Just some great wildlife photos floating around via email. Likely contest winners, if not, definitely worth sharing!
Not just this one…I’ve lost several a wood birdhouse to the squirrels. At first, I’d find it rather upsetting to observe the damage done by the pesky critters, but have since had a change of heart on the subject. I’ve always fed squirrels (never enough if you ask them) and they need a warm place at night too.
Still wanting wood birdhouses for my feathered friends, I’ve found a solution for the new houses. Metal portal guards will now be retro-fitted on the entrances to any wood birdhouse that goes up in my yard. The squirrels can have the old ones, but with nesting season approaching these houses are strictly for the birds!
Whimsical wood birdhouses are real homes for cavity-dwelling birds. Complete with cleanouts, the entrances are proportionally sized for nesting songbirds. These wood birdhouses are hand made from sustainable, fast-growth wood. They allow for proper ventilation too.
Totally fun and functional, wood birdhouses make for excellent and unique gifts for any nature lover. A gift you know will actually be used and appreciated!
With spring upon us (I can’t wait) it’s time to prepare for nesting season. Clean out old houses and wash with a 10% bleach solution. Allow to dry completely before hanging or mounting. Discard old nest materials away from the house as this may draw predators. Check for leaky seams and apply a bead of wood glue if necessary. Come on spring!
It’s been a brutal winter, even here in the south, so this tiny, yet wonderful sign is hugely welcomed. Prepping the first birdhouse with a metal portal (as the squirrels chewed the wood entrance) and cleaning out an old nest felt pretty good….nesting season’s almost here!
Providing nesting birds with real homes is important. Offering food and water is part of it, but shelter is a must. Competition for nest boxes is fierce – there’s just not enough of them to go around. Decorative bird houses help to fill the void by giving birds a roosting spot on cold nights, and a place to nest and raise their young. Brighten up any environment with functional, yet decorative bird houses and invite parents and fledglings to grace your property this spring. The sites and sounds are well worth it!
Many birds will nest in cavities – holes found in trees and fence posts. Some can chisel and craft their own homes, like woodpeckers, but most must find suitable diggs to nest and raise their young. Sadly, these nest boxes are very far and few between.
Even with unique birdhouses, you’ll help alleviate this problem, as more than fifty species of birds will use nest boxes or birdhouses.
Totally fun, yet functional housing for your feathered friends to raise a brood or two! High quality, unique birdhouses make wonderful and long-lasting gifts for nature enthusiasts, plus you know they’ll actually be used and enjoyed for years.
For your own yard, these birdhouses brighten up any environment, and still provide a valuable home for wild birds. A better bird-watching experience awaits as the sites of parents and yound in the yard never cease to entertain and amaze! With a fresh water source or birdbath, you’re well on the way to creating a bird-friendly oasis. A feeder or two, housing, water, and no pesticides or chemicals and you’ve got it…Happy Birding!
Fundraiser and “Friendraiser” to Raise Awareness of Organization Dedicated to “Fixing” Homeless Cat Problem Seeks Event Sponsors
Los Angeles, Calif. – January 12, 2010 – FixNation (http://www.fixnation.org), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to solve the unnecessary overpopulation of cats, has partnered with the national tour of CATS for a one time fundraising and “friendraising” event at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood on March 10, 2010. The event will feature a private VIP cocktail reception with a celebrity host (TBD) followed by a performance of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s venerable hit musical CATS. Tickets for the event are available to the public for $250 each and include the reception and a well-situated seat at the performance.
FixNation is currently seeking sponsorships to help underwrite the costs of the event. Two levels of sponsorships are available: a Title Sponsor, for $25,000; and an Associate Sponsor for $10,000.
For more information on becoming a sponsor, contact Mark Dodge, president of FixNation at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 818-735-6531.
FixNation is a nonprofit organization devoted to “fixing” the homeless cat population in Los Angeles by operating a free, high volume spay/neuter clinic for homeless, stray and feral cats. FixNation provides public education and resources for Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs and also provides low-cost spay/neuter services for tame companion cats. Through early grassroots volunteer programs and a full-time clinic, FixNation has fixed more than 40,000 cats since its inception.
