As we’re preparing for winter around the farm, it’s tempting to “clean-up” the perennial borders by cutting all the weedy stalks and seed heads off. But, by doing less and leaving medium to tall perennials in place, we can provide winter food for the birds and observe them more too.
Leave perennials like asters, black-eyed Susans, butterfly weed, coneflowers, Joe-Pye weed, oat grass, and goldenrod standing in the fall garden after they finish blooming. Cardinals, finches, and sparrows will harvest seed while clinging to the stalks; and juncos or towhees will harvest seed from the ground.
Even after the seeds have all been harvested, the spent perennials still provide nourishment for the birds. Chickadees, [...]
Continue reading Keep Stalky Perennials to Feed Birds
During colder months when there are fewer seeds and berries available for the wild birds, we enjoy feeding and observing them; but we like to stay warm and toasty too. Fortunately, there’s a window seat overlooking a protected nook that’s perfect for this, and we put a variety of seed and suet in feeders there to attract the birds.
Each species of bird has different seed preferences, so the type of seed offered can be customized to attract specific birds:
Cracked corn – cardinals, doves, grosbeaks, sparrows
Black Oil Sunflower or Sunflower – many birds
Peanuts – blue jays, nuthatches, titmice, woodpeckers, wrens
Thistle – finches
Safflower – cardinals, chickadees, [...]
Continue reading Feeding Wild Birds (& Homemade Suet Recipe)
Today, we went for a hike with our friends Dave & Doris; and found wild morels!
We’ve found morels before (in a yard), but never found them growing in the wild before – these we found along a lightly wooded trail as we hiked. Folks have been finding morels in the area for about a week, and the weather we’ve been having is perfect for them. It’s been wet and rainy, with temperatures in the upper 50′s to 60′s – just prime conditions for morels. With these conditions, morels can pop up just about anywhere, so we’ll be keeping out eyes peeled – they’re so tasty.
Morels are [...]
Continue reading Wild Morels!
I was wandering down to the garden to weed, when a raccoon popped out of the bushes, stood up on her haunches, and started growling at me.
This picture doesn’t do her justice; she had her paws raised, all claws out, snout rinkled threateningly, and growling like a bear. She looks relaxed in this picture. However, I was too surprised (think heart beating rapidly) to catch a pic in all her furious glory.
I backed up fearing a rabid coon, and then heard them – little mewing sounds coming out of the bushes. Ah, so not a rabid raccoon intent on biting me, just a mama protecting her babies. Feeling a lot of relief, I [...]
Continue reading Mama Raccoon
Prior to leaving on vacation a couple of weeks ago, we noticed a very pregnant doe hanging around the yard and garden. The day we got back from vacation, she brought out this cute little baby. Now, I’m pretty sure the doe is responsible for the nibbled peas, potatoes, cabbage, and flowers I’m finding around the place – but I just can’t seem to get too upset with her with this fawn tagging along.
Even while we’re on vacation, and out in the middle of nowhere, birds find us. These were in the middle of the road as we came around the corner, and appear to be looking for Mom. They seem willing to take us as a substitute ….. I think that they’re baby ducks of some type?
As I was taking pictures of the garden this weekend, I noticed a lump in the field. It wasn’t until I got pretty close that I realized it was a goose trying to hide on a nest. We’d noticed a pair of geese hanging out in our field for several days, but had no idea they would build a nest. It’s smack in the middle of the field, can’t imaging why they would want to put a nest there. Anyone familiar with the nesting criteria geese use? Later when they were both off the nest, I looked to see if there were [...]
Continue reading Spring Goslings?
The homemade suet (Homemade Peanut Butter Suet) has always been popular with the birds, but it’s been flying out of the feeder lately. I think I know why………………….