I have lots of 'critters' or wildlife in my garden, ranging from insects, to little mammals, to birds. They all have a place, even the creepie crawlies.

Critters in the garden

I treasure the little amphibians and reptiles that inhabit secret places; California Fence Lizards, the Northern Alligator Lizards, and also their cousins, the Pacific Tree Frogs.

The reclusive Spotted Salamander can be seen on occasion too.

Snakes are an important part of the ecosystem.  They eat many pests, including mice, slugs and other not so desirable creatures.

Garter SnakeGarter Snakes like the warmth of the black plastic

Warblers and hummingbirds make the long trek from South America, specifically to nest in my garden, so I do everything I can to protect their nesting sites.

I also provide food for them, including hanging baskets with red and pink flowers in for the hummers, and allow the insects to survive too, to feed the tiny new warblers who eat them.

Spotted SalamandarSpotted Salamandar making a long trek across the lawn

A place to get water, and lots of hiding places and small trees to perch in out of the reach of predators is all they need.

California Fence LizardCalifornia Fence Lizard in a rare appearance

Bees, wasps and other pollinators are welcome. There are many butterflies that make their home here, so caterpillar fodder is of prime importance. 

This is why I always allow a thistle or two to flower, and plant many of their favorite 'landing pad' flowers like Sedum and Achillea.

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