Anita Westervelt

17 POSTS 0 COMMENTS

Three Valley native plants that attract warblers

BY ANITA WESTERVELT TEXAS MASTER NATURALIST Three native Valley plants that produce berries noted to attract warblers staying in the Rio Grande Valley during the winter...

Home for the holidays

BY ANITA WESTERVELT TEXAS MASTER NATURALIST They’re tiny, they’re quick, they’re wily. They’re warblers — certainly the thrill of spring and fall migration — and lucky...

Slower going, but some snakes are still making appearances

BY ANITA WESTERVELT SPECIAL TO THE MONITOR One reptile, the diamondback water snake (Nerodia rhombifer), may still be observed in the Rio Grande Valley while temperatures...

Elaborate nest construction uses a variety of materials

BY ANITA WESTERVELT SPECIAL TO THE MONITOR Ash trees seem to shed most of their leaves with the first fall wind event, revealing what might previously...

Climbing hemp weed is a favorite for the honey bees and butterflies

BY ANITA WESTERVELT SPECIAL TO THE MONITOR Climbing hemp weed, Mikania scandens competes with all-time butterflyattracting Rio Grande Valley favorite, Crucita — fall-blooming mistflower, Chromolaena odorata — during the annual...

Garden View: Frogs leap, toads hop

BY ANITA WESTERVELT TEXAS MASTER NATURALIST Distinct features can help you identify whether you’re looking at a frog or a toad. A prominent one is that...

Ox beetles work to recycle decayed plant remnants

BY ANITA WESTERVELT TEXAS MASTER NATURALIST There’s one super big bug that always gives me pause. I erroneously labeled it as a rhinoceros beetle and was...

And it was all yellow: Yellow bells of Esperanza are popular nectar source

The air will soon be aflutter with masses of colorful butterflies searching for colorful flowers and rich nectar sources. One popular Valley shrub coming into...

Dog days of summer as ancient as cicada’s song

A Texas cicada, the Superb Dog-days cicada, Neotibicen superbus, is so named because it makes its annual appearance during the dog days of summer — those...

Texas pocket gopher — prevalent but rarely seen

Texas pocket gophers are prevalent in sandy soils of South Texas. The critters rarely surface, which is why they aren’t often seen, but their...