|Ladybugs on Asclepias asperula|
I have been accused of having a bit of an obsession with the Plant Kingdom, and since I notice that I may be closing in on a thousand blog postings before too terribly long, I thought it would be only fair to show that I've taken at least a few pictures of creatures in other kingdoms (I'll leave fungi for another blog perhaps)...
|Bumblebees on Allium togashii|
I haven't gone through my whole image library: I know I have quite a few pics of bees and dozens of butterfly pictures (which will have to constitute another blog post)..
I regret 1) that I didn't take a closeup of these beetles. I believe they're on an umbel (Celeriac perhaps?)
|Cochineal on Opuntia spp|
|Honeybee on Delosperma 'Granita Orange'|
Of course Tallamy emphasizes natives, and he should: the theme of the book--namely that current gardening practices (lawn worship, planting only cultivars, excessive use of pesticides) are devastating to insect populations.That we should plant plants that encourage insects and that we should realize that a garden full of insects is a GOOD thing, signifying that it's a healthy garden and one full of "ecological services" a great phrase! Of course, one of the GREATEST lessons his book drives home is that birds need those insects in enormous numbers. If we want birds, we better plant lots of plants that attract them, and especially the insects they need to survive!
|Goldfinch with Eremurus robustus in the background|
The goldfinches are worth it...
This immature redtailed hawk swooped within feet of me and snatched one our beloved garter snakes that was basking near me as I weeded my garden a few months ago...
And then the damn bird perched on top of a pine not far from me and began munching down on our pet snake...I even managed a Youtube video of the dastardly act...
|Snake on the snow|
And if you didn't see the video, here's a still of the same thing...I love raptors, but wish they'd stick to our abundant rabbits!
|Goshawk at Cherokee Ranch|
And we see turkeys almost every field trip: I hate to think of how many danged pictures of turkeys I keep taking there...
|Himalayan pika on Serkyem La in Tibet|
Ironic I've never gotten this close to our abundant Rocky Mountain pikas! Oh yes, I remember now I did--on Beartooth Pass or the Bighorns. I must find that picture and add it one day for comparison purposes!
Eventually it saw an escape route and skedaddled!
And finally last April my beloved first cousin Eleni drove me to Aegina--an island not too far from Athens that I'd wanted to visit for years and years: on our way back we enjoyed the sunset from the ferry at the end of a magical day. I can assure you this seagull was not named Jonathan Livingston, but I was delighted to have captured this shot. Animals are very good. And life is precious. Please vote.