Who Eats Kousa Dogwood?

exotic fruit nobody eats

(A Cautionary Tale in Second Person)

Here’s what you wonder:
if Kousa (Japanese) dogwoods evolved in East Asia with wildlife there, what eats Kousa fruit here?

Because you already know that Nashville butterflies and moths can’t use Kousa leaves as caterpillar food.

And because you now suspect that the fruit piling up under neighborhood Kousa trees will keep piling up, uneaten.
The fruits looks like round, warty raspberries but with long, cherry stems.

So, you watch and learn that:
*squirrels ignore them,
and
*birds ignore them.

So, you ask the Internet and learn that:
*monkeys were the main disperser in the native range,
and
*people can also eat the fruit.

Continue reading “Who Eats Kousa Dogwood?”

Native Puzzler

I saw the puzzle at a used book sale. My kids are old, I am old, I don’t work at a school anymore, but I really, really wanted that preschool puzzle.

First, I showed it to my Middle Schooler. “Please tell me not to buy this gorgeous puzzle from 1975.” 

“Put it back,” he said, putting it back.

Then, I texted a photo to my friend Taunia, and added the same (disingenuous) demand: “Please tell me not to buy this gorgeous puzzle from 1975.”

And Taunia answered, “How could you NOT!?” Continue reading “Native Puzzler”

Red-shouldered bugs and a fresh assassin

red shouldered bugs

I knew they weren’t box-elder bugs, but what? Hundreds and hundreds were mating and scurrying about on a (stupid) bush honeysuckle covered with (stupid) English ivy. So I type “red shoulder bug,” into BugGuide and guess what they are?
“Red-shouldered Bugs.” Continue reading “Red-shouldered bugs and a fresh assassin”