It may not feel like it today, but spring is on its way. We’ll soon be seeing that bug munching on our favorite vegetable, fruit or flower. It is easy to see them as just a “pest.” I’ve had to learn to make peace with that bug. Yes, the summer garden vegetables may show a nibble here and there from an industrious insect, but I’ve learned do less than more—now I just pick off that hungry bug and throw it in soapy water. Ninety-five percent of all bugs do no harm in the garden. Insecticide sprays aren’t selective in their destruction. Toxic sprays are estimated to increase food production by 3%. At a mere 3%, what is the price if we destroy beneficial and non-harmful insects that are a tasty meal for our native birds? Native plants are a feast for the native insects. Native insects are a feast for the birds. I see the birds as partners in the garden. They’ll help me with my bugs if I take care of them.
I am a member of Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology. It is an attempt to better educate myself about the birds visiting the gardens and to become a better steward of native species. The attached video shows how difficult it is to film songbirds in flight. It is amazing to watch the beauty of these little creatures as they migrate across the night skies. For me it was a reminder of their value and the importance of being careful to protect their energy sources.