Why do bugs like light?

Many interesting bugs are night-flying or nocturnal, becoming active after dusk. If you’ve ever left a porch light on or had a campfire in the summer, you also know that nighttime bugs are attracted to light. Expressions like “like a moth to the flame” show that people have seen this happen for a long time. But why do bugs like …

What are galls?

In late Summer and Fall, you may find strange shapes on the stems of plants or tree leaves. These odd growths come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and sometimes even colors. Upon closer inspection, what you might think are fungi or insect pupa appear to be somehow part of the plant itself. You’re looking at galls! These bizarre plant …

9 wild facts about milkweeds

If you’ve done any research into wildflowers or wild gardening, you’ve probably heard about milkweeds. These pretty and widespread wildflowers are super important for native biodiversity and can attract a lot of fascinating pollinators. You can find milkweeds throughout most of North and South America as well as part of Africa. In the U.S. alone, there are more than 70 …

Are mosquitoes attracted to colors?

Summer is a fantastic time to enjoy the outdoors and connect with nature. Unfortunately, in many parts of the world, it’s also when mosquitoes are most active. This means getting snacked-on while you’re trying to enjoy being outside, and itchy bites later on. Because of all that unpleasantness, people will go to great lengths to avoid mosquitoes. Beyond bug sprays …

What to do if you find a baby bird

During the spring and summer, people often tend to find baby birds in parks, gardens, or at home. Every April I start receiving texts and e-mails from friends worried over the safety of a young bird in their yard or by their office. Adorably ugly and helpless-looking, it’s easy to feel bad for baby birds and want to protect them. …

Why do birds sing in the morning?

Trying to sleep in on a weekend morning in early June, I was awakened by my neighbors. It wasn’t a loud phone call, a.m. dance party or super-loud footsteps upstairs. A Brown thrasher, American robin, and Northern mockingbird had started singing their little hearts out. Looking out the window, I noticed that the sun was just starting to come up. …