Garden Wildlife

Creating Wildlife Habitats ~ Providing for Pollinators ~ Dealing With Pests Like Gophers
Honeybee on borage flower
Honeybee on borage flower
Critters In Your Garden
Wild Turkeys roaming the street
Wild Turkeys roaming the street

Yes, I used the word “Critters” … but it’s in my native vernacular, so it’s OK.  🙂 If you’ve gardened before, you’ve probably met lots of new friends out there, and maybe a few startling acquaintances — I refer to all the moving, buzzing, flying, crawling life forms in the garden, from fuzzy bumblebees to ferocious badgers.

These life forms tend to be very busy with their own goals, and may or may not be helpful to your own garden goals.  Creating habitat for the honeybees, the native tree frogs, the salamanders and butterflies is rewarding to them and you. Deer and raccoons are beautiful and intriguing, but perhaps not very conducive to you receiving the harvest from your vegetable or fruit garden. 😉

Pipevine Swallowtailon on cherry blossom
Pipevine Swallowtailon on cherry blossom
Ladybug on seedling pepper plant
Ladybug on seedling pepper plant | Grow organically and leave some aphids to keep ladybugs thriving in your garden!

Before continuing, let me say that the impetus of this website/blog began in late 2020—a year many of us are eager to forget. And it was a great relief for me to be able to escape during 2020 into the world of my garden where all kinds of life forms exist that do not use Twitter. So, when I need to take a break from world concerns, it’s helpful to take a moment to see life through the eyes of a ladybug, or watch tadpoles wiggling their tails, or listen to the gentle cooing of mourning doves.

Pipevine Swallowtail caterpillars eating aristolochia vine aka Dutchman's Pipe vine
Pipevine Swallowtail caterpillars eating aristolochia vine aka Dutchman’s Pipe vine

Both the flora and the fauna in the garden are intriguing to me, and we like to create some wildlife habitat here to support creatures like bees and other pollinators, native frogs, butterflies, and birds. Personally, I prefer not to run into any apex predators in the garden, 😉 although a neighbor said they saw a mountain lion crossing our property once, and black bears have been occasionally spotted in the wider area. There was a badger here for awhile, making enormous holes in the fields. I was grateful for any gophers it was hunting, but also a bit unnerved, lest my dog and it bump into each other. My partner is equally intrigued by wildlife, and any animated gesturing from one of us to another is likely to involve a sighting of some form of wildlife, be it a caterpillar, oriole, snake, fox, butterfly or frog.

Cedar Waxwing eating pokeberry
Cedar Waxwing eating the berries from pokeweed

Below are posts specifically about creating habitat gardens for bees and butterflies, California tree frogs, supporting birds and pollinators, and dealing with a range of wildlife (like gophers) that may angle to harvest your garden produce, fruit trees and flowers before you do.

We hope that in the blog comments, you will share your own stories about the critters in your garden! (You don’t have to use the word “critter” though.) Stay in touch!

Of Butterflies and Bidets

You wouldn’t think those two things had anything in common, but as it happens, both presented new and delightful arrivals in my life since my last post. Let’s start in the garden…. Two New Butterfly Sightings Having…

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Pipevine Swallowtail Butterflies

We try to create and nurture wildlife habitat gardens here on our five-acre Sonoma County property. And the California pipevine swallowtail is one of our favorite local fauna to provide support for. Their markings are so striking–with…

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Protecting Shrubs and Trees from Gophers

Gophers In Your Garden When I think of gophers, in my mind’s eye I see the flyer for JAWS, only instead of the shark there is a Monster Gopher coming up from the soil depths (with ominous…

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