Exactly What Kind of Wildlife Do You Want?

I’m famous for saying that I’m a friend to all critters. And that’s pretty much true. If they’re outside, and they’re not endangering me (like ticks, say) they can stay.

They can even pretty much dine on most everything–and they do–although I draw the line at the vegetable garden. Those are mine. I’ll be putting up my double border of “Deer Stopper” tape again this year right after I plant in the hope of discouraging any nibbling deer. They can have the roses and the hydrangeas (since they never seem to enjoy the tasty hosta buffet I serve).

This year I’ve had rabbits eating my Siberian iris and coral bells (heuchera) for the first time. I watched it for about a week but before I could get out the black pepper (which is generally all you need to convince the delicate little rabbit nose that it wants to find something else to nibble) the rabbits have moved on to the lawn. This is the best reason I know to encourage something other than grass to grow in the lawn. Right now the rabbits are dining on a tasty mix of violets and clover–and the bees and butterflies are nectaring there are well.

Other things I’ll definitely encourage are the snakes–and because we have stone walls, we do have snakes. The Spoiler is not a fan, but even he knows to leave them alone. We definitely have the common garter snake and I’m fairly sure I’ve seen the ribbon snake although that’s a species of special concern in my state. However, they are found near water and I do live near a lake, in addition to having the backyard pond.

Because of the pond we do have frogs, of course. One year, we had a turtle appear. It stayed for 3 days and then it disappeared as mysteriously as it came. I’m glad we could provide it what it needed for those 3 days.

And of course we have all sorts of butterflies and moths–that’s how I decided to become completely organic. I realized I had no butterflies when I moved to the property. When I started researching what butterflies needed, it said they were highly sensitive to pesticides. So I swore off the use of any–pretty simple.

Next week I’ll talk a little bit about the pond–and then June is all about pollinators so I’ll start a series on those in June!

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