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Things For Wings

Pollinators are important to all of us mainly because we all like to eat. Without them, many of our crops and plants would cease to exist. They are absolutely vital to our global food supply. Which is why I have been spending my spare time making my outdoor environment a welcoming place for our friends with wings.

Some of my residents have had a rough go of it this spring. I've had a couple of black birds manage to work their way inside the house. When this happens, the key is to set them free in the least traumatic way possible and hopefully, without injury to the bird(s) or yourself. Usually, if you open the window(s) nearest the bird, it will find its own way out. One of the birds somehow got itself stuck in between the windowsill. Very carefully, slowly, I covered it with a soft towel. Gently I worked it free and with the help of a friend to lift the window, we worked it loose and set it free. To my knowledge, they appeared without injury. I finally figured out how they were getting in and fixed that issue. In addition to that, I found some double-sided color forms on Amazon and stuck them to the windows upstairs. The window glass is reflective and can appear like sky. So, birds fly into them. The color forms break up the reflection, letting the birds know something is there. I found some that have pictures of birds on them, they are more attractive than the solid color and reflective ones.

Appropriate Housing

My brother also found this abandoned robin's nest. It seems Mama bird made a poor nesting decision by building her nest on the back of one of our tractors. Poor dear. What do ya do? That's just life on the farm. The birds don't mind my presence much but they aren't too keen on taking my advice, and so it goes. I have added some more appropriate housing. I have some wrens that have taken up residence in a small wooden birdhouse. Some finches have moved into the blue birdhouse below. The red bird is vacant so far. I doubt anything will live there as it has a face on it. That may be a deterrent, I guess time will tell. Until then, it remains an adorable decoration. My goal for next year is to plant some birdhouse gourds.

They don't have wings but for the first time I can remember, I have spied a squirrel hanging around. I am certain there are plenty of squirrels in the woods nearby but I have never seen them near the house. I have seen chipmunks a few times, but never squirrels. I figured if he's going stick around, he may as well eat, so I set out a squirrel cob for him. He's been gnawing on it. I also found a squirrel 'munch box' for $.75 at our local Rural King. I haven't set it out yet, I need to get some corn to put in it.

He'll have to be patient, there is plenty of sunflower seed to keep him busy in the meantime. I found a bee waterer which I have been adding a handful of sunflower seed now and then. When it rains, I slide the seeds out onto the ground for the squirrel and add water to it. After the rain is gone, I pour the water out, dry it out, and add more seed. With the birdbath, there is constant access to water so the 'waterer' can serve two purposes as I don't have a suitable feeder. I bought a bee house too and set it out near my grapevine. I've noticed at least two bees have set-up camp so far.

Pretty Flowers

Pollinators love flowers and I do too. Nothing brightens up the landscape better than beautiful flowers. It's so relaxing to sit outdoors and watch the birds and bees enjoy the many flowers decorating the yard. When they bloom, they fill the air with their wonderful, sweet fragrance. Truth be known, the flowers and trees are the main reasons I prefer to make my home in the country near the mountains. The air quality is unmatched. The first thing you notice when you escape the hustle and bustle of the city is the fresh air.

I've been busy planting this spring and early summer. I've planted a few shrubs, including the Rose of Sharon, Snowball bush, Little Henry Sweetspire, and a Sugartina but it'll be a while before I can enjoy their blooms. My primary goal this year is adding several perennials like the Tiger Lily, Hippo Rose and Coral Bells so I can enjoy them year after year but I've also planted some annuals too like Cone Flowers, Cosmos, Snap Dragons, Sunflowers, and Zinnias.

Here are some that have been blooming so far.

A Butterfly House?

Another addition this year is a butterfly house. I had never heard of such a thing and I am not sure yet if they will take to it. I'll keep you posted. My boyfriend found one at a yard sale that hadn't been used. It was plain so, I thought I would decorate it and set it out. I drew a few flowers on it and used a wood burner to put the designs on there permanently. My goal was not to 'over do' it, just a few flowers to make it attractive enough. I painted them, but sparingly. No sealant was used, so after a few good rains, the paint will likely disappear. I was afraid the sealant would be a deterrent to living creatures. The instructions said to place a stick inside, which I did. Then I found an ideal spot on a branch overlooking my fairy garden.

Taking Shape

Adding a few things here and there over time has made such a big difference to the atmosphere here. It's always been a beautiful location; my grandmother was an avid gardener. Over time though, after her passing, things have been neglected. Now the landscape has regained its tranquil beauty. An ideal place to relax and enjoy the sweet fragrance of the flowers while watching the birds go about their business.

These are just a few things you can do to add some charm to your environment while creating a welcoming place for our pollinators to dwell. If you build it, they will come.

Take care and thanks for reading.

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