The weather has been too nice. One might even think that Spring has come to stay. Usually, this time of year is marked by freezing cold and wet snowstorms. I’m sure the snow will return, but the past week or so has been so gorgeous, it would be easy to be deceived.
While I was thrilled to find some crocuses and a pair of early daffodils in our yard, they weren’t enough for this green-starved soul. Denver is almost 2,000 feet lower than my home in Colorado Springs—surely there would be flowers galore at the botanic gardens. With a storm in the forecast, I didn’t want to delay. I headed north.
Last Saturday, I participated in a tiger hunt. These tigers are fearsome predators, pursuing their hapless victims with incredible speed, and I was armed not with a gun, but with my camera. Happily, however, the only danger I was in was that of sunburn. The tigers we were hunting were the five local members of the large tiger beetle family, Cicindelinae.
The forecast for today is a high of 73, with sunshine and balmy breezes. Yesterday reached the 70s too. After weeks of cold and wind, the desire to be outside is overwhelming. So what can we do in the garden now?
In spite of the weather, it’s much too early to plant. The soil is cold; seeds will sit and sulk. Besides, we know that temperatures are sure to dip well below freezing in the coming weeks and months.
How can I get birds to come to my yard? I hear that question a lot, as I’m working part time at a store that sells feeders, nest boxes, bird seed, etc. People come in and want to buy a feeder, but they’re not sure the birds will notice. What kind of feeder should they get? What should they put in it? Is that even the right place to begin?
Of course, my job is to promote sales, so I dutifully point out all the appropriate products. (I also dole out a lot of free advice.) But what would I say if I met you somewhere else, where I don’t work? I would tell you that there are three “first steps” to attracting birds to your yard. Here’s where you should start.
It used to be relegated to garnish status, if you could find it at all. Kale’s strong flavor placed it in last place when compared to its more appealing relatives such as cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli. Even the oft-hated Brussels sprouts were more popular. But now, kale is finally getting the accolades it deserves. From kale smoothies to the seared kale I enjoyed at a restaurant recently, its showing up everywhere. With its abundant nutrients and new, milder flavor, kale might be the “trendy veggie” of the decade.
If you were stymied on Monday, now can you name this bird? The photo was taken in Colorado in August. The answer will appear at the end of next Monday’s post.
Can you name this bird? The photo was taken in Colorado in August. I will post the uncropped photo Saturday, giving you one more chance to identify this bird. The answer will appear at the end of next Monday’s post.