This was originally published on Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens.
In North America hummingbirds pollinate, in the southwest bats pollinate, but most of all, insects pollinate. By far the most popular garden pollinators are hummingbirds and butterflies, but there are many other beautiful (in a less traditional way) pollinators including flies, bees, moths and beetles.
Many pollinators visit flowers for the nectar, such as butterflies, ants and honeybees, however many insects, including bumble bees and lady beetles, visit for the pollen, which they consume. Many plants have evolved different shapes and colors of flowers to attract certain types of pollinators. There’s a great episode about flowering plants in the wonderful David Attenborough show The Private Life of Plants, and you can see a clip of that episode here.
Hummingbird flowers have evolved into tubular shapes so that the bird, with their long bills, can…
Welcome to a new column feature at The Metropolitan Field Guide, the Diary of an Urban Wild Garden, where I plan to write about my wildlife garden in Seattle, the design, how it’s doing, what I’m currently doing, what I see and more. It’s about time I started this, as the garden is now in its third year. This first post is an overview of what the yard was like in the beginning, and what we’ve done so far.
Nearly three years ago we moved into our first house. Having lived in rentals and apartments, this was my first chance at putting my Landscape Architecture education into practice. It’s gone surprisingly well so far! When we moved in during the fall of 2012, we had a six month old baby and this was our first house. Steep learning curves on both fronts! The backyard had almost no plants; a lone forsythia…
As one who spends a fair amount of time crawling around my yard in search of interesting insects, I was, needless to say, excited to see a new book from Timber Press with the title Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control. It’s written by horticulturist and self-proclaimed ‘bug lover’ Jessica Walliser. With a quick glance through the book, it’s easy to see it’s up to the typical high standard of Timber Press books and full of wonderful and inspiring images of beautiful bug-friendly gardens.
As this is not a typical sort of book that gardeners might be drawn to, (usually it’s more along the lines of how to get rid of bugs instead of attract them) Walliser makes several confessions in the introduction which states how she came to love…
- Camera Trap Tuesday: Islands in Los Angeles:: “What Griffith Park, one of the largest urban parks in America, is surrounded by, however, is freeways. And homes, and businesses. Urban sprawl.”
- What Is the Point of Zoos?:: “I am also a great advocate of zoos that focus on native species and their ecosystems, and I hope to one day see, or hear about, an urban exhibit that truly links zoos with the cities that surround them.”
- Biodiversity can flourish on an urban planet:: “Research shows that cities can in fact support biodiversity and this can have major implications for conservation efforts.”
- Wildlife Oases in New York’s Concrete Jungle:: “A resourceful researcher discovers that urban green roofs attract surprisingly large numbers of migratory birds and their insect prey.”
- Off-Season Visits to New York’s Newest Naturalistic Parks and Gardens by Harry Wade:: “In the garden, winter’s…
- ASLA Releases Guide To Health Benefits of Nature:: “The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) has created a terrific and handy collection of studies that all demonstrate the positive impacts the natural environment has us.”
- Zombies vs. animals? The living dead wouldn’t stand a chance:: “Next time you’re lying in bed, unable to fall asleep thanks to the vague anxiety of half-rotten corpses munching on you in the dark, remember this: if there was ever a zombie uprising, wildlife would kick its ass.”
- Lovefest: Landscape Architects and Restoration Ecologists:: “Landscape architecture and ecological restoration are really different disciplines, but increasingly these fields are working together in fascinating ways.”
- Everyone Has Contact with Nature but that Nature Is Not the Same:: “what can be learned from a smaller city in the midwest United States — an average city?”
- How to track animals in the city:: “The city teems…
Every night from fall to spring, upwards of 10,000 crows fly from downtown Seattle and other surrounding areas to the University of Washington’s Bothell campus, located on the far north end of Lake Washington. They are here for their nightly roost, where all 10,000 of them, cawing and making a ruckus impossible to miss, gather together before descending into the wetland trees. There are several other crow roosts around the Puget Sound area, but none as large or magnificent as the Bothell roost.
Along with the University of Washington, Cascade Community College shares this campus and hosted a crow evening this past fall which included Audubon representatives on hand with bird information, crow hats for the kids, cider for all and a talk by crow expert Kaeli Swift.
I confess I’m a bit crow mad, as long-time readers may have gathered from past posts, Emerald City…