We put bird netting over the blackberries this summer to protect them from avian marauders. We do this every year. It’s never been a problem before, but for some reason, it’s causing problems for small creatures this year. A few days ago, a black swallowtail butterfly had gotten caught under the netting, and I wound up having to cut a big hole to free it. This evening, I was checking on my sunflowers when I heard a whirring noise nearby and discovered a pretty little female hummingbird trapped between the netting and the brambles. As I pulled the netting taut so I could tear a hole in it to free my tiny captive, she got scared, darted back toward the fence, and found her way out.
I’ll have to figure out a safer way to protect my blackberry crop from birds next year. I like berries, but I like hummingbirds and butterflies more, and I don’t want to endanger the pretty little creatures that are coming to pollinate my sunflowers. (Come to think of it, maybe that’s the problem: We didn’t have sunflowers behind the fence the past two years, so we probably didn’t have a lot of butterflies and hummingbirds back there.)
In other garden news, there’s a big, fat toad hanging out under the cucumber and tomato vines. I suspect it’s stuffing itself with mosquitoes, which like to hide in the cool shade under those big cucumber leaves.