Before we added plants though, Steve added soil and rocks to the bottom of the wetland for invertebrates and vertebrates that require a diggable substrate for various parts of their life cycles.
During this stage of the process, Jennifer's sister and some of our nieces came for a visit. Garden harvesting is always part of our time together and carrots called our name for lunch. Steve took a second to capture this moment....morning, family, the outdoors, homegrown vegetables and coffee. Could it get any better?
The littlest member of our tribe broke away for a bit to haul stone for Steve...
and to begin adding some water to our wetland. Our well got us started on water and a subsequent rain (almost 3", finally!) helped tremendously. In a future post we will show how we plan to keep this filled with water without well water assistance.
The addition of water was a momentous occassion. Wildlife showed up almost immediately (within 24 hours in fact)...
dragonflies began hunting and depositing eggs; water boatman and water striders flew in and began swimming around searching for food; Northern leopard frogs claimed this wetland as their territory; birds bathed and drank.....AWESOMENESS.
Native plants went in around the edges: mountain mint, swamp milkweed, marsh blazing star, boneset, various sedges and rushes, swamp rose, swamp hibiscus and so on.
And now we are to the final stage: establishing our water source and seeding the surrounding land this fall with more native plants.
This time next year, this area will be ablaze with color and no doubt teeming with wild critters.
As we put the final touches on this amazing little wildlife haven,
we find it provides endless fascination for us....
and adds a little bit more space for all those wild creatures that deserve a place to live, just like we do.