Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Flora and Fauna

For Christmas we got this wonderful window hummingbird feeder. It's been so amazing watching the hummingbirds that over winter here come by for a drink. We love watching their little tongues in the syrup. The other day I sat down at our table to pour over our West Coast Seeds catalog and make plans for my yard when I was blessed with the company of this lovely Anna's hummingbird. He sat there for a good 15 minutes while I contemplated the environment behind my house.

While I've been putting a lot of thought into the garden for our benefit, I was reminded by my little friend that many more things benefit from what's in our yard than just us. I do have a few bushes that the hummingbirds love and they often nest in our yard. However, the mason bees have been struggling. The mild weather throughout the winter with bursts of cold doesn't suit them well. I think this year I would like to add another mason bee house as well as purchase some mason bee cocoons.

Last summer I didn't notice many butterflies in our yard. Maybe it was the fact that the heat made for short or absent blooms on most of our flowers. I was thinking that I might buy a package of butterfly specific flowers and toss them in the bare patches around the yard. A is very much into the natural world so I thought she might really enjoy raising some butterfly larvae. I would like to research this more but I think it would be a wonderful learning experience and help the biological diversity in our yard.

Of course we can't have the beneficial without the problematic. I'm still trying to formulate a plan to keep the urban deer out of our yard. Last year they came and ate my tulips as well as my cabbage. I think the problem is going to be worse this year as I've noticed more of them in my area. I would like to find a way to keep both the deer and the starlings from causing chaos in my yard. So far, I think raised beds covered with netting will help protect my greens. We are also talking about raising the fence around our property to keep the deer out of the yard entirely, not just out of the garden.

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