Save the Poinsettias!

I’ve been down with the crud that has been going around. Luckily, I don’t have to come up with an inspirational year-end post; the Utah State University Cooperative Extension has done the job for me. I urge you to watch their short video on the torture and destruction of post-Christmas poinsettias. Then take action. Please.

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Merry Christmas!

Let Heaven and Nature Sing

Belted Kingfisher, Ring-billed Gull, Gray Catbird


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Last Minute Inspiration

Here we are, down to the wire. Christmas is on Monday. Hopefully you’ve finished up all the “should do’s” and now have time to enjoy the “want to do’s”—spending time with loved ones, enjoying the neighborhood decorations, munching Christmas cookies and drinking hot chocolate, and contemplating the reason we celebrate in the first place.

However, if you’re still scrambling for gifts, I can help you with some suggestions for the birder and/or gardener in your life. All of these are last minute approved, and all should fit into the budget no matter how much you have left to spend.

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Birding India: Lodhi Gardens, New Delhi

Bara Gumbad_Lodhi Gardens-NewDelhi-India_LAH_9405New Delhi is a huge city of over 21 million souls. If I had to describe it in one word, it would be “intense.” The colors dazzle, the horns blare, and the food can sear your taste buds. We were there in early November, when farmers in the surrounding states burn their fields. The air was thicker than pea soup, visibility could be measured in tens of feet, and schools and factories were closed. I only had a few days to explore, while Pete was in meetings, so of course I went birding. Breathing is highly overrated.

Having walked for hours through the Oklah Bird Sanctuary the day before, my 20-year-old companion and I were hoping for more convenient location closer to downtown and our afternoon meetings. Someone suggested Lodhi Gardens, so off we went.

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Not-So-Trendy Plants

Sempervivum 'Palouse'_Houseleek_DBG_LAH_0817

Should my jeans be high-waisted or hip huggers? Should my tops drape or cling? It seems that clothes go out of style the moment I finally break down and buy them. And it’s not just fashion—plants are trendy too. Houseplants are back in vogue. Recently, I’ve seen headlines like “The Trendy Gardener,” or this one from Sunset magazine: “9 Super-Chic Houseplants.” The Sunset article insists that spider plants are out, and fiddle leaf figs are in. But wait—another website reads, “The 13 Plants That Are Leading The Trends This Year: Say goodbye to the fiddle leaf fig (or at least give it a friend).” It appears that plant styles change just as often as hemlines. Continue reading

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Choosing a Birdfeeder

Bird feeders and houses @Lowe's-CS_2008aug02_LAH_5113-1There are about a zillion bird feeders on the market. They come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes. They’re made from anything from plastic to wood to gleaming copper. Some hang from supports or tree branches, others perch on posts, attach to deck railings, or are anchored at ground level. Some feeders are designed to attract squirrels and others claim to exclude them. There are feeders to match every kind of seed, from tiny nyjer to peanuts in the shell, plus specialized feeders for corn cobs, suet, meal worms, jelly, fruit halves, and sugar water. With so many to choose from, how can one possibly decide which is the perfect feeder to buy? Continue reading

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December Bird Quiz: Uncropped Photo

If you were stymied on Monday, now can you name this bird? The photo was taken in Texas in January. The answer will appear at the end of next Monday’s post.


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