A noticeable change that came along with the native vegetation in the rain gardens and bioswales was the frequency with which we were spotting various forms of wildlife. Some simply stopped by for a visit, but others took residence for days, weeks, and sometimes even months.

Among the first visitors we noticed were songbirds, particularly several goldfinch pairs, that were feeding on the prairie flower seeds.



We also spotted caterpillars that were followed by a variety of butterflies, among them monarchs and black swallowtails. A couple of these took residence in the rain gardens for several weeks in the summer, flitting around and feeding on the purple coneflower, yellow coneflower, and blazing prairie star.

Also feeding on the prairie flowers were a number of hummingbird moths and an abundance of bees and bumblebees in all shape and sizes. In the fall we noticed the increasing population of grasshoppers (some of them rather fat), that in turn attracted birds that fed on them.

After taking a really close and careful look, we even found some katydids and a praying mantis. The latter was happily feeding on the insects. Of course, these were difficult to spot because of their camouflage.

(Browse of some of the wildlife spotted: BUTTERFLIES; BUTTEFLIES +, CATERPILLARS +, GOLD FINCHES + BEES, and 17 YEAR CICADAS [Brood XIII])

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