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Gardening For Wildlife, Issue #007 Spring is in the air
March 12, 2007

Boy am I out of shape.

It was nice to get back to work, but my dogs were barking and was I tired after the work day was over.


The birds are telling me it is right around the corner.

A few days ago, with more than a foot of snow on the ground, the red winged blackbirds are beginning to show up.

I've had robins off and on all winter so I suppose the red wings are the harbinger of spring this year.

Karen really gets a kick out of hearing them.

Well, for a few days in Michigan it feels like spring.

Last week we had several inches of snow with sub zero nights and by the weekend, it was in the upper 40's and lots of sunshine.

A slim chance we may hit 60 today or tomorrow.

I know, I know..............................

There will still be snow time ahead.

Still, a nice reprieve and a promise of things to come.

All the snow but the piles will be melted in a couple of days.

Isn't it nice to see some signs of life?

A bit of green grass,

Daffodils, crocus and other fall bulbs are right there.

All the promises of new life after a long winter.

A salute to two inventions of the 20th century.

Daylight saving time and duct tape.

I know, daylight saving time isn't an invention, but I'm glad it was invented. (LOL)

Now I have that extra hour of daylight on the night side and this year we get four extra weeks.

Duct tape............................

Need I say more?

The all purpose tape that MacGyver wouldn't leave home without. You know, the TV dude that could fix anything and escape any situation?

I bring up duct tape, thanks to Akita.

Keet is a chewer and for the second time, she has chewed through her harness. This time, I used the Macgyver wisdom and taped her harness back together until we get to the pet store for a new harness.


Step outside and listen.

Listen to all of those birds out there.

Most the birds are around are in song or at least making noise.

Woodpeckers are singing and pecking away.

If you live in a house with cedar siding or a log cabin, woodpeckers can be a problem.

Usually they peck on houses for mating calls and possibly to make a home. a few times they may be letting you know there are bugs.

However, cedar has its own built in anti bug chemical so insects usually aren't the problem.

When woodies become a problem, Get some bird netting and drape it from your roof down the side of your house.

Bird netting is also a great way to keep cardinals and other birds from attacking your windows and bird crashes in general.

the netting is only unsightly from close up, but can save you a boatload in repairs.

Do you have dead trees (snags) nearby? Let them stand if they are out of harms way.

Dead trees provide food for several species of birds.

Birds like woodpeckers, nuthatches, titmice, chickadees and others will nest in snags.

Sometimes woodpeckers will bang away on aluminum siding and metal flashing. Yep, anything to drum up a lady if he is single and to warn others to stay away from his territory.

Those raging hormones................

Listen to the other birds in song.

Cardinals have been singing for weeks now and are getting more vocal. With cardinals, both male and female sing. Not just the male as is the case with most birds.

Black capped chickadees are in song plus the familiar chicka-dee-dee-dee.

Love that spring fever in birds.

Much of us experienced some bad weather this winter.

Tree and bush damage can occur when we have heavy snows, ice and high winds.

Now is the ideal time to prune and trim trees etc. that have some winter damage.

While you're at it, feel free to prune off excessive growth.

You know, the branches that are rubbing or to close to each other.

Branches that form a "Y" or a weak crotch is trouble in the making. If possible, remove one of the branches now to help grow a sturdy and strong single branch and lateral trunk.

Tree wounds will heal rather quickly (no need for sealants), and with cool temperatures, insects and disease aren't an issue right now.

Sometimes we must show some tough love on our plants.

They will thank you later.

Do you grow your own vegetables?

No matter where you live, peppers need to be planted Now.

They are a slow grower and need a few extra weeks to get that head start.

A few week ago I mentioned a goldfinch with a white spot on its head. I'm happy to report, that my goldie is still around

Well, Jan in Wisconsin sent me a picture of her goldie with a white spot. At last report, the bird has disappeared or moved on.

Do you have a story or informative article to share?

I would love to publish it for you online.

I hope to have a nice list of hummingbird plants later this week. The link is set, but nothing shows so don't bother till at least Wednesday looking for the hummer flower link.

Well, it is time to fly.

Do wear your smiles this week and do share them with a stranger.

Have a blessed week my friend.

As always,

"Treat the earth well:

It was not given to you by your parents,

It was loaned to you by your children.

We do not inherit the Earth from our

Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children."

Ancient Indian Proverb

Your friend indeed,

Ron Patterson

Gardening For Wildlife.

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