Smell Like Dirt

In Spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” Margaret Atwood

Archive for birds

LBJ’s

Don’t write off those Little Brown Jobs in your backyard as boring. Do a little research to see if they have a story to tell. We love to hear the white throated sparrows show up each fall. Their call of “Old Sam Peabody, Peabody, Peabody” makes me smile when I hear it. I thought I was seeing male and female birds, the male having a whiter strip and a “yellower” eye dot, but I was wrong! Watch this video and find out why!

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BRRRRR!!!!!!

It may not be winter according to the calendar but it is according to the thermometer!  It will be down into the 20’s every night this week.  And while you are all snuggled up inside your warm home, its important to remember the wildlife outside.  Make sure you have fresh water available for the wildlife, birds included.  Its important that they be able to keep their feathers clean to help keep them warm.  And of course everything still needs to drink water, no matter how cold it is  A birdbath heater will help keep the water from freezing.  And if you haven’t put up any roosting boxes, now is the time.  Birds will use them to for protection from the weather.

Attracting wildlife with Native Plants

I know, I know….its been a long time since we’ve posted a video but we’ve had a busy summer! The problem with writing a blog about nature is that you have to spend too much time in front of the computer instead of out in nature, so we have been doing less blogging and spending more time outside lately. BUT, we managed to put together this video about gardening with plants native to your area in order to attract wildlife to your yard. I read a book earlier this summer called <a href=”Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens“>by Douglas Tallamy and although I knew how important it was to use native plants, Dr. T seemed to explain it better than I have heard before and I’ve been trying to spread the word (another great book, although a bit older is <a href=”Noah’s Garden: Restoring the Ecology of Our Own Backyards“>by Sarah Stein. I was even on the radio with the good Dr in early July talking about natives for an hour (click here to listen to the show). So this video is another attempt to get the word out on how important it is that we plant with natives. If we want birds and other wildlife, we can’t omit this very important part of the eco-system.

Summer Reruns

Network TV can do it, so I figure, why can’t SLD?  Its July and the temps are in the 90’s pretty much every day now, and we are all spending a lot more time in the air conditioning, including me!  But we can’t forget the wildlife in the backyard who don’t have the option of coming in to get out of the brutal temperatures.  So I figured this is a great time to revisit our very first video, The Mister.  At about $20, the mister is cheapest and most fun method of providing water for birds and other wildlife.  And a great excuse to climb a tree!  Come on, you know you want to.

Out of Thick Air

Well, summer arrived ahead of schedule and with a vengeance! We broke a record today here in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. 98 degrees. Hasn’t been that hot on this day since 1899! And we’re going to grow gills if it stays this humid for the rest of the summer. We wait until the candles melt in the house before we turn on the A/C but we finally broke down and turned it on. The water dripping out of the condensation pipe inspired this video. I hope you enjoy!

Backyard Babes!

Spring is when most small animals breed so that their babies are born (or hatched) when the weather is milder and food is abundant, and there is plenty of evidence right in our backyard!  The birds are busy feeding babies so we shot this video on the important of providing the 4th element of a wildlife habitat—Places to Raise Young.  Its not too late to put up some nesting boxes in your habitat.  Most songbirds will have 2-3 broods in one nesting season that they often switch nesting sites, so there’s still time!

Gardening for bugs

Louise, a friend of Smell Like Dirt, alerted us to this recent article in the NY Times about the importance of gardening with native plants that will feed the native insects, who will then attract the native birds. Doug Tallamy has written Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens which does a great job of explaining the importance of gardening with the entire food chain in mind. And, planting with native plants is a great way to cut down on the amount of water, chemicals and maintenance that a garden full of non-native species requires. Read the article and get inspired to attract more bugs!