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JOHANKA's Photo JOHANKA SparkPoints: (24,121)
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6/20/10 12:32 P

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There is nothing better then to sit outside with a cup of coffee or tea and listen/watch the birds. So peaceful and good for high blood pressure. emoticon
Joan

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DARK-WING's Photo DARK-WING Posts: 1,675
6/18/10 4:54 P

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We live in MO. The armadillos are generally found further south, but have migrated further north. I actually saw a live one in our backyard a couple of years ago, but now I'm seeing the damage they can cause. They root around & uproot plants, move rocks & generally destroy what they get into.

We went to Wal-Mart & bought some deer repellent that is also supposed to repel other animals, including armadillos. The main ingredient is castor oil. We spread it around the perimeter of the garden last evening & there was no sign of the pesky critters rooting last night. Hopefully that works.

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DSQUARED3 Posts: 433
6/18/10 8:12 A

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Oh My Dark-Wing! I certainly wouldn't like that either......where in the world do you live???? I live in VA and have never laid eyes on an armadillo just lots of raccoons and squirrels. emoticon

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MAEWINGS's Photo MAEWINGS SparkPoints: (0)
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6/18/10 12:50 A

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I've got something attracting wildlife in my garden and I can't figure it out. I bought these sunflower seeds for plants that are supposed to grow to seven feet tall and they're at about a foot and something come through and ate all the tops off them. Do I still let them grow as a stalk? Will they eventually get new leaves on them?

Who have you encouraged today?





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DARK-WING's Photo DARK-WING Posts: 1,675
6/17/10 10:27 P

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There are some critters I like. Birds, butterflies, etc. But I abhor Armadillos. They are ruining my back shade garden.

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PFLEEG's Photo PFLEEG Posts: 197
6/10/10 12:28 A

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Living near a tributary, we also garden organically. Plus, we leave the part of the property closest to the river mostly wild to give critters a place to live.



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SERENEMOM71 SparkPoints: (40,664)
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6/4/10 11:50 A

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I planted some plants that Monarchs like so they not only lay their eggs in the late spring so that we see the caterpillars/crysillas/butterflys but they also stop by on their flight down south. It is an awesome sight! I only have 2/3 of an acre but it is filled with animal/bird/butterfly/bee friendly tree/bush/flower/herb/and some veggie plants. Recently I had the volunteer and dead trees cut out so I could plant more bird and other friendly plants that I wanted to plant.

Does anyone have any suggestions for the state of Missouri? Thanks in advance.

I can do ALL things through Christ whom strengthens me.


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MAEWINGS's Photo MAEWINGS SparkPoints: (0)
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6/3/10 11:59 P

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We live on 20 acres and we have 20 acres each on each side of us, with one side having a stream down one side. Two years ago, we got certified as a natural site through the National Wildlife Federation. We were hoping to make it a site where no one could ever develop it, but the land behind us already has it, and something about that takes us out of the running.

I planted butterfly bushes a few years back and love to see the butterflies. We have every critter imaginable and this one place where they seem to cross, we actually put up a Critter Crossing Sign... emoticon

Every once in a while a few wild turkeys come through as well as an albino deer. Just this past spring some Canadian geese have decided to breed in the front part of our yard near the stream and it's been a joy to watch those little goslings grow...although they love to tie up traffic! emoticon

About three years up to this year, we've had the Red-Shouldered Hawk make their nests here as well as the Barred Owl. Awesome birds! My husband took me to an aviary once for our anniversary and we got to learn more about those birds.

And last year for the first time, the Killdeer made their nest down the driveway a ways...and this year, we've seen a double in population in the Eastern Bluebird which excites me!

We have about four hanging birdfeeders, two water feeders, two suet holders, lots of plants and bushes...seen only the yellow swallowtail so far this spring, no monarchs yet.

Who have you encouraged today?





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TRAINOF4's Photo TRAINOF4 Posts: 2,650
5/31/10 9:32 P

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Cindy that is great info & CONGRATS on having certified wildlife habitats. I always feel so privileged when animals choose our yard for nesting, feeding, resting, bathing, etc.

We do all the things you suggested - and add one more thing.

We don't use any tinsel or that sort of stuff on our Christmas trees (which we cut at a local organic tree farm each year) & when Christmas is over we toss them out into the woods which are pretty bare. The birds LOVE hiding in the branches & find refuge from snow & wind there as well as predators. We also throw the seed inside the branches for them.

