A Wildlife Garden of Thanks

This tale was originally published by Loret T. Setters on November 25, 2011 at the defunct national blog beautifulwildlifegarden[dot]com.

This is the time of year we reflect on what is important in life and give thanks for it.

Silkgrass (Pityopsis spp.)
Silkgrass (Pityopsis spp.)

What am I giving thanks for? I’ll start with the native plants:

The larval hosts that many consider weeds but produce the most beautiful of butterflies and other flying creatures;

Plantain serves as one of the larval hosts for the Common Buckeye Butterfly (Junonia coenia)
Plantain serves as one of the larval hosts for the Common Buckeye Butterfly (Junonia coenia)

The meadows of wildflowers that support native insects that feed the baby birds;

Eastern Bluebirds (Sialia sialis) rely on meadows to provide for their babies
Eastern Bluebirds (Sialia sialis) rely on meadows to provide for their babies

The trees that provide shelter from sun and serve as bird roosts and habitat for others;

Black Vultures (Coragyps atratus) in a Native Pine (Pinus spp.)
Black Vultures (Coragyps atratus) in a Native Pine (Pinus spp.)

The berry producers that help the birds through the winter when the bugs hibernate;

Next, critters and their habitats:

The pollinators who see that the cycle of plant life continues;

Skipper Butterfly on Native Asters (Symphyotrichum spp.)
Skipper Butterfly on Native Asters (Symphyotrichum spp.)

The spiders and dragonflies who maintain the balance of insects;

Some type of orchard orb-weaver
Some type of orchard orb-weaver

Tall grasses and brush piles that provide protection and housing for our birds, mammals and reptiles.

The ponds that provide for the aquatic insects to raise their young to feed the fish and reptiles that feed the birds, that feed the reptiles, that feed the raptors, etc.;

Pond provides for this Southern leopard frog (Rana sphenocephala)
Pond provides for this Southern leopard frog (Rana sphenocephala)

My fellow team members from whom I learn something new each week.

And finally, I give thanks for you, the readers, for being conscientious about your gardening choices, for protecting our wildlife, our water resources and helping fill in the gaps between our natural areas.

A native plant wildlife garden provides much to give thanks for.

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