Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Build It and They Will Come...

Have been 'restoring' my yard for several years now, from lawn to meadow/garden/wildlife habitat. Here's a recent photo of the meadow:

It's been beautiful right from the start (to a degree of course). Now it's becoming more beneficial to wildlife, especially pollinators. Over the last three weeks have had four species of swallowtail butterfly use my plantings. Western Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio rutulus) found first on Dianthus,
Western Tiger Swallowtail
then followed by: Two-tailed Swallowtail (Papilio multicaudata) on Penstemon sp.,
Two-tailed Swallowtail
Canadian Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio canadensis) on Penstemon sp.,
Canadian Tiger Swallowtail
and lastly Pale Swallowtail (Papilio eurymedon) on Coreopsis
Pale Swallowtail
As pointed out by butterfly field guides, swallowtails are easy to attract to a garden. So I haven't really achieved anything extraordinary. The point being you can do this. Butterflies and bees (and a host of other pollinators) are in decline for a variety of reasons. Consider 'plowing under' a part of your lawn for their benefit. The Xerces Society has many publications as reference information for your restoration efforts:  http://www.xerces.org/pollinator-conservation/ . Michael S. Baldwin writing on the blog 3quarksdaily makes a more expansive case for 'Rethinking Lawns'...good reading at  http://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarksdaily/2012/05/rethinking-lawns.html . Create something special!