Karen Wise NAME: Karen Wise
LOCATION: Natchez, Mississippi, USA
AWARD DATE: April 14, 2006 GOLD


  1. Downy Woodpecker, Picoides pubescens
  2. Northern Cardinal, Cardinalis cardinalis
  3. Carolina Wren, Thryothorus ludovicianus
  4. Carolina ChickadeePoecile carolinensis
  5. Tufted Titmouse, Bacolophus bicolor
  6. American Crow, Corvus brachyrhynchos
  7. Blue Jay, Cyanocitta cristata
  8. Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
  9. Red-headed Woodpecker, Melanerpes erythrocephalus
  10. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
  11. Mallard, Anas platyrhynchos
  12. Yellow-shafted Flicker, Colaptes auratus
  13. Brown-headed Cowbird, Molothrus ater
  14. Red-winged Blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus
  15. Eaastern Bluebird, Sialia sialis
  16. American Robin, Turdus migratorius
  17. Hermit Thrush, Catharus guttatus
  18. Purple Martin, Progne subis
  19. Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
  20. Brewer's Blackbird, Euphagus cyanocephalus
  21. Mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos
  22. White-throated Sparrow, Zonotrichia albicollis
  23. Bobwhite, Colinus virginianus
  24. Great Blue Heron, Aredea herodias
  25. Great Egret, Casmerodius albus
  26. Cattle Egret, Bubulcus ibis
  27. Wood Duck, Aix sponsa
  28. Red-tailed Hawk, Buteo jamaicensis
  29. Marsh Hawk, Circus cyaneus
  30. Pigeon, Columba livia
  31. Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
  32. Barn Owl, Tyto alba
  33. Great Horned Owl, Bubo virginianus
  34. Barred Owl, Strix varia
  35. Screech Owl, Otus asio
  36. Chuck-will's-widow, Caprimulgus carolinensis
  37. Chimney Swift, Chaetura pelagica
  38. Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Archilochus colubris
  39. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Sphyrapicus varius
  40. Summer Tanager, Piranga rubra
  1. Nine-banded Armadillo, Dasypus novemcinctus
  2. Eastern Gray Squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis
  3. Eastern Chipmunk, Tamias striatus
  4. Eastern Mole, Scalopus aquaticus
  5. Opossum, Didelphis virginiana
  6. Beaver, Castor canadenis
  7. Bobcat, Lynx rufus
  8. Southern Flying Squirrel, Glaucomys volans
  9. Red Fox, Vulpes vulpes
  10. Gray Fox, Urocyon cinereoargenteus
  11. Eastern Cottontail, Sylvilagus floridanus
  12. Raccoon, Procyon lotor
  13. Striped Skunk, Mephitis mephitis
  14. House Mouse, Mus musculus
  15. Eastern Woodrat, Neotoma floridana
  16. Coyote, Canis latrans
  17. White-tailed Deer, Odocoileus virginianus
  1. Plain-bellied Water Sanke, Nerodia erythrogaster
  2. Timber Rattlesnake, Crotalus horridus
  3. Pigmy Rattlesnake, Sistrurus miliarius
  4. Western Cottonmouth, Agkistrodon piscivorus
  5. Copperhead, Agkistrodon contortris
  6. Coral Snake, Micrurus fulvius
  7. Speckled Kingsnake, Lampropeltis getulus holbrooki
  8. Racer, Coluber constrictor
  9. Ringneck Snake, Diadophis punctatus
  10. Ratsnake, Elaphe obsoleta
  11. Corn Snake, Elaphe guttata
  12. Green Snake, Opheodrys vernalis
  13. Garter Snake, Thamnophis sirtalis
  1. Snapping Turtle, Chelydra serpentina
  2. Slider Turtle, Chrysemys scripta
  3. American Alligator, Alligator mississippiensis
  4. Green Anole, Anolis carolinensis
  5. Fence Lizard, Sceloporus undulatus
  6. Five-lined Skink, Eumeces fasciatus
  1. Saddleback Caterpillar, Sibine stimulea
  2. Velvet Ant, Dasymutilla magnifica
  3. Honey Bee, Apis mellifera
  4. Yellow Jacket, Vespula spp.
  5. Click Beetle, Elateridae
  6. Firefly, Lampyridae
  7. Carpenter Bee, Xylocopa virginica
  8. Mosquito, Culicidae
  9. Walkingstick, Diapheromera femorata
  10. Broad-winged Katydid, Microcentrum rhombifolium
  11. Silverfish, Lepisma saccharina
  12. Lovebug, Plecia nearctica
  13. Luna Moth, Actias luna
  14. Imperial Moth, Eacles imperialis
  15. Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta
  16. Carpenter Ant, Camponotus sp.
  17. Red Wasp, Polistes
  18. Monarch Butterfly, Danaus plexippus
  1. Black Widow Spider, Latrodectus mactans
  2. Brown Recluse Spider, Loxosceles reclusa
  3. Black and Yellow Garden Spider, Argiope aurantia
  4. Banded Millipede, Narceus americanus
  5. Daddy Longlegs, Liobium vittatum
  6. Brown Dog Tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus
  1. White-lipped Forest Snail, Triodopsis albolabris