Butterfly feeders, either nectar or fruit can crafted pretty simply with household items. Over-ripe fruit (like bananas, melons or oranges) may be placed on a saucer and set on a tree trunk or stake. They’ll attract fruit flies, which butterflies consume for protein too. To hang butterfly feeders, use sisal rope or twine with a grapevine wreath for the base. The secret is sunny locations as butterflies love warm sun. If using nectar in a shallow bowl, add a sponge (a new one) to absorb the liquid as butterflies will consume the nectar in this fashion. Also, no need to purchase nectar, it’s the same solution used for hummingbirds. 1 Part sugar to 4 parts water. Never use anything but plain table sugar. Boiling is not necessary, but helps to dissolve the sugar more efficiently.
Water is another attractant, but butterflies won’t drink from an open source. Leaf misters are great, as they leave tiny puddles around where the mist falls. Butterflies will flit in and out of the gentle spray.
Using a waterless pond will attract the flying flowers too. Simply gather heat-absorbing rocks and place them on their side in a sunny location. Design a small circle, square, or free-form with rocks close together, an inch or two deep. Add sand and salts and keep moist to further attract butterflies. Line the area with plastic to keep the salts from seeping into your soil.
When placing feeders, misters, or rock baths, it’s best to have them in, or in close proximity to your butterfly garden. Use host plants and nectar plants for best results.
A Greener Footprint for the Global Leader of Green Racing
In an effort to support environmental efforts globally, the American Le Mans Series will join forces with AMERICAN FORESTS to support its “dollar-a-tree” Global ReLeaf program.
Throughout the 2010 season, Series teams, manufacturers, corporate partners and fans will have multiple ways to learn about the Series’ green racing initiatives and contribute to the program.
In support of AMERICAN FORESTS’ goal to plant 100 million trees by 2020, the Series pledges to plant more than 5,000 trees in 2010 to restore ecosystems that have been damaged by fire, disease, other natural disasters and overdevelopment.
This global outreach initiative acts in conjunction with the Series’ progressive “green” leadership on-track – namely through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Energy and SAE International-supported MICHELIN® GREEN X® Challenge, a season-long competition that measures each race car’s efficiency and greenhouse gas emission levels during competition.
“Since its inception, the American Le Mans Series has been at the forefront of developing green initiatives and solutions in motorsports,” said American Le Man Series President and CEO Scott Atherton.
“We are very proud of our efforts with the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy as they relate to our on-track efforts. Our involvement with American Forests enables us to contribute to similar solutions away from the race track and is another way the American Le Mans Series can advocate for a greener tomorrow.”
With the implementation of the Green ReLeaf campaign, the Series will begin every race weekend by displaying a Survivor tree in the paddock. The Survivor Elm – donated by the Series and its teams through AMERICAN FORESTS’ Historic Tree program – will encourage fans to do their part for the planet in a number of ways:
• Purchase the Series “To a Greener Tomorrow. Faster” organic t-shirt or its 2010 Spotters Guide Poster, where all proceeds go to AMERICAN FORESTS’ Global ReLeaf
• Donate – on-line and at the track – to win a chance for a hot lap around the track, on behalf of the Series’ Vitesse Program
• Donate a dollar to plant a tree at-track and online at americanlemans.com
For every three trees planted, roughly one ton of carbon will be sequestered, allowing for over 1,666 tons of CO2 to be taken out of the atmosphere overall, and every acre of trees planted (approx. 340-490 trees) by the Series will offset about the amount of CO2 produced by driving a car 26,000 miles, or about twice the amount the average driver drives per year.
“American Forests is pleased to partner with the American Le Mans Series to underscore the positive steps they’re making in the development of green initiatives,” said Gerry Gray, acting executive director of AMERICAN FORESTS. “Through their contribution goal of 5,000 trees, and their display of the Historic Survivor Tree – an important symbol of human resilience, and a tribute to renewal and rebirth – the Series is helping to create a cleaner environment for future generations.”
