Saturday, April 24, 2010

The birds are starting to nest, the chipmunks are scurrying everywhere, the raccoons are back with a super sized appetite and the butterflies are slowly starting to make their way to their summer places too.  Butterfly and hummingbird gardens are one way to ensure you get to see an abundance of both over the summer months and keep them coming back year after year.

One thing to be sure of - if you have other wildlife in the area - they may wreak havoc with your feeders but they usually leave your gardens alone.  Not always - I have a lovely deer that makes my tulips a mid afternoon snack and loves the tops of my hollyhocks.  I may have to move my garden AGAIN. 

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A bird bath is something we use all the time.  There is a small creek running in front of the house but the birds much prefer to use the ones closer to the feeding stations.  I also have a small fountain they use for a shower.  It is intriguing to watch them as they fly back and forth, chasing one another or just having a rest.  The baths we have are high enough to keep the chipmunks out but low enough to put fresh water in.  They also have to  be cleaned often as some of the birds tend to leave their droppings behind. 

Monday, April 5, 2010

Northern Flicker

They are so quick.  I had one eating breakfast on the lawn but before I could get his picture - he disappeared.   Oh well, hope this picture will do. 

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Mole Trails

 Does your lawn or garden look like this too?  Every spring when the snow is gone, we fine these mole hills everywhere.  Occasionally during the winter a mole would stick it's nose out of a tunnel and as often as not - would find itself dinner for the owl.  I know that moles are very beneficial in keeping the grounds aerated and keeping the insect population under control but they sure make a mess during the spring when the ground is very wet. I am not sure which genus of mole we have but they are about the size of a mouse. 


MoleMoles live underground and surface only occasionally.   Their cylindrical bodies and powerful front claws are ideal for digging. Moles burrow close to the surface, often leaving visible ridges. Mole hills are places where the mole has pushed up earth above the surface; new mole hills appear during periods when the soil is damp - generally spring and autumn.

The adult mole can measure anywhere from 12 to 20 cm in length and have dark grey or brown velvety fur. Its eyes are small and its broad front feet have strong claws for digging.
Moles are insectivores.  Most moles do not eat plants, but feed mainly on earthworms (their favorite food), insect larvae and arthropods (insects and crustaceans). They find by the sense of touch. Some moles may eat tubers and the roots of garden plants.
Moles do not hibernate but remain active day or night all year long. During the winter, the mole will continue its quest for food deep below the frost line. Surface activity occurs most consistently in the spring and fall. Moles are solitary animals, and it is likely that only one or two moles are responsible for the damage to your lawn or garden.
Moles have only one litter of 3 to 4 young in the spring. These young will stay with the female in her tunnels for about a month, and then will start creating their own tunnels, reaching adult size in about four to eight weeks. The young may stay in the area several months after they have been weaned before finding their own territory. Young females will not breed until the following year.