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.

Scaly-breasted Munias

Normally found in grassy areas along the L.A. River, finding scaly-breasted munia in the GNG was a nice surprise. They are known to wander post breeding season, and during this time will occasionally end-up at wild bird feeders. This was the first time seeing them in the […]

Painted Tiger Moth

Fall is the time in Southern California to look for this beautiful tiger moth. With its distinctive gray, wavy, patterned wings and bright orange body, it can be confused with no other. It’s during the late spring and summer months when their black haired caterpillars (nick-named […]

Gray Foxes in the Garden!

One of the GNG trail-cams caught some cuties recently – two Gray Foxes! This came as a surprise for two reasons. First, foxes have not been seen on the property in the past, despite that they inhabit the Santa Monica Mountains. Second, there is extensive construction in […]

Great Golden Digger Wasp

Wasps seem to be the busiest insects in the garden, in constant motion while searching for food for their young. Many species of wasps have long legs, allowing them to easily walk on foliage and swiftly run down prey. This great golden digger wasp was […]

Diversity of Native Bees

One of the greatest pleasures of having a native garden is watching native pollinators as they take advantage of the habitat you have created…

Fortunate Spider, Unfortunate Honey Bee

Grass spiders are in the family Agelenidae, or funnel weavers. This family gets its name from the spider’s horizontal, sheet-like web that has a small funnel-like tube where the it can reside safely out of sight. Their webs are rather interesting because, for the most part, they […]

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 […]