Snow and ice blanketed our fair city, which puts a strain on wildlife as well. Critters expend more energy trying to stay warm and forage for food, when winter doesn’t offer a lot of options. Thankfully many neighbors have bird feeders for our local feathered friends, but fresh water can be scarce when the temperatures drop. Birds can conserve water during these times, but providing
Those cold, drizzly days of winter seem like a distant memory as we soak up summertime in Oregon. I am so much in love with this blissful time of year that I refuse to leave the state between the months of July through September. Instead, summertime is a chance to show off our great state to family and friends visiting from afar. I have to
The sounds of birds and the buzzing of insects in springtime is a reminder for me that our homestead supports more than just our own sustenance. Here are some tips on making sure your garden offers an open invitation for birds. Give Them Water. Birds need a place to stop for a drink or a bath. We were gifted a heavy, old, concrete bird bath
Gather round kids as I tell you a story of a snag and a homestead… A snag is a dead tree that is still standing. We urban dwellers see them as an eye sore, but wildlife see them as a valuable place for nesting and finding food. In fact, some native birds in the Pacific NW will only make nests in snags. No snags means
Upon my arrival into Austin, Texas, I quickly made a beeline for the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center. It is a place I have seen pictures of in my Landscape Architecture classes as a beautifully designed, sustainable landscape. If you are within 100 miles of Austin, it is worth the detour to see this spectacular place. I tend to flock to parks and gardens when I
My mother is a self proclaimed “black thumb” and has a never-ending battle with weeds in her yard. One large section in particular used to house two dwarf cherry trees, which she eventually gave to Jay and I for use in our landscape. The spot has sat bare for a couple years now and the battle with weeds raged on. I finally convinced her that
Our urban homestead is now a certified wildlife habitat thanks to the National Wildlife Federation (and a small fee). There is a house in our neighborhood with a metal plaque on one of their large trees stating they are certified, which is what originally piqued my interest. A couple months later, the fine folks over at GardenPunks wrote a great blog post about their certification
Birds are an important addition to the backyard food forest. Although they will steal some of my berries and fruit, they give something back with their guano, insect-eating, and simple beauty. If the competition for my produce gets too severe I will cover the berry bushes with some netting. I am willing to take that risk though in order to give these guys some habitat.