  1. Butterfly Weed, Asclepias tuberosa
  2. Jonquil, Narcissus jonquilla
  3. Oxalis, Oxalis rosea
  4. Pokeweed, Phytolacca americana
  5. Castor Bean, Ricinus communis
  6. Common Chickweed, Stellaria media
  7. Common Purslane, Portulaca oleracea
  8. Halberd-leaf Rose Mallow, Hibiscus militaris
  9. Swamp Rose Mallow, Hibiscus moscheutos
  10. Wild Strawberry, Fragaria virginiana
  11. Red Clover, Trifolium pratense
  12. White Clover, Trifolium repens
  13. Crimson Clover, Trifolium incarnatum
  14. Common Morning Glory, Ipomoea purpurea
  15. Cypress Vine, Quamoclit pennata
  16. Cocklebur, Xanthium strumarium
  17. Common Mullein, Verbascum thapsus
  18. Daisy Fleabane, Eregeron philadelphicus
  19. Johnson Grass, Sorghum halepanese
  20. White Blue-eyed Grass, Sisyrinchium albidum
  21. Blue-eyed Grass, Sisyrinchium angustifolium
  22. Red Flag, Iris fulva
  23. Southern Blue Flag, Iris virginiaa
  24. Yellow Flag, Iris pseudacorus
  25. Kudzu, Pueraria lobata
  26. Lyre-leaved Sage, Salvia lyrata
  27. False Garlic, Nothoscordum bivalve
  28. Tall Buttercup, Ranunculus acris
  29. Mayapple, Podophyllum peltatum
  30. Evening Primrose, Oenothera speciosa
  31. Black-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia hirta
  32. Spiderwort, Tradescantia ohiensis
  33. Green Dragon, Arisaema dracontium
  1. Flowering Dogwood, Cornus florida
  2. American Elm, Ulmus americana
  3. Eastern Redbud, Cercis canadensis
  4. Pink Mimosa, Albizia julibrissin
  5. Southern Magnolia, Magnolia grandiflora
  6. Sweet Olive, Osmanthus fragrans
  7. Loblolly Pine, Pinus taeda
  8. Longleaf Pine, Pinus palustris
  9. Baldcypress, Taxodium distichum
  10. Tuliptree, Liriodendron tulipifera
  11. Sassafras, Sassafras albidum
  12. Sycamore, Platanus occidentalis
  13. Sweetgum, Liquidamber styraciflua
  14. Osage-orange, Maclura pomifera
  15. Black Walnut, Juglans nigra
  16. Red Mulberry, Morus rubra
  17. Live Oak, Quercus virginiana
  18. Common Persimmon, diospyros virginiana
  19. Southern Catalpa, Catalpa bignonioides
  20. Butterfly Bush, Buddleia davidii
  21. Common Privit, Ligustrum vulgare
  22. Border Forsythia, Forsythia x intermedia
  23. Poison Ivy, Toxicodendron radicans
  24. Common Ivy, Hedera helix
  25. Boxwood, Buxus sempervirens
  26. Yellow Jessamine, Gelsemium sempervirens
  27. American Wisteria, Wisteria frutescens
  28. Mistletoe, Phoradendron leucarpum
  29. Evergreen Euonymus, Euonymus japonicus
  30. Virginia Creeper, Parthenocissus quinquefolia
  31. Muscadine, Vitis rotundifolia
  32. Trumpet Creeper, Campsis radicans
  33. Japanese Honeysuckle, Lonicera japonica
  34. Trumpet Honeysuckle, Lonicera sempervirens
  1. Resurrection Fern, Polypodium polypodioides



The Resurrection Fern really gave me a blast. I didn't know such a thing existed, and they're really common around here, on big trees. When they dry up they look dead but you can throw water on them and then within an hour it starts looking alive again, and then maybe the next day it looks just great. Hardly anybody around here knew about it. They didn't know what I was talking about. So I've had plenty of fun passing this discovery on.

The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Red-head Woodpecker and other woodpeckers also were very interesting. Before I started identifying them to species, I just thought that all woodpeckers were the same thing, just "woodpeckers." So it really opened my eyes when I started paying attention and saw that right around my house we had not only Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers and Red-head Woodpeckers, but also Downy Woodpeckers and Yellow-shafted Flickers -- all "woodpeckers!"

It always makes me excited to see a Red Fox, and I've just seen a few, mostly when driving early in the mornings. You see them so seldom that you feel like it's an honor to see them.

And if you're talking about "excitement," you have to talk about the Timber Rattlesnake that was coiled up behind my rear left tire one afternoon, and that snake just didn't want to move. Finally we got him to move, but he moved up into the chassis of my car and wouldn't come out! So I had to just leave the car overnight and hope when it got cold the snake would leave. Next morning you can imagine how nervous I was getting in the car. As far as I know he's still there...



For example, we have these venomous Cottonmouth snakes around here. When I started looking into the matter I saw that it was a "Western" Cottonmouth. Well, we're east of the Mississippi River here so I figured it should be an "Eastern" Cottonmouth. So why wasn't it an Eastern? So I found distribution maps and saw that the color showing where Eastern Cottonmouths lived just didn't cover our area, but our area was colored in the map of the Western Cottonmouth. It sounds sort of dumb, but it wasn't until then that this whole distribution business started really sinking in. Things are just found in specific areas, and that's very interesting!

But I guess the main thing is that I just never realized so many different things lived right around my house. Then when I finally noticed them, it was like seeing them for the first time, even though I'd been taking them for granted all my life. Like clovers... Before this, there was just "clover," but then I had to figure out that I had a White Clover, and that started me thinking about other clovers, and before I knew it I was "discovering" Red Clover and Crimson Clover, even though I'd been looking at them my whole life!

So, yes, the main thing was that this helped me see things as if for the first time, and that felt good.