Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > November 2017 > IN THE GARDEN with DOUG - BE THANKFUL FOR THE WILD THINGS NATURE OFFERS


Here we are the last few days of November with December starting this Friday.  I hope that this Thanksgiving found you with your family and friends and the time to think about the things for which you personally have to be thankful. The word November conjures up cold days, shorter daylight, fallen leaves, and spending more time inside than outside.  While inside the house, you can open the curtains to the window and enjoy birding from the warmth of your chair.  I would suggest that we also remember to offer thanks for more than just the two-legged creatures in our lives.  While a deer nibbling on your shrubs or squirrel digging holes can be annoying, consider what life would be like without wild things in our lives.  A little extra wildlife around the house is usually a bonus when someone adds a garden to their yard.  Seeing a flash of red from a cardinal or enjoying the twitters and chirps of other birds can add a little something extra to the gardening experience.  Besides the beauty and song they bring to your garden, many birds also search out many insect pests.  Personally, I enjoy my house wrens who like to perch on top of my wind chime that hangs below the awning on my side porch.  Usually it’s two of them resting together.  I love observing them until I go to bed.  I am sadden on the evenings that they decide to stay away because I look for them and it brings warmth to my heart that they are comfortable being at my house.  And, safe.
                Reflect upon the walks and hikes you’ve taken in your life.  Is it finding a box turtle or a praying mantis or a monarch butterfly in your garden.?  Or is it spotting a fox or a herd of deer while driving to work.  Or is it spotting your first bald eagle in flight.  Did you capture these moments with a camera?  Do you still laugh when you share a story of your walks and hikes to family or friends? 
                This past weekend I found it ironic as I was putting this blog together that our national news had a news story on the health benefits of connecting with nature.  This news story says that science has proven that disconnecting with our electronics, getting outside, and taking a stroll or jog through a park or nature trail has many health  benefits.  Listening to birds chirping and singing, looking at the beauty of trees leaves, and looking at a stream and listening to the water running can help with lowering high blood pressure, lessen depression, lessen  hyperactivity, and more.  And, the end result is eliminating prescribed medicine for control.  I have been an outdoors type person my whole life and I want to believe that my personal connection with nature has helped to keep me healthy as I am now in my mid-60’s.
                So much of our life is connected to wild things as they help us to build our very human relationships with others.  They bring us those shared experiences that will build the memories that we hold so fondly.  We all need to continue to share those stories and to collect more of them as long as we are able.  My most recent fond memory is spotting a small herd of 4 young deer along 288 as I was coming to work.  Out of respect  I naturally slowed down for their safety. 
                Birds in the garden may be the easiest to attract around your house and gardens.  Birds require three things in a garden: food, shelter, and fresh water.  If you can meet these simple needs, you will be rewarded with year round feathered friends. 
                Water is the simplest need to fulfill.  A birdbath is the easiest way to provide water to birds.  Shelter can be a simple as planting assorted evergreen shrubs of various growing dimensions.  Different birds feed and nest on different things.  As for food, birds feast on seeds, fruit, and insects as their diet.  Bird feeders are the easiest way for us to meet the needs of many birds this time of year.  Place the feeder, or feeders, in spots where you can enjoy it too!  
Posted: 11/29/2017 by Doug Hensel | with 0 comment(s)
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