Observing Nature

We are in the midst of about 3 more days of rain. A bit dreary, but good curl-up-with-a-book weather. I have noticed more critter activity on rainy days.

I am enjoying bird watching this winter. Sharon has quite a few feeders, plus lots of shrubs and trees to attract them. It is nice being outside the city and seeing so many more. I have noticed a difference in which ones stay around for the winter this much farther south – still seeing some bluebirds and robins, both insect eaters who left Roanoke for better feeding grounds. I have only seen a few juncos, so I guess they stay farther north, since I often saw those in small flocks on snowy days. There are a lot of cardinals, mourning doves, crows, blue jays, chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, and house finches year round, and sparrows of differing varieties. I see a lot of white throats now.

I’ve seen woodpeckers: downy or hairy, pileated, red-bellied, and flickers. Of course with open fields and pastures we see turkey vultures and red-tailed hawks.

We don’t have a pond, so no waterbirds, but the nearest shopping center has a small flock of gulls hanging around the parking lot. They must get fed, or I would expect them to move the approximately one mile over to Lake Keowee.

There are many squirrels and chipmunks, which excite both cats and dogs. With lots of oaks and some pecan trees, I expect we’ll always have them.

There is a large burrow at the back edge of the cleared meadow, where we are pretty sure the groundhog lives. We know there are skunks, rabbits, deer, and foxes nearby, and probably opossums. We are taking this into consideration before we decide to have chickens or bees – not sure what these will attract. Any plants are bad enough to attract deer – I suspect they will munch on anything at least once.

Sharon wants to try flower farming if there is a market in the area. It will need to be well fenced, maybe even keep an outdoor guard dog for chasing deer away. She’ll be posting more on gardening. My plans run to building planters around the patios and keeping elevated containers, plus a keyhole garden for edibles. I’m saving various scraps from construction for my keyhole garden. Here’s some pictures I found in a search – lots of different materials can be used.

https://www.google.com/search?q=keyhole+garden&hl=en&tbo=u&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ei=vycZUarYGo6B0AHJ4IHIAQ&sqi=2&ved=0CD8QsAQ&biw=1328&bih=747

 

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