The Birds and The Bees….

And caterpillars and butterflies. 

Gotcha with that title huh.  You dirty-minded gardeners.  Actually the gardeners were prolly more excited about the actual birds & bees.  It is a sick, sad disease.

This year we added ‘helping out the local wildlife’ to our growing efforts.

Back in April James got me a really cool bird feeder from AHA! Modern Living and the birds have really LOVED it.  It didn’t take long for them to figure out that we put it out there for them.  Now they wait on the fence for us to fill it, and I bet there is 50+ birds at any given time once they all show up.

We had a lil bird problem last year at our old house, they ate pretty much an entire peach tree one day… which didn’t go over well.  So we thought of birds more as pests… but after ready that in most gardens they are beneficial and other than berries, fruits occasionally – they tend to leave the other goods alone.  Now we feed them, invite them… establish boundaries… all that junk.

The birds also like the Sunflowers we planted in the alley this year.  You might remember us posting about the alley and how we wanted to spruce it up.  Well… that was half the truth.  We did want to make it look nice, but we also wanted to help out the bees – since most of you know they are in a steep decline.  If you have ever had Sunflowers you know how many bees they attract and feed… well we went with the Mammoth Sunflowers… yeah – we care that much people.  😉

Mammoth Sun Flower

In their prime they had bees on them at all times.  If you look closely you can see two bees, one with it’s legs covered in pollen.

Mammoth Sunflower with eaten seeds

Now they pretty much all look like this.  Apparently we aren’t feeding our birds enough because they have gone to work clearing out all the seeds.

Something else we added this year to help our insect population & overall earth-health is a Passion Vine.  Why is a Passion Vine helpful for the environment?  We didn’t know this until after they were already planted, but it is the natural habitat for the Gulf Fritillary Butterfly.  I bet if we walked out to our small vine right this minute, we could count 20-30 caterpillars munching away. 

Gulf Fritillary Caterpillar baby

Some small. 

Gulf Fritillary Caterpillar

And some big.  Big enough to make me a bit uncomfortable when I get too close.

It does take it’s toll on the vine…

Passion Vine Eaten by Caterpillars

When you actually get to see the Gulf Fritillary Butterfly – it is worth it.  Such an awesome orange butterfly that loves to hang out near the vine.  Butterflies pollinate just like bees do… and the more we have, the more chance we have for fruits/veggies & everything else creating the air we breathe each breath. 

So I guess you can call us hippies.  Call us democrats or liberals… call us what you will.  Tree huggers… whatever.  We like to watch nature, we love to be leaving a positive effect on the environment and all these little things could add up if everyone did the same.  What small things do you do to try and be a lil more green?  Or maybe just something small that you never thought you would be doing?

5 thoughts on “The Birds and The Bees….”

  1. Good for you for attracting the birds and bees! Although I have to say the huge caterpillars just gave me the willies. Yeah, I would have screamed to Dave to come take care of that one for me! Glad I haven’t seen one that big. The birds are enjoying some of my plants a little too much this year, but that’s okay. You lose some, you harvest some.

    Now that our deck faces the garden, I’ve taken such joy in watching the birds in my bird bath for the first time. I’ve put the bird bath in many locations over the years, but never see any birds. Finally this year, I’ve seen many there and I get very excited….doesn’t take much. LOL

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