Author TA

Earthworms
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The lowly earthworm, they’re given such short shrift. We should be celebrating them. They quietly work magic right under our very feet.

Insects Earwig male, Forficula auricularia, on a green leaf.
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An old superstition warns that earwigs crawl into people’s ears and burrow into their brains to lay eggs — the reason they’re called earwigs.

Insects Museum display of dozens of beetles of various shapes, sizes and colors, placed side by side on white background.
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Beetles comprise 30 percent of all insects and about 30 percent of all other animal species. And millions more yet to be discovered!

Reptiles
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Most of us call any turtle a “turtle.” Environmentalists and researchers, however, make a distinction between “turtle,” “tortoise” and “terrapin.’

Reptiles Red-sided Garter snake, Thamnophis sirtalis
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When we can set aside our fears, we find that snakes are fascinating animals who deserve respect as beneficial predators of rodents, other pests.

Amphibians Small green frog sitting on a lilypad in water, with a pretty yellow flower nearby.
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There is no scientific distinction between frogs and toads; they just belong to different families. A few visible differences, however, distinguish them.

Basics Female Mallard hiding among grasses.
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Wildlife need to feel safe in your yard: Dense shrubs, brush piles, stacked firewood, tall grasses, trees, and for some animals, water. Plus more.

Basics Various native plants displaying red berries, lavender flowers and greenery.
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Wildlife won’t stay in your yard if there’s no food for them. A large part of their day — everyday — is focused on finding food.

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