Feathered friends and winter wildlife

Somewhere online I read an article on feeding birds throughout winter, and the ornithologist suggested it’s more beneficial to us (humans) than it is for the birds.

That’s likely true!

Like many people, I don’t offer food to wildlife spring through fall, (well, except for hummingbirds & the local fox kits), but it does feel wonderful to witness a few feathered friends during the dark depths of winter, when most others have migrated to warmer climes.

Perhaps it just feels good to think we’re nurturing wildlife in some small way. πŸ™‚

Along with birdseed, seed heads from perennial plants left uncut in the fall will provide food and shelter for all kinds of birds and small creatures during winter.

A few examples of these plants include echinacea, asters, rudbeckia, and ornamental grasses.

Not only is this uncut fodder great for wildlife, it’s nice to have some structure in the garden over the winter when everything else is hiding out until spring. Ornamental grasses look especially lovely covered in fresh fallen snow.

The temperature has now dipped well below zero, (currently -14 Celsius).

Combine that with a blanket of snow, (not quite as much in that photo below -> last winter), I do think it’s time to make some suet for the hardy wee birds who choose to stick around all year, so I can enjoy watching them gather outside my window.

 

 

The first snow of the year always feels magical

Why does the first snowfall of the year always seem magical? πŸ™‚

The First Snowfall

The snow had begun in the gloaming,
And busily all the night
Had been heaping field and highway
With a silence deep and white.

~ By James Russell Lowell

(An excerpt from his poem, ca 1855)

 

November garden musings… switching gears from the outdoors to inside.

There’s a chill in the air, fresh snow on the ground, and I’m craving a seat next to the fireplace, along with a big mug of hot chocolate. Yum!

Technically it’s still autumn, but winter doesn’t care. Happy to disregard the calendar, it has staked a claim on my garden already, and as you can see, the lavender plants are snug as bugs in rugs, tucked happily in the snow.

Left with no choice but to let it go gently into that good night, (with apologies to Dylan Thomas), I’ll switch gears now and focus on the indoor plants.

My tropicals, & succulents especially, must absolutely shudder at the thought the over-attention they’ll now receive all winter long, which is a drastic change from the absolute neglect I offer them spring through fall.

I’m pretty good about not over-watering, so this attention, (a smidge of OCD), mainly includes following the sunshine by moving most of the plants closer to any window that has southern exposure for the day, trimming leaves, repotting, and the like.

I cram many of them on our dining room table and kitchen counter so they can catch some rays on brighter days, which my family thankfully ignores because they’re used to it by now.

Except for our cat, who sometimes seems quite annoyed at the lack of space she has to stretch out. As cats will do, she pays it forward by chewing, and flicking some of the foliage with her long sharp claws that may invade her territory.

And, look out in February when seed starting season is upon us. Available space at those southern windows shrinks drastically when trays containing my future vegetable garden start sprouting in small, hand-made newspaper pots.

However, it’s still November. Time to end this post, practice some serious Hygge, make that hot chocolate, (with mini-marshmallows), grab a good book, get cozy by the fire, and settle in for the season.

Have a good week! Thanks for stopping by. πŸ™‚