Before you rush to clear the remnants of your late summer and early fall harvest, please keep this in mind:
Our furry, fuzzy, feathered, and winged friends deserve the garden bounty too.
That’s what I think when I see the squirrels in my spent garden, performing acrobatic stunts just to reach the sunflower heads. The stalks can’t support the full weight of a squirrel, so my furry friends will hold onto the fence with one paw while grabbing the stalk with another and ripping the head off the sunflower. It’s pure skill.
I couldn’t quite capture one in the act, but it’s sure entertaining to watch.
Based on the number of times I’ve seen this little guy, I expect a trail of new sunflowers will sprout next year.
The trash pandas and our resident nocturnal “fart squirrel” make their way through the ripened gourds and wayward carrots in the wee morning hours, joined by dozens of frolicking birds once the sun comes up, that are typically too quick to photograph.
As the leaves and stems start to pile up on the ground, I remember too that the butterflies and moths in their various stages – and all the other pollinator species – need the cover of the leaves to hibernate through the long winter. Meanwhile, the leaves will slowly break down, feed the soil, and maybe even suppress a few weeds come spring.
It’s a win-win in my book.