Biology, In my Backyard

Polka Dot Wasp Moth

I was admiring another new butterfly that showed up in my backyard last week when this stunning creature landed on a flower right in front of me. I took several pictures and then ran inside to look it up. So now I know this is a Polka Dot Wasp Moth - and it is actually a moth. You can see the feather-like shape of its antennae in this photo. It also has the characteristic spread out resting wing shape where a butterfly would fold its wings up over its back. Although most moths are nocturnal, the Polka dot wasp moth is diurnal (active during the daytime).

Biology, Hydroponics

Lumens are for Humans; PAR is for Plants

Learning about hydroponics was my COVID project. It was something I had wanted to learn for a long time and this was the perfect opportunity. I decided early on that a grow light would be my primary (and biggest) investment. Since then, I have experimented and explored all kinds of different growing methods and systems and I still think choosing a grow light carefully is the most important step. This post is the result of my own deep-dive into grow lights and my explanation of how to best use artificial light sources for autotrophic (self-feeding - aka photosynthetic) organisms.

Biology, In my Backyard

White Peacock Butterfly

It was a busy morning at the torch flower bed today! I saw a new butterfly - the White Peacock butterfly along with a pair of mating Gulf Fritillary butterflies. The White Peacock butterfly is a native butterfly in the brush-footed (Nymphalidae) family of butterflies. These brush-footed (or sometimes called four-footed) butterflies are so-called because… Continue reading White Peacock Butterfly

Biology, In my Backyard

The wrong milkweed!

I planted milkweed to entice butterflies and to support an endangered species by providing food, shelter, and host plants for their caterpillars. Last week, I figured out that I had planted the wrong milkweed. Not just a little bit wrong, or kinda unhelpful - I planted a type of milkweed that is actually contributing to… Continue reading The wrong milkweed!