Spring for an Easter Garden

Celebrate Easter. Celebrate spring. Sometimes it seems as if there’s a tension between the two. Some people think of cute little lambs and chicks, jelly beans and hollow chocolate rabbits. Others prefer to concentrate on the resurrection.

Spring and Easter do not need to compete for our attention. Budding plants, baby animals—they should all remind us of the new life possible because Jesus died and rose again. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that the renewal of life and the resurrection of Jesus happened at the same time of year. (Of course, those living in the southern hemisphere miss out on this connection.)

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Planning Ahead

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It’s the beginning of a new year, and time to dream about the upcoming growing season. Do you want to add some permanent plantings?  Are you imagining flower beds brimming with annuals? Will you be buying from catalogs? (Get that order in early before they run out of that must-have variety.)

With the Christmas decorations packed away for another year, I finally have time to take a deep breath, brew a cup of tea, and begin to think about spring. I start by making a list of topics, and then mark down what will need doing, and when.

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What Birds Want for Christmas

Dark-eyed Junco_LaVetaCO_20100320_LAH_0126Santa is making his list—what do birds want for Christmas? There are all sorts of recipes and projects that are meant for wild birds, but so often they’re actually meant to keep us birdwatchers entertained. No one asked the birds for their opinion.

If you really want to please the birds, how about…

A special treat to eat
One year I received a pine cone, cleverly rolled in suet and peanut butter, then in millet. The greasy mixture held (most of) the seed in place. It was adorned with a ribbon for hanging outside as a treat for the birds.

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Watch Birds, Do Science

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Are you interested in birds? Do you enjoy counting them, listing them, or watching them cavort around your backyard birdfeeder? Would you like that interest to benefit more than your natural curiosity and enjoyment?

There are lots of ways that you, as a birder, can make a significant contribution to science. You don’t need to be an expert birder. It doesn’t matter how old—or young—you are. You don’t need to don a white lab coat or, in some cases, even leave the house. In fact, you can do science in your bathrobe!

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