Last year I roto-tilled a small portion of my back yard and planted a mixture of native prairie seeds. Prairie plants are slow to establish, and I only started in May of last year, so I mostly had kind of a weedy-looking patch of uncut grasses, overgrown dandelions, birdfoot trefoil (which had already been in the lawn) and crown vetch (likewise). By the end of the summer I had some partridge pea and black-eyed Susan growing, but not much else as far as the natives are concerned.
This year I added some potted prairie plants. Until recently it had not looked like much. But in the last week or so, it is really starting to kick in. I now have purple cone flowers that are almost blooming, spiderwort that is blooming (it only blooms in the morning) black-eyed Susan, and butterfly milkweed. Others will come along soon, I am sure.
And, I have a good collection of pollinators and other bugs.
Today was the first time I have seen a banded hairstreak in my back yard.
And the first time for a gorgone checkerspot. That is normally considered a prairie obligate butterfly.
I also had this carder bee, pulling the hairs of of prairie sage. It uses this material in its nest.
You can see where it has been.
And of course, it gives me an opportunity to just play around with the camera. This is a pearl crescent butterfly.
My neighbors have been tolerant of what I am doing. Hopefully we can start to see some better results soon.
You could check for eggs from the Gorgone Checkerspot – ours lay them on Black-eyed Susan and Yellow Coneflower.
Thanks. I will do that.