From baby caterpillars to pregnant wolf spiders to bee wars — my yard is brimming with life.
Strangers are stopping to compliment the eclectic mix of heirlooms & prairie plants & asking me why I chose a particular plant.I explained that I am creating an ecosystem. I told them about the decline in bees, birds, butterflies and bugs. “Oooohhhh. I’ve not thought about it until now. I used to see bees and butterflies all the time- now I don’t. Wow. That’s scary,” they’d reply.
My neighbor, who is a man and calls me Ellie Mae because, “you’re too kind to all of the critters” came over to tell me that he thought flowers looked nice & “to see what the hell you’re always taking videos & pics of!” He also told me that my other neighbor thinks they look like a bunch of weeds. 😆 That neighbor is also a man and apparently lacking in taste. 😆 JK. He’s also a nice guy and it does take a certain kind of person to like the look or appreciate the ecosystem that I’ve created.
While looking at pollinator garden he was both in shock & giddy to see the number of bumblebees & other bugs there. He just stood there, holding his beer bottle, red faced like Santa & losing his mind over the the Clearwing Hummingbird Moth in the back.He’d never seen one! He was tickled pink that I could ID & sex whatever bee that he pointed out. He asked about the new trees that I planted backyard. I explained that tree & shrub choice is also part of creating an ecosystem. I showed him which trees would be larval hosts for caterpillars etc.
At the end of the “tour” he says, “I’ve seen only one bee at my house & one Monarch, who flew from yours to mine but didn’t stay. I want to do something. I want to change that. Will you tell me what to buy - where to plant it?” I told him I’d give him my flowers for free. He was thrilled about it.
No pitch from me— (as Phil from The Big Kahuna would say)- the mini ecosystem itself was powerful enough to change a man, who has never had anything more than a Hosta in his front yard the entire ten years that we’ve lived by one another.
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