I took a break from planting runner beans to watch a painted lady butterfly cartwheel across the phacelia. White cabbage butterflies performed acrobatics over the wild radish and bumblebees launched themselves into the California poppies. A squirrel stretched to pluck seeds from the borage while a lizard tiptoed over the gravel pathway.
|A squirrel balancing on a small hawthorne branch to eat spring buds.|
|A painted lady butterfly suns itself on a borage leaf.|
|Lady bug on native Clarkia.|
|Skipper on a California poppy.|
Our native wildlife are increasingly squeezed out by habitat loss, pollution, drought, and extreme weather events. In the last 40 years, wildlife on earth has decreased by 50%. Closer to home, kids today see 35% fewer butterflies than their parents did 40 years ago. By gardening for life, I can push back against those statistics.
|Native bee on wild radish.|
By letting leaves decompose instead of blowing the beds free of debris, I can increase the insect population and thereby the bird population.
|A Varied Thrush overwintered in our garden for the first time, and spent most of his or her time|
digging in the leaf litter looking for bugs.
By eschewing pesticides and planting natives, I can ensure that bird parents have enough insects to feed their babies - which are almost exclusively feed insects, not seeds.
|A titmouse bringing food to a birdhouse full of babies.|