Author Archives: dirtynailz

About dirtynailz

Writer for a daily newspaper, gardener, tree hugger, orchid-grower, photographer, animal lover, hiker, wilderness seeker. Proponent of clover in the lawn and a dog on the bed.

At last

This photo, taken very early on a recent morning, looks like it could be any number of places, but it was taken in southern Rhode Island. Fall arrived last week, bringing with it my favorite hiking opportunities. I enjoy looking … Continue reading

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Lion’s ear: impressive!

This plant is Lion’s Ear, or Leonotis Leonorus. Originally from South Africa, it’s a fast-growing, tropical shrub that will reach 3 to 6 feet and attract pollinators like crazy. I bought mine on a whim a couple of weeks ago … Continue reading

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Not peachy

Late summer brings back memories of peaches. We used to buy them in baskets back in Canada, and my sister still does. The ones she buys in Quebec are grown in Niagara, Ontario, which has a warmer climate than most … Continue reading

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Best friends on vacation

With summer winding down, I thought I would share some photos from the vacation I took with my dog, Fidgit. It wasn’t anything earth-shattering, but we spent time outside, the thing she and I both enjoy most of all. Fidgit … Continue reading

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Stop and smell the clethra

The clethra is blooming now in Rhode Island. Commonly known as summersweet or spice bush, Clethra Alnifolia is a lovely native shrub that grows in sun or partial shade, in wooded and semi wooded areas. It is hardy in Zones 3 … Continue reading

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Look what I found!

We were hiking the Zealand Falls trail in New Hampshire and this plant, with its bright pinkish-purple flowers, caught my eye. I stopped to look at it closely, and realized that it was an orchid. Regular readers of Digging RI … Continue reading

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Cool container combo

This is my bronze fennel in flower – the one that fed the black swallowtail caterpillar for a week or so. I planted it in a container with some mini dahlias, which also have clear yellow blooms. Here’s a look … Continue reading

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We have liftoff!

This is the concluding chapter of the metamorphosis saga, in which  a black swallowtail caterpillar hitchhiked from the nursery to our home on a fennel plant. I watched the caterpillar grow, and pupate, and finally, emerge. The backstory: As I walked by … Continue reading

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Odds and ends

I am still waiting for the black swallowtail caterpillar to emerge. It should be any day now. In the meantime,  check out the destructive and most annoying gypsy moth caterpillars, killed by Entomophaga maimaiga, a fungus that needs rain to work. … Continue reading

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More on the metamorphosis

Two days after writing my last post about the black swallowtail caterpillar that came home with me on some fennel, I went outside and the caterpillar was gone. I looked through the fennel plant, and in nearby shrubs, but it … Continue reading

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