We use black oil sunflower as well as thistle & a variety of suets. We get tons of finches, flickers, woodpeckers, & even wood thrush (becoming rare here because of habitat destruction.) One of my favorite bird songs, too!

Stay calm and carry on.
CINDYA1962's Photo CINDYA1962 Posts: 1,021
5/30/10 8:32 P

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We've had several yards that we've had certified as Backyard Wildlife Habitats because we so enjoy attracting wildlife. This is what we do:

Garden organically (no chemicals)

Provide water (which is more important than food)
including in the winter with heated bird baths

Provide high quality seed in our feeders; we use black oil sunflower

Plant natives and/or flowers with seeds and berries

Keep piles of brush for cover




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TRAINOF4's Photo TRAINOF4 Posts: 2,650
5/28/10 2:56 A

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Bees- and honeybees especially- are usually not aggressive & are important parts of the ecosystem. As many of you might know bees are also in trouble. Theories abound, but the important thing is to encourage them to coexist with us.

Backyard bee-keeping doesn't even mean having a hive. Plants native to your area, fruit trees, and not using pesticides can help the little guys make a comeback.

And did you know that eating honey from beehives in your geographic area can help ease allergies? Well -that's what I hear- I'm trying it...it makes sense. Allergy shots expose you to the very allergens that make you miserable. Eating locally produced honey does the same thing ... Neat! emoticon

Stay calm and carry on.
W82GOWHEE's Photo W82GOWHEE SparkPoints: (100,539)
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5/22/10 2:24 P

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That's great Trainof4. Bats need all the help we can give them. And so do other creatures too of course, but bats are in big trouble.


WHEE!
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You never know what people will remember about you, might as well make it something good!--Whee

TRAINOF4's Photo TRAINOF4 Posts: 2,650
5/22/10 12:14 P

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Oh yes- I forgot about the bronze fennel being great for attracting butterfly larvae.

Last summer we had a fox raise 2 kits. She dug a den under our shed where we keep our tractor & other garden/yard stuff. They were so much fun to watch grow up.

We also had TONS of bats. They would come out at dusk & fly round & round our chimney. This year I want to put up bat houses so I can encourage them to stay, but not possibly cause any damage or get stuck in the chimney. The bats really kept down our bug population. We could sit out all night on the deck wihout a single mosquito bite!

Stay calm and carry on.
SERENEMOM71 SparkPoints: (40,664)
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5/18/10 3:11 A

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We have a nest of robins, doves, finches (2), cardinals, swallows,hummingbirds,and wrens. Many more birds stop by to feed and water. We will have a lot of butterflies (and caterpillars) in our yard to feed and lay their eggs Monarchs will stop by in the fall as they migrate. We also have toads, frogs, rabbits, lizards, salamanders, chipmunks, deer(travel through), oppossum (travel through), and have seen fox, skunk, and heard a coyote. And we live in a suburbs!on only a 1/3 acre! although there are woods about 3 miles away. I feel sorry that the wild animals are being squeezed out of their natural habitat. Our yard is fenced in with a wood fence but it doesn't keep our wildlife friends out which if fine with me. We have a 90 pound lab but he doesn't seem to mind the wildlife - he thinks that he can chase them but I don't let him out if I see a "furry" friend. He has never caught anything anyway - which I am very, very glad!

To attract wildlife, I don't use pesticides, and I have many different types of trees and bushes. I have different types of periennials and annuals that the different types of butterflies, birds, and hummingbirds like, plus bird feeders, water, and a sand puddle and rocks for the butterflies. I also have trees that have berries for the birds and put out string, dryer lint, twine, and anything else that I think the birds might like to build nests with in the spring. I also have bird houses for them to use. I almost cut down a bush in front of my kitchen window that has totally outgrown itself when I found a small dove sitting on her nest - so I didn't! I am going to get to watch some babies being born and that will be fun!- even though doves aren't my favorite bird I still wouldn't cut down their nest!! as I love all birds and wildlife!

I always plant extra for the rabbits and other "eaters" in our yard. That way I don't get too frustrated. How about you?





I can do ALL things through Christ whom strengthens me.


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W82GOWHEE's Photo W82GOWHEE SparkPoints: (100,539)
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5/17/10 9:49 P

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We let lots of things grow to have a diversity here (and have an excuse to not mow very often!). I've recorded 90 species of birds so far and I'm working on learning the butterflies (black swallowtails eat my bronze fennel too!). One day I looked out to see 28 wild turkeys by the pond! I think they like to come visit our chickens!

