Monday, October 14, 2013

A time of change at the Home Bug Garden

Tree ferns, palms and native ginger near Buderim, Queensland
It was almost a decade ago that the Home Bug Garden first moved from a vague ideal to the beginnings of a buggy reality.  Since then it has grown from a quackgrass and dandelion wasteland to a reasonable model of, if not a subtropical paradise, then a sub-boreal meadow-woodland.
A backyard pond begins to take form.
As the new garden added essential components such as a water source and structural diversity composed of herbaceous perennials, shrubs, and trees it also increased in diversity from a near wasteland to a moderately diverse invertebrate habitat (524 species that we have identified so far). Vertebrates also increasingly use the garden with the pond, adjacent birdbath and dense vegetative cover a welcome respite to many migrant birds that never paused before and a better foraging habitat for those tough natives that can survive the long Edmonton winters.
Structural diversity generates biological diversity
At the height of summer the pond is barely visible to humans due to the surrounding vegetation, but the bugs, birds and small mammals (including what looked like a Water Shrew; or perhaps, or a vole that likes to swim) find it easily and often.
Home Bug Garden backyard in August 2013
I hope the Home Bug Garden will continue to grow and prosper, but the Fates have decided that whatever contribution I may make to invertebrate conservation in the future will be in a distant and far different human-dominated ecosystem. Since it is the same land from which I drifted 10 years ago; however, I am looking forward to the repatriation and chance to make life a little more interesting for bugs and bug-lovers alike.
Who knows what surprises my await in the new Home Bug Garden?

No comments:

Post a Comment