Smell Like Dirt

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

Archive for bluebirds

Bluebirds!!

eastern-bluebird1

Its that time of year!  The bluebirds are starting to shop for a nice home in which to raise their families this year and if you want to ensure that they pick YOUR backyard, mealworms are the ticket!  Of course, you still need to make sure you are providing them with a quality home that meets all their specifications.  If you live in the Charlotte, NC region, my favorite birdstore is Backyard Wild in Matthews and they offer an assortment of official bluebird houses to meet all budget types.  They have a great house that will open up on one side so you can monitor the progress of the babies!  If you start offering mealworms now, you increase your chances of scoring a bluebird family this spring and you can train the bluebirds to come when you whistle.  If you really want to impress your friends, you can teach them to eat out of your hand.  This takes time and patience, but wouldn’t that be great?  Here’s our video on bluebirds to inspire you to go out and get a good birdhouse and some mealworms!

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Feeling Blue? Get Outside!

A comment from Friend of SLD, Harry Schmeider, who writes a great blog on all things Bluebirds called Ambassador for the Bluebirds, reminded me of an article that another friend of SLD forwarded to us a few weeks ago.  Harry posted a comment on the hummingbird video post about relieving stress by smelling like dirt and Katie had sent this article to us from Discover Magazine written in 2007 which gives a scientific reason to what gardeners have known for a long time, that getting outside and getting dirty is good for your mood!  The article reports how researchers, studying treatments for allergies, injected patients with a soil bacterium called Mycobacterium vaccae and found that it activates a set of serotonin-releasing neurons in the brain—the same nerves targeted by anti-depressant drugs like Prozac!  As I said, gardeners could have saved them some time and money because we have known this for years, but its nice to have scientific proof.  And if you don’t have a garden, don’t worry about having to call your doctor to get a prescription, you can get the benefits from it by inhaling the bacterium during a walk in nature.  So, the next time you’re feeling a little blue, go outside and smell some dirt!

Bluebirds!

Want an (almost) guaranteed way to get bluebirds to nest in your yard? Watch this video we just completed and discover the secret weapon. If you live in a condo in Manhattan, this probably won’t work, but if you are in a typical suburban neighborhood, and have seen some bluebirds around, use this technique to get them to pick your yard as the place to raise their family. It won’t matter if you don’t have all the “ingredients” the books say you have to have in order to attract bluebirds. The secret weapon will make them ignore all the rules!