Backyard Biodiversity

The term backyard biodiversity came up in a conversation recently, and it made me think of all of the life (much of it not welcome, but all the same) that our small raised-bed garden attracts in the heart of this megalopolis: enormous beetle larvae, cabbage moths, earwigs, pillbugs, ladybugs, mantises, cutworms, aphids, squirrels, a nocturnal raccoon now and then, cats, rodents I'd prefer to leave unnamed, crows, hummingbirds, phoebes, an occasional hawk, jays, and a raucous, destructive troupe of house sparrows that mowed down every new seedling I planted before the bird netting went up.

Then there's this little bird in the photo. (Bad photo, I realize, but I wasn't willing to sacrifice my gear in the rain.) This is a Yellow-Rumped Warbler, as far as I can tell. She only visits us during the rain. I've never, ever, seen her on sunny days. The aforementioned gang of delinquent sparrows who live nearby make a shrill racket on a typical day, but disappear entirely when the rain starts falling. I don't know where they go, but I wish they'd stay there.

I also don't know what this little warbler scavenges among the straw in our soaked yard, but it's always a pleasure to see her, the only bird who visits on rainy days like today.

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