With the sun shining and the snow melting away, today is a great day to finish up our series on frogs and toads. Let’s talk about what you should – and shouldn’t – do to bring these amazing creatures to your yard.
I found my three-year-old granddaughter standing by the window yesterday, sobbing her heart out. When I asked her what was wrong, she pointed a qivering finger at the pond and did that “hiccuppy” thing heartbroken children do. Eventually she sputtered out that the frogs in my pond were too cold and she wanted to bring them inside where it was warm. I managed to convince her that the frogs were just fine and that they needed to be in the pond, but the whole time there was a little voice in my head accusing me of blatantly lying to this tender-hearted child. The reality was that I had no earthly idea what frogs do during the winter – or if they were even still alive.
We had an almost perfect fall weekend -- skies were bright blue, temperatures were in the mid-60’s, and every once in a while a slight breeze would bring in the subtle scent of fall. Like I said, it was almost perfect, except for the non-stop noise pollution from our nearby neighbor's industrial strength leaf blower. As I stood in front of his house considering a non-confrontational way to beg him for a break from the noise, something even worse than the noise caught my attention. His haul of blown leaves was tightly tied up in literally a dozen black plastic bags waiting to be hauled off to the dump.
After the usual summer hosting a solitary visitor, my hummingbird feeders are suddenly overrun with feisty birds fighting for nectar. Last night there were at least ten battling for control; they spent so much time chasing each other away, I’m not sure any of them got a good meal.
As much as I loved being in the middle of the bird chaos, it also made me just a touch sad. All these birds descending on my yard at once could only mean one thing -- preparation for fall migration was starting. Much too soon, all these beautiful birds will be heading south for the winter.
Keeping a healthy, robust butterfly garden throughout the fall is an essential tool in not only maintaining our current butterfly population, but also to hopefully increase it. Here are just a few suggestions Embassy designers suggest to their clients.
By Sandra Nelson
Last year I battled groundhogs and squirrels for control of my yard. (It was a draw; neither side took complete control.) This year, they have added another ally to their side — a pair of devious raccoons. On the surface, they appear innocent, almost disarmingly cute with their black face masks …
By Sandra Nelson
My neighbor two houses down routinely has 4 or 5 hummingbirds flitting around her two feeders every day. (I have to admit that I have been known to “check” occasionally.) I, on the other hand, have one diehard who comes once a day, drinks and then flies off to the neighbor’s …
By Sandra Nelson We had a quick taste of spring this past weekend. It was warm and sunny and people in our neighborhood were out in full force taking advantage of the beautiful days to begin their spring yard clean-up. Leaves were raked and bagged, perennials chopped back to the ground, trees were …