Today is your last chance to enter the National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife photo contest. As I poured through the photos of the story of our 2017 to current journey to restore our Bend, Oregon, front yard into a pollinator and bird haven, I found myself astonished how quickly our third of an acre has become a mecca for wildlife–now an officially Certified Wildlife Habitat.
Even when shades of brown and gold replace the shimmer of yellows, reds, purples, blues, and green of summer, songbirds are flustering within thick tangles of stalks and seedheads. While searching for photos on an October day, I watched a day-long parade of birds including Fox Sparrows, White-crowned Sparrows, Purple Finches, Spotted Towhees, and a Ruby-crowned Kinglet joining the familiar array of Mountain Chickadees, Pygmy Nuthatches, Steller’s Jays, House Finches, and American Robins.
I thought you might want to revel in my discoveries, too, and perhaps be inspired to submit your own photos for the contest. I’m no professional photographer, but I do find joy in the visual along with writing. Here are the 20 photos I submitted in chronological order all taken in our front yard–beginning with fall 2017 to now, with an emphasis on native plants and their wildlife visitors (a category in the contest).
There you have it! That concludes my submittal (including the finch with the certified wildlife habitat sign). You still have all day to enter the contest (10, 15, or 20 photos). A modest fee goes to National Wildlife Federation to support conservation, like the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, a critical investment in wildlife and habitats–from backyards to wildlands.
My final thought. There’s immense satisfaction in digging (ask my husband Wes!), planting, weeding, and poking around among native flowers and trees for the day’s fresh discoveries. I love the tangible rewards and the feeling that our little patch of wildness matters for pollinators and birds. Our yard joins a growing movement of tearing up lawn grass and reweaving the world one yard at a time. And guess what? Our fruit trees have never been so fruitful–apples, pears, plums, and even almonds. Why? Pollinators galore.