I want to put out a butterfly feeder this year.


WHEE!
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You never know what people will remember about you, might as well make it something good!--Whee

DANDES53 SparkPoints: (10,342)
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5/17/10 10:23 A

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I live in a suburb of Chicago. Have a 6 foot stockade fence but still attract wildlife. I have a pond with Koi and goldfish. It is also home for a few frogs. My cherry tree is refuge for numerous bird houses and a squirrel feeder. We have bird houses and three types of bird feeders in the yard. The butterfly bush has a a butterfly house nestled between the branches. I have not planted our flowers as of yet. My evergreen bush is home to a family of robins. I have had the opportunity to watch them hatch and grow over the past few weeks. Yesterday we watched as they were taught to fly.

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TRAINOF4's Photo TRAINOF4 Posts: 2,650
5/16/10 8:29 P

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One summer it was very dry & any low-hanging tomato was fair game for a turlte (or was it a tortoise?) that would come & nibble at them for ..probably food & liquid. It was such a cute little thing.

We've planted dill to attract monarch butterfly larvae.

We also do not use any sort of pesticides or non-organic fertilizers. For a number of years we have been using milky spore to get rid of japanese beetles..it's working! We also have purchased beneficial insects: lacewings & ladybugs. Our 'bad' bug populations are very limited. We let Mother Nature do the work!

Stay calm and carry on.
SCIFIREADER's Photo SCIFIREADER Posts: 1,205
5/16/10 6:08 P

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We live in town but still have animal visitors. We have a bunny that has made a nest in one of our flower beds. Have bird houses up and they are all occupied. Have plenty of perennials for the butterflies and have an old bird bath that I turned into a butterfly feeder. Put some compost in it, slightly wet and cut a bit of banana up in it also.

Deb


"I am only one person and am not super human. I will accomplish all that I can and accept that some will be left. I will take care of ME because I am special."


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SHARJOPAUL's Photo SHARJOPAUL Posts: 31,383
5/16/10 11:32 A

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I have large perrenial beds in which I have planted a lot of native plants, which attract both birds and butterflies. I also leave the seed heads of many of the flowers in the fall which feed the winter birds.
I find that by planting larva and nector plants for the butterflies I attract a lot more of them. However the black swallowtail caterpillars have ruined the appearance of my bronze fennel a few times. So I now plant parsley around my fennel and a lot of times they well eat the parsley instead.
I keep bird feeders filled year round. So have firds all winter long.

ZOEMOM37's Photo ZOEMOM37 Posts: 3,828
5/16/10 9:24 A

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We live waaaaay out in the country and have seen all kinds of wildlife.

A few days ago I watched a bunny munch away in our back yard. He took his time and meandered all over. We had a Doe with kid visit and a couple of foxes. We had a skunk, possum and raccoon come to the house and our dogs keep digging out moles all over the yard.

Hummingbirds are breeding in my lilac bush and sparrows in the shed. We also have several woodpeckers, swallows, blackbird and killdeer. We often see hawks and buzzards overhead, sometimes even a bald eagle.

I have planted flowering plants for butterflies, but they have yet to bloom.

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DSQUARED3 Posts: 433
5/16/10 2:41 A

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Our house backs up to a field with a creek. We use no pesticides or herbicides at all. I think just these two things make our yard highly sought after by various wildlife. But we also have a large vegetable and herb garden in our back yard. We have tons of beautiful birds visit, just today on the feeder (yes we do feed the birds)I saw together a red cardinal and a blue bird! They were such a beautiful sight together. The yellow finches come in the spring by the dozen. If we are lucky we can spot a Baltimore Oriels or two with their beautiful orange and black color.

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TRAINOF4's Photo TRAINOF4 Posts: 2,650
5/15/10 9:59 P

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Our gardening secrets thread is doing so well I've been wondering what sort of great ideas everyone has for attracting various wildlife to their yards?

For example: Do you grow things to attract butterflies ...just the mature butterflies or the larvae as well?

Birds? Are there birds that you especially love & therefore plant to attract them?

Small animals, beneficial insects, even fireflies?

Share your ideas as well as the species of things you are trying to attract & your region so we can take advantage of tried & true methods. Thanks to YOU! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Stay calm and carry on.
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