As my developed areas have grown, so has my ability to observe the vast array of arthropods and vertebrates with which I share my acreage. Perhaps this is because my plantings are diverse, offering a wide variety of seeds, fruits and flowers. Perhaps it is because much of what I plant is understory vegetation that lets me move freely among plants in a way that I cannot with the overgrown forest understory that occupies much of the rest of the property. Certainly I’ve added more surface structure (wood, rock, metal, glass) than was here before. And there is more sunlight from the removal of trees behind the shed and barn.
All told, I tentatively put forth the idea that I have increased habitat diversity by planting far more native and non-native (PNW) species than were ever here before (by 100 fold I would guess based on my plant list), increased the amount of forest edges, improved lighting, and provided more habitat structure, both living and non-living.
My efforts have certainly brought forth a host of birds that enjoy the yard in front of the barn, but invertebrates are easier for me to photography, and have been a life-long interest of mine.
Among the more interesting vertebrates I’ve encountered this summer are reptiles, which are comparatively rare in Western WA:
Adventures in creating a 10-acre garden from scratch