Close encounters

Being surrounded by beautiful flowers, interesting foliage and delicious fragrance is great and all but I think the best reason to grow a garden might be for the privilege of sharing it with a few of nature’s other creatures. This morning in the pollinator garden I came nose to nose with a hummingbird (who obviously, was much quicker than I…) Our little moment together would have been fairly unlikely had I been standing on of an expanse of lawn instead of in the middle of a garden full of his favorite flowers. Plus where else can you, if you train your eyes to see, easily find praying mantis hanging out?

And honestly, is there anything better than a bucketful of frogs? Blithewold’s Camp Sequoia kiddos have been monitoring the frogs’ progress all summer from tadpole to poliwog (froglet?) to today’s wee teensie frogs. They’ve been finding all sorts of other creatures in their nets too like dragonfly larvae and water striders. Any garden that mimics nature the way the water garden does will be full to bursting with activity. Fascinating to watch – and catch.

Of course nature will occasionally send a message that a close encounter can be too close… For all we cultivate and maintain, gardens are still wild places. – Or so the bumblebee told me on Monday. But for anyone who isn’t fatally allergic, a little pain and swelling is a small price to pay for getting such a good view of their way of life.

It seems like the activity in the gardens is ramping up to a frenzy (or maybe the critters all think a hurricane is coming) – have you had close encounters of the natural kind lately too?