I’ve written before about how just one plant in your garden can attract lots of wildlife to your yard. I planted these daisies that I bought at a local garden club sale before they had bloomed. I found a little patch of bare ground and plopped them into the ground next to some native penstemons and beach daisies.
Now that they had bloomed, I decided to take a close look to see what might be living on them. The flowers seemed like a good place to start.
This is a Burrowing Bee according to Field Guide to Insects and Spiders of North America by Arthur V. Evans. It is also known as a Mining Bee because the females dig tunnels underground where they lay their eggs. I think a lot of people don’t realize that there are a lot of different kinds of bees- not just honey and bumble bees!
What else was drinking nectar?
A fly. Flies are important pollinators, although sometimes it is easy to forget that. In this photo we can see the fly’s siphon-like mouth sucking up nectar.
So there are flies and bees. What else?
A beetle, of course. This is a Varied Carpet Beetle. The adults drink nectar but the larva like to eat- you guessed it- carpet. Good thing we don’t have any carpeting in our house or I might get nervous.
With this many insects visiting these flowers, I immediately started to wonder where the spiders were. They must have been there, right? Only I didn’t see any. But, I did notice that one of the flowers looked a little funny…
Why are those petals folded over? OK- you know we have to take a closer look.
It’s our good friend the Crab Spider, and it has already caught something. These spiders don’t spin webs. Instead they catch their prey by using their camouflage to surprise them. And it works very, very well. If you’re wondering why they call it a Crab Spider, check out the photo below that I took of a different spider on a nearby flower.
Finally, we need to remember that there is more to this plant than just the flowers. It is possible that some creatures might be living off of the stems or leaves. In this case, I didn’t see anything, but I did find something on the ground.
A large spider web covered the stems of the daisies.
I took all of the above photos within 2 different 5 minute time periods. Wildlife is out there in our gardens, and it doesn’t take long to find it if you take the time to look.
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