AMERICAN FORESTS is the nation’s oldest nonprofit conservation group, dedicated to growing a healthier world with trees. Our work encompasses planting trees for ecosystem restoration through our Global ReLeaf program, calculating the value of urban forests, fostering environmental education, and improving public policy for trees. AMERICAN FORESTS also maintains the official listing of the largest-known trees of their species in the United States. We have a goal to plant 100 million trees to restore damaged ecosystems in the U.S. and around the world by 2020.
AMERICAN FORESTS’ Historic Tree program (historictrees.org) brings history alive by propagating and selling the offspring of trees connected to significant historical people, places and events, offering a unique way for people to connect to the past while being part of a sustainable future. The Historic Tree program helps people understand how trees benefit us all – environmentally, socially, and economically.
The original Survivor Tree in downtown Oklahoma City bore witness to one of the nation’s most notorious terrorist attacks. Today a plaque around the tree reads, “The spirit of this city and this nation will not be defeated; our deeply rooted faith sustains us.”
The American Le Mans Series, based on the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans, is the only motorsports body in the world that features multiple street-legal alternative energy sources – clean diesel, E10 and E85 cellulosic ethanols, and new hybrid technologies. The American Le Mans Series has taken a leadership role in motorsports for the furthering of alternative fuel technology and use. It also illustrates deeper the Series’ relevance to its list of prestigious manufacturers and affluent customer base.
The American Le Mans Series will open its 12th season with America’s greatest sports car race, the 58th Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring presented by Fresh from Florida from March 17-20. The green flag will fall at 10:35 a.m. on Saturday, March 20 with live coverage on SPEED. Visit the American Le Mans Series’ schedule page for ticket and accommodation information. The annual American Le Mans Series Winter Test is scheduled for February 22-23, also at Sebring International Raceway. American Le Mans Series cars will be on track from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. both days. Tickets are $10 per day with no public paddock access or overnight camping. Live Timing & Scoring will be available on americanlemans.com..
You can follow the Series on Twitter (almsnotes) and the Series’ Facebook page and official YouTube channel.
Milkweed is a great, natural butterfly feeder, and so are nectar feeders. The sugar water recipe is the same as hummingbirds’ but butterflies will not use these feeders. Nectar feeders may be open, or have a sponge in them to absorb the liquid. A small dish works well, set on a porch rail, or hung from a shepherd’s hook or branch. Over-ripened fruit is adored by butterflies too, just be sure it does not mold.
Sadly, natural butterfly habitats are being decimated by the elimination of weeds and native grasses from yards, and chemical pesticides. Create a butterfly habitat in your garden with these simple tips:
Water: Butterflies will not drink from an open water source. They consume liquids by puddling, getting moisture from wet sand or soil, or shallow puddles. A leaf mister is a wonderful accessory to attract butterflies as the puddling process is constant.
Shelter: Mature, woody plants near your nectar producing flowers will provide butterflies with shelter during bad weather and at night. You may also want to consider a butterfly house.
Host plants: The host plants are ones that provide a site for butterflies to lay eggs and a food source for the emerging caterpillar. You may need to keep heavy mulch on these plants. Some host plants include: Thistle, Milkweed, Wild Cherry, Grasses, Nettle, Violet, Poplar, and Willow.
Food Sources for Nectar: Include Shrubs and annual flowers like; Azaleas, Lilac, Viburnums, Privets, Impatients, Marigolds, Alyssum, Cosmos, Verbena and Zinnias. Perennials include: Bee Balm, Butterfly Weed, Phlox, Seedum, Goldenrod, Coneflower, Thistle and more.
Start creating your butterfly-friendly habitat this spring and enjoy these flying flowers’ who will grace your yard!
According to the Butterfly School, yes! And they even have simple, detailed directions to make your own butterfly houses. There’s tons of great information on the site pertaining to all things butterflies and moths. Copy and paste this address to check it out: http://www.butterflyschool.org
One great way to attract butterflies to your houses is to add their nectar inside. Using a small dish, with a new sponge or pot scrubber to absorb the liquid, place it in the bottom of the house. This acts as a fantastic attractant for these flying flowers! And…the nectar is a simple solution of sugar and water. The same mixture used for hummingbirds. One part sugar to four parts water. Never use any substitutes for the sugar, plain, table sugar is best.
Here’s to spring and the butterflies!