Of course it helps to have a diversity of wildflowers, shrubs and trees.....something I've been working on for more than a few years. And Marie has a great diversity of more functional (a.k.a edible) garden plants to add to the attraction for wildlife.
Milkweed and Purple Coneflower are perfect for attracting butterflies and many other insects.
One critter that may look like a butterfly is actually a day-flying moth, the Eight-spotted Forester. It is very distinctive.
Another few moths which one seldom sees, but are likely around, are the underwing group. This Dark Red Underwing was actually on a neighbour's house.
|Dark Red Underwing|
This next moth is small but very distinctive. It is not native; the larvae depend on non-native species such as Tree-of-Heaven, an aggressive fast-growing tree that is often found in abandoned lots and other disturbed sites. We don't have any Tree-of-Heaven in our immediate area that I know of. The adults feed on the nectar of flowers, which they do find here.
There are quite a few different kinds of bumblebees, and even some members of the fly family that look a lot like a bumblebee.
This next photo is of a Long-legged Fly....it is very small, as the size of the fly compared to the leaf venation indicates.
Beetles are common amongst these wildflowers. This first one is a Margined Carrion Beetle. It gets the term 'margined' for the pinkish margin around the head.
|Margined Carrion Beetle|
|Red Milkweed Beetle|
A tiny insect I always look forward to finding is this Red-banded Leafhopper. Being only about 5-6 mm long, it isn't going to get your attention from a distance, but up close, it is a real crowd-pleaser!
Milkweeds attract aphids, among other things.
Occasionally a dragonfly will stop by. They are always on the lookout for insects, their main diet. This is a female Common Whitetail.
|Squash Bug eggs|
A recent surprise to find in our yard was this member of the katydid family. It is a young one, with its wings not fully developed. It was crawling around a milkweed plant as well as a Red Cedar. In looking at the tail plate from another photo I took, it appears to be a Fork-tailed Bush Katydid. For some sub-groups of katydids, particularly the bush katydids, an examination of the male's tail plate shape is important for identification.
|Fork-tailed Bush Katydid|
And finally, at least for this post, I leave you with another more common type of wildlife that many of you have likely seen in your yard.