in September.   2013 Tours […]

25 Years Studying the Maurice River

Clay & Jim Dowdell w-sig

Exciting News! As many of you know, besides writing, Clay has continued to work as an environmental consultant and field biologist for many years.  This year, he reached a major milestone with the publication of “Status and Trends of Raptors and Waterbirds on the Maurice River, Cumberland County, NJ.  25-Year Study Results: 1987-2012.”  This paper […]

Red-spotted Purples are waking up


It’s Spring It’s spring and Red-spotted Purple caterpillars are venturing out of their winter hibernaculums.  Partially grown caterpillars created these safe retreats last fall by silking a tiny leaf shut, silking the leaf to the tree, then crawling inside and going to sleep for the winter.  All the other leaves fell from Black Cherry trees […]

Invasives – Be Gone !

Purple Loosestrife 3 w-sig

Cape May County, where I live, has more invasive species than any other county in New Jersey: 366 as of March 2013.  Gardeners here are bombarded with invasvies every day in nurseries, plantings by landscapers, neighbor’s yards, school plantings, natural areas.  It’s quite overwhelming.  I delved into the problem in my latest post on Native […]

2013 Wildlife Garden Tours

001 - Monarchs w-sig

This is the 22nd year I’ve been leading these tours of private backyard wildlife gardens.  And they just keep getting yummier and yummier! Be sure to mark your calendar with the following dates & plan to join me on one, several, or all NINE of the 2013 “Tours of Private Wildlife Gardens” (pdf) that I will […]

Mid-County Tour — Photo Gallery

August Tour 2013

2014 “Tours of Private Wildlife Gardens” (pdf) with NJ Audubon’s Nature Center of Cape May 1600 Delaware Ave., Cape May, NJ 08204 (609)898-8848   Saturday, July 19: MID-COUNTY “North Cape May to Rio Grande” Sunday, August 17:MID-COUNTY “North Cape May to Rio Grande” Friday, September 19:MID-COUNTY “North Cape May to Rio Grande” These photos (taken […]

North Tour — Photo Gallery

August Tour 2013

2014 “Tours of Private Wildlife Gardens” (pdf) with NJ Audubon’s Nature Center of Cape May 1600 Delaware Ave., Cape May, NJ 08204 (609)898-8848   Sunday, July 20: NORTH “Goshen to Dennisville” Friday, August 15: NORTH “Goshen to Dennisville” Saturday, September 20: NORTH “Goshen to Dennisville” These photos (taken over the years) truly record the evolution of these […]