As the days of fall grow shorter, we prepare our yards and gardens for winter.
What do you do with your leaf litter and yard waste? Do you remove it from the ground and burn it, or rake it off for your city to pick up?
If so, do you know what else you’re throwing away?
From big to small, here are some life forms you can find in the leaves on the ground: salamanders, toads, earthworms, snails, beetles, and spiders, many of which are food for the birds we love to see. The beautiful green luna moth spends the winter on the ground snug in its cocoon in leaf litter. In the end, the leaves become nutrients for the soil, releasing carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus and other inorganic compounds as free and healthy fertilizer.
For more information, see ecosystemgardening.com.