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Do you know what lives in your backyard? Or the vacant lot near your home? It makes me sad that my neighbor gets complaints because he lets the vacant land around us grow as a natural meadow with wildflowers and butterflies and bunnies… One of the those meadows now has a house sitting on it and more than one person has commented how my home value has now gone up.


As nice as my new human neighbors are I feel there was more value to my home when there was a diverse natural community living next door. This TED talk with Emma Marris brings out the curious way we Americans have come to view and define nature.

How do you define the word nature?

For this post, I walked around my yard for a couple of minutes to see who was creating my natural community today. I missed the photo op for the pearl crescent butterfly but a bee moth flitted by…

bee moth and lilies yard

As I took this photo, I shifted my foot a smidge and felt the tiniest of breezes. This was about 2 mm from my foot (for those who don’t do metric that’s really really close).

Northern leoprard frog yard

I was wondering when my rose of Sharon bush was going to bloom and then I walked to the other side…

rose of sharon flower yard

Here’s one of the plants that showed up when I decided not to weed that area of my garden.

tawny cotton grass yard.jpg

Here are a few more members of my natural community over the last three years of blogging… (click to enlarge any photo)

So what’s in your backyard?