That’s a Wrap

That’s a wrap. No more “hoe hoe hoe” and lots of “ho ho ho” as another gardening year ends and the holidays arrive. How was your year? Here’s “ho ho hoping” your tomatoes were all you thought they would be this year and your landscape brought you the “ho ho horticultural” joy you were seeking. Were you naughty or nice? Doesn’t really matter at this point with the ground frozen solid. What matters are visions of sugar plums and spring blooming dreams dancing in your head.
Provide the wild birds a holiday “tweet” with some seed and suet offerings in this season of giving. The landscape color they provide in a white and grey tundra backdrop is a welcome sight as we approach the shortest days of the year. Make sure feeders are clean and seed stays dry so your feeding station is the gift that keeps giving.

When the weather gets cold backyard birds need more than just bird seed....they need a water source and suet too!
When the weather gets cold backyard birds need more than just bird seed….they need a water source and suet too!

Make sure to keep fresh clean water in the tree stand so your live cut Christmas tree continues to draw fresh water. If not, the base of your tree trunk calluses over and then has a “drinking problem” unable to pull water into the tree similar to a straw. One way to check the water level at a glance is to float a ping pong ball or fishing bobber or other small floatation in the bowl. You can visually gauge the level versus having to crawl under the tree and use the finger method. A household pet can usually provide a good indication too based on their level of interest.
Poinsettias provide great seasonal color indoors and are quite festive and durable through the holidays provided you avoid a couple conditions. First and foremost is over watering. Most people kill the plants with kindness. Don’t commit involuntary plant slaughter by drowning your plants. Secondly avoid cold drafts. I’m not referring to a holiday draft brew, save that for yourself. I’m talking about drafty doorways sure to bring on rapid decline of the plant.

Proper care for Poinsettias...don't over water and avoid cold drafts
Proper care for Poinsettias…don’t over water and avoid cold drafts

Conversely the dry air of close proximity to a heat register is not good either. Look for a well lit area that is removed from “extremes” and you should be just fine. Today’s improved varieties of poinsettias developed by breeders for longevity and color should easily survive until April when your thoughts again return to the great outdoors and the plant is pitched into the trash.

What a Hoot!

Interviewed raptor biologist Joe Rogers and scientist Joanne Williams on the Flowerland show Saturday. The work they do with wildlife recovery is wonderful and the birds of prey are amazing birds! We had a lot of fun, you could say it was a real hoot! Here are a few pictures from the event on Saturday January 26, 2013.

Joe Rogers in studio
Stare down with Orville the Owl

 

 

 

 

 

 

Owl pose great
“Whoooo” are you looking at?

 

 

 

 

 

Owl closeup
Does he give a hoot?

 

 

 

 

 

Joe with hawk
This show filled the bill

 

 

 

 

Fun was had by "Owl"
Fun was had by “Owl”

Birds of Prey

During the Flowerland radio show a number of our listeners sent in more backyard wildlife pictures. Here are some pictures from listeners of my radio show this past Saturday. The first picture was sent to us to confirm the Heron nests a tenth of a mile from the Pierson exit on US 131. In addition pictures were sent in by listeners of Cooper’s Hawks, Barn Owls and even a Coyote. In addition I’ve posted a picture of a beautiful owl that visited us at our live event that attracted huge crowds at both the Alpine and Kentwood Flowerland stores.

Heron Nest Pierson Michigan
Cooper's Hawk Jenison Michigan
Kim's picture of a Barn Owl
A curious visitor

More Birds of Prey sightings with this mild winter. With no or little snow cover to afford protection for mice and voles and other bird of prey snacks, it’s not a “fig-leaf” of your imagination that sightings have increased. Check out this picture from Leigh who snapped this picture in her backyard!

Birds of PreyJoin me along with the Joe Rogers, raptor biologist and the Wildlife Recovery association for a free demonstration on Saturday February 11. Joe will be demonstrating birds of prey to our audience at Noon at the Alpine Flowerland 3801 Alpine Avenue and at 2 PM at our Kentwood Flowerland 4321 28th street SE. Joe will also join me on the Flowerland show Saturday morning from 9 AM to 11 AM on NewsRadio WOOD 1300 and 106.9 FM.

Thanks Debbie for this great picture!