Bookworm Digest: Bringing Nature Home

The viceroy butterfly develops as a larva on willow leaves. Photo by Benny Mazur from Toledo, OH

Douglas W. Tallamy, author of “Bringing Nature Home,” shares his passion for native plants and insects as the base of the terrestrial food web. Want to support birds, butterflies and bees? Plant a variety of native plants in your yard and they will come. With habitat loss threatening species small and large, Tallamy offers a solution through restoring native plants to our yards.

His experience as an entomologist and gardener include intriguing and inspiring stories on gardening with native plants to support insects, the majority of whom are adapted and highly specialized to specific families of native plants. Insects in turn feed 96% of all terrestrial bird species. In short, more native plants leads to more insects, which leads to more animals and ultimately a more biodiverse, healthy and resilient community. For those worried about insect predation of their favorite plants he outlines how, “In a balanced community, with rare exceptions, no one member of the food chain dominates another, and if one species in an essentially sound system does start to run rampant, it is soon brought back into equilibrium by the other members of the community.” – Douglas W . Tallamy.

The book is packed with photos of moths, butterflies and larva that are so beautiful and intriguing that I’m inspired to plant their food sources just to have a chance to see them. With a detailed list of which plants support which beneficial insects, I’m looking forward to gardening as fodder to support my wild neighbors.

 

 

 

 

Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere

Dew web 2017.

 

On October 11, 2017 at dusk while standing in my backyard I notice the first fog of the fall form from my breath. On cue a flock of geese fly past heading directly South. The crickets, humming every evening since August, are silent.

Curious about the changes temperature brings I noted that it was 47 degrees Fahrenheit, or 8 degrees Celsius with 88% humidity. Indeed the Exhale Condensation Calculator confirmed that the conditions were present to induce the condensation of breath, otherwise known as fall in Oregon, USA.

Happy fall to the Northern hemisphere and happy spring to our Southern half!