Category Archives: general nature

Stormwater management is important but underappreciated


In northeastern North Carolina, we have many places that flood following a storm. If we happen to live in one of these areas it is important to us. Unfortunately, many folks don’t worry about what doesn’t directly affect them. Despite … Continue reading

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Black ducks face a survival challenge from mallards


Recently I discussed a genetic cross between different species in plants. The result was a new plant that was infertile. This happens quite often in ducks. Usually, male mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) are the reason why. Mallard males will cross with … Continue reading

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Yellow poplars are great shade trees but can also pose problems


Yellow poplars (Liriodendron tulipifera), also called tulip trees are tall straight fast-growing trees with great fall color. Trees often attain heights of a hundred feet or more. They also require little or no pruning to develop a uniform and dense … Continue reading

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Fatsherdera is a versatile artificial cross


I guess you could call it a GMO. The plant is an artificial combination of two entirely different plants. They are in the same family but not even in the same genus, let alone the same species. It is a … Continue reading

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Green Lawns in Winter


If you want a green lawn in winter, you have two choices. The first is to have a tall fescue lawn. That can be a challenge in summer considering the extreme heat and drought we have faced in August and … Continue reading

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Some wild birds rely on people


There are over three dozen species of sparrows and roughly 75 percent of them can be found in North Carolina. Most inhabit open areas with a few trees. Some have distinctive calls. However, there is one sparrow never found truly … Continue reading

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Hydrangeas are many and varied


Asking if you like hydrangeas is like asking if you like dogs. There are so many types. There are bigleaf hydrangeas, mountain hydrangeas, smooth hydrangeas, oakleaf hydrangeas, panicle hydrangeas, and climbing hydrangeas, just to name a few. Hardiness and adaptation … Continue reading

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Surprise – They’re back


Now that fall is here, take a walk along the roadsides and you’ll see them popping up everywhere. Clusters of stems with reddish flowers and no leaves seem to come from nowhere. Sometimes we see them where an old homestead … Continue reading

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Joe-Pye weed is a pasture nightmare but a hot perennial ornamental


My father-in-law fought this weed voraciously. It would sometimes fill up the hillsides and bottoms, hiding his cattle. Sometimes it seemed the more he clipped it, the thicker it got. He would turn over in his grave if he saw … Continue reading

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Rhinoceros beetles are menacing looking but completely harmless


Occasionally, someone will bring in a large curious-looking insect for me to identify. Males have a big horn-like structure on their heads. Females have no horns. These insects are in the group called scarab beetles. Their major colors are greenish … Continue reading

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