Pumpkins

Homegrown pumpkins.

During the second week of July, I planted a handful of New England pie pumpkin seeds. Realizing this was almost too late in the year, my hopes were not high for these plants. The five vines did well at first but powdery mildew eventually set in and I couldn’t keep up with fighting it. These two pumpkins were the only ones to make it to harvest.

Clintonville Wildlife

Red milkweed beetle (Tetraopes tetrophthalmus) on a coneflower head.

On this summer solstice, I’m reflecting on all the wildlife that lives in and around our small patch of earth in the Clintonville neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio. I’ve been amazed by how many species live with us—or do we live with them?

Below is a list of creatures I’ve observed over two years. These are just from memory and are animals I could identify. There have been many other unidentified insects.

Mammals

Bats
Possums
Rabbits
Raccoons
Red fox (1)
Squirrels

Birds

Bluejays
Canada geese
Cardinals
Chickadees
Crows
Great blue heron (1)
Hawks
House finches
Hummingbirds
Goldfinches
Grackles
Mourning doves
Nuthatches
Robins
Sparrows
Turkey vulture (1)

Insects, etc.

Ants
Aphids
Bumble bees
Carpenter bees
Centipedes
Common house spiders
Crickets
Daddy longlegs
Dragonflies
Earthworms
Flies
Honey bees
Hornets
Jumping spiders
June bugs
Lady beetles
Lightning bugs
Milkweed bugs
Mosquitoes
Moths
Monarch butterflies
Pill bugs
Praying mantis (1)
Red milkweed beetles
Silverfish
Slugs
Stink bugs
Wasps
Wolf spiders

The Essence of Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic

A few days ago, I finished reading Aldo Leopold’s groundbreaking, award-winning A Sand County Almanac, first published in 1949. Leopold is widely considered to be the father of the modern conservation movement. For anyone with a short attention span, the book can be summarized by the following quotation from the foreword:

We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.

On this Earth Day, take a walk in nature, even your own back yard, and observe the teeming ecosystem around you. It is the community to which you belong.