Carol Duke

Carol Duke

Carol Duke is an artist and farmer who has worked with the land on a Western Massachusetts hillside for over thirty years. During this time her land has evolved into a diverse wildlife habitat. Carol features the flora and fauna that live and visit her farm on her website and blog As vital wildlife habitats are destroyed daily, Carol hopes to inspire others to garden for wildlife, while becoming activists for wild places the world over. Her nature photography has appeared in magazines, books and newspapers.

Jan 122017
Jamaican Hummingbirds

Jamaican Hummingbirds are quite dazzling. A year ago today, while visiting Jamaica, I was blessed to have a visit from a stunning maleRed-billed Streamertail (Trochilus polytmus.) Early mornings, I stoodon my balcony waiting for them to come sip from the bright hibiscus blossoms covering a large bush just below my railing. During my walks to […]

Jul 122015
Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is one of my favorite plants for its globe of sweet florets and the bounty of butterflies, bees, and other creatures it attracts. Within a milkweed stand there is a large community being nourished along with any onlooker’s imagination. A weed of milk . . . common milkweed is abundant in beauty and […]

May 302015
Cheery Warblers

Throughout May, my days have been filled with winsome warbles from a bouquet of songbirds. The most difficult songs to identify are the cheery warblers. The Yellow Warbler has decided to stay close to my barn studio and his songs skip along with my fingers while I type. There are plenty of other warblers warbling […]

Mar 242015
Flower Hill Farm Butterflies of 2014

Here are some Flower Hill Farm butterflies of 2014 sighted in our gardens. I have listed all of the butterflies in this collage by families on my garden blog to help readers learn more about these species — There were more Monarch Butterflies in 2014 than sighted in 2013 in our Western Massachusetts gardens. […]

Jul 262014
Night Beauties, Luna Moth, Actias luna

We humans are creatures of habitual repetition and it is a reliable assumption that bynightfall most people are indoors with lights on and doors closed to the outside world. When we accidentally or purposefully leave our outside lights on, it is somewhat like fly fishingwith the bright light being the lure. Many night beauties will […]

Jun 302014
A Bestiary : Songbirds ~ Vireos ~ Blue-headed Vireo

The Blue-headed Vireo, Vireosolitariesis one of the two vireos that breed in our gardens at Flower Hill Farm in Western Massachusetts. The large white spectacles give this vireo away along with the blue-gray hood and cape it dons. Two wing bars and a splash of yellow on his side adds to the beauty ofthis small […]

May 172014
A Bestiary : Songbirds ~ Vireos ~ Red-eyed Vireo

Spring is bringing back green and sprightly songbirds to Flower Hill Farm Retreat. The Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus) remains elusive both in sighting and song so far this spring. Odd for one who loves to sing so much. There are more photos and information about this vireo over at Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens. Perhaps […]

May 032014
A Bestiary : Songbirds ~ American Redstart

The animated and flashy warbler American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla) is the final warbler featured in my Bestiary. Migrating songbirds are returning to our Western Massachusetts hillside now as I finish the warbler section of A Bestiary — Tales From a Wildlife Garden. I have enjoyed recalling and writing about the numerous encounters I have had […]

Mar 252014
A Bestiary: Songbirds ~ Northern Parula Warbler

Over two years have flown by since my monthly posts featuring warblers began over at Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens. Here is my next to the last wood warbler — sighted, as all the others, here at Flower Hill Farm Retreat. The Northern Parula (Setophaga americana) was just passing through May of 2011, when these […]

Jan 092014
Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus)

A Snowy Owl Bubo scandiacus, sitting FAR back at the edge of a field in Deerfield, MA. A first sighting for me on 1/05/2014! I could use a larger glass! Still, it was such a thrill to see this marvel of an owl that I will share this blurred image anyway. The best my 70-300 […]