The Good and The Ugly
Report From PIA – July 13
Today I was gathering new images for a talk I’m doing for the Orenda Wildlife Land Trust on July 20th. The title of this talk is Gardening For Birds, Bees and Butterflies. Walking around the garden with this presentation in mind, I made note of the amount of pollinators in the garden. Assorted bees, wasps and moths were hard at work throughout Poison Ivy Acres.
It was easy to photograph the large black and yellow bumble bees, as these were plentiful and didn’t seem bothered by the camera. The smaller bees, from the honey bee to some tiny ones I couldn’t identify, seemed more skittish and would take off at the first shutter click.
Wasps too were wary, and would fly away if I got too close. As I framed and snapped my photos, I thought about how easy it is to like the cartoon-like black and yellow bumblers, but not the slim, lean-and-mean wasps. All have their place in the garden, be they pollinators or predators or both.
If you’re creating a bird, bee and butterfly friendly garden, you need to embrace the good and the ugly. We want the pretty butterflies, of course, but conveniently forget that in order to have a garden filled with those lovely creatures we need to provide homes and food for the often more ugly and destructive larvae. You can’t have one without the other.
Where else in life do we wish for the ornamental without acknowledging that this depends on a less attractive beginning or base? A beautiful outcome frequently requires a great deal of hard work, for example. The richness of a long-term relationship entails time spent through tough periods as well as pleasant times.
Life is often a package deal where everything is connected to everything else.