Wednesday, May 11, 2011
A Suburban Meadow
We happen to love it, even though we know it doesn't consist of 100% native grasses and forbs. We had no idea how much biodiversity a strip of unmowed "grass and weeds" could contain. The night I took this photograph, it was just before sunset, from a distance it looked like nothing special. But upon closer inspection, I found it bursting with life.
There were so many insects, dragonflys and damselflys balanced on the seed heads, moths like the one above waking up for the night, grasshoppers, and many more I couldn't identify. I've seen Chipping Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Kingbirds, Flickers, Phoebes, Bluebirds, and Tree Swallows all use these areas for hunting and foraging. They leave the grass standing through the winter and don't mow it until just before the growing season begins. I know it's not the textbook way to create a meadow, but it's better than another blank section of mowed grass like it used to be.
Monarch Update: Still munching, still growing.....