Tuesday, September 10, 2013

It's Not Just About Our Back Yard

Summer highways, fields and forests are filled with brilliant yellows, pinks and blues. Gardens ebb and flow with color as perennials peak and give way to the next round in the blooming season.  A host of songbirds, butterflies, bees and insects take delight in savoring their region's balanced food chain.  

Black-eyed Susans at Quarton Lake
Nikon 600, 105mm, ISO 250, f/5, 1/60 sec

Sustaining our beautiful, colorful native plants is easy.  Talk to your local nursery, ask them to carry native plants and plant them in your backyard.  Just as important, asking your local communities, city parks and business parks to plant native versus ornamentals also can make a difference. Many of these groups are already headed this direction.

Avoiding and eliminating invasive plants is crucial to maintaining a healthy food chain. The newsletter "Why Should I Care About Invasive Plants?" provides a brief, descriptive review of invasive plants and species.

Butterfly Savoring Breakfast at Quarton Lake
Nikon 600, 105mm, ISO 250, f/6.3, 1/640 sec
Not all non-native plants are harmful. Roses, tulips and many garden favorites are safe for your garden and the environment.  

"Invasive" represents those aggressive plant species that grow and reproduce rapidly and causing disruptive, major changes to the areas they start to take over.  

In my hometown, Birmingham, Michigan's City Government has taken a very active role in eliminating invasive plants.  They use native plants in restoration projects and new developments, educate the community and provide tips on their website about being environmentally savvy. 

Whether in a large metropolitan area, small community or rural environment, planting native plants makes a difference.  Native plants save water and prevent high maintenance costs caused by invasive plants. 

Check your local area website to see what's been accomplished and what's planned. You may find that you can positively impact both your local community and local environment.

 Happy Shooting!