The Naturalist’s Journal

What's Happening in the Garden

As the Gottlieb Native Garden’s naturalist, Scott Logan documents the ever-changing array of wildlife species as they vary with the garden’s blooms, seasons and migratory patterns. While bringing these observations to life for all to experience, he also coordinates scientific research projects, and monitors the overall health and biodiversity of the garden. The Naturalist’s Journal also highlights the work the Gottliebs and Scott are doing to educate and inspire people to start gardening for wildlife with native plants.

Number 25

This Fatal metalmark brings the GNG documented butterfly species count to twenty-five.   Summer heat can bring beautiful things to your garden…

Lacewing Larvae Defends Apache Plume

Green lacewings are welcome guests in the GNG as their larvae are ravenous predators of the eggs and immature stages of soft bodied insects, especially aphids.  When left unchecked, many soft bodied insect species can become garden pests. Lacewings are one of the natural predators […]


We are quite certain that this grasshopper nymph could have picked a better spot to use its green camouflage coloring in a more effective way…

Evening Primrose Gets Pollinated

Leaf-cutter bees (Megachilidae) are productive pollinators for many flowering plants and like most of our native bees, are solitary.  Even if not seen cutting or carrying leaves for their nest, leaf-cutters are easy to identify by the way they carry their pollen. A leaf-cutter bee’s pollen-carrying structure […]

Discarded Exoskeleton

If you look carefully, sometimes interesting clues can be found in your garden, clues left by animals passing through or living within. This empty exuvia (larval skin) was found at the upper pond and belonged to a dragonfly going through metamorphosis.  We were very happy […]

Honey Bee on Buckwheat?

Nope!   It is a syrphid fly, and this species happens to be an especially good bee mimic.   And just as bees are good pollinators, so are many fly species.  In fact, after bees, Syrphid flies are considered to be some of the best all-around […]

Oak Titmouse Grabs a Snack

In addition to the native foods the garden offers to birdlife, feeders are available for extra nutrition.  Here an adolescent oak titmouse pulls a sunflower seed from a wire mesh feeder.

Extraordinary Battle

While surveying moths in the GNG this past week, a fight between two beetles caught our attention: a soldier beetle and a checkered beetle were locked in mortal combat .  It was quite a struggle until the checkered beetle maneuvered the soldier beetle on to […]

Sonoran Bumble Bee Flies-off with a Load of Pollen

Sonoran bumble bees have declined severely in their Northern California range and is no longer detected at sites where it was once abundant. It can still be found in Southern California but numbers have also decreased in recent years, probably due to habitat loss.  As […]

The GNG is Buzzing with Pollinators!

One of the busy pollinators is the GNG is Hylaeus, or yellow masked bee. As a Genus, this small bee (about 3/16”) is easy to identify based on its sleek black body and pale markings on the face. But they are very hard to identify […]