As the summer drags on here in Oregon, my rain garden continues to have an active ecosystem. Though it hasn’t rained in a while, I have filled it with water a couple of times since this is its first year and I want to establish the plants.
From this wide view, the only food items that we can see are the corn stalk and tomato plants on the right edge of the photo. Of course, that is meant to be people food. But, if we look closer it becomes obvious that there is food for different creatures everywhere in the garden.
This is a Hooker’s Fairybell. It grow as a native in the woods behind our house. See all of the holes in the leaves?
Clearly something is enjoying eating it. On portions of the plant like the one shown above, there isn’t much of anything left!
The photo above is of Wild Ginger, another northwest native…
…and another with large portions eaten away. From a human’s perspective these leaves look thin and papery, but is that the case? Take a good look at the holes. The edges reveal what looks like several tough layers of fiber. Whatever ate this must have some impressive jaws.
Plants aren’t the only food available in my garden.
Insects become food when they fly into one of these. Spider webs are everywhere and each one is a little different. The web above is an orb web.
This one is living in my red-twig dogwood shrub. The pattern of dots running down its back resembles other spiders that I’ve found in my yard throughout the years. They have less defined webs that hang from the shrub’s leaves.
Let’s not forget the ground dwellers! This impressive spider has weaved a long flat web along the ground. Here it is sitting on some oxalis. Spiders aren’t even at the top of this food chain (or web) since I’ve also seen Spider Wasps hauling away unlucky spiders.
My rain garden is just outside of my back door, allowing me to enjoy my own little wildlife sanctuary every day. Seriously- that’s how I view it. And why shouldn’t I? Just because the wildlife are hard to see doesn’t mean that they aren’t there!
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