Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sunday harvesting

What else it there to say? I love the days when I can get out in the wilds to harvest my favorite plants. I've been hoping to find a bunch of Dandelion blossoms to make an aperitif and luckily found not only a good batch, but also stumbled across a gigantic area full of Violets in full bloom. The Nettles are growing like crazy and looking beautiful in their springtime glory- got a few stings in for fun and also by accident.
Was able to identify some new flowers today: Dwarf Cinquefoil for sure, and possibly Wild Indigo? Not definite at all on that one. With all the flowers emerging, sometimes it's hard to figure it all out without getting sucked into looking in field guides the whole time. They're useful and I'd be the first to recommend having a few around for reference, but sometimes you just want to be out and enjoying your time with your plant friends.

Backwards and weird looking photo of the Dandelion and Violet Aperitifs.

Cooking up a Nettle quesadilla!

Nettle tops to dry for tea.

Friday, May 8, 2009

If you feed them, they will come!

Last year I got all excited about feeding birds and started making these super janky feeders out of old milk jugs. I had a couple hung around our house, but no birds would eat from them and a jerky squirrel even managed to rip one down. (Probably the same one that I catch in the trash all the time and who also snapped off all my sunflower heads right in front of me. It's an old, hardened beast whom I have a love/hate relationship with.)
Anyway, I was quite disheartened and gave up on the idea until this Spring when I managed to see a little bird eating the old seed left from last year! I scrambled to refill the feeder and now all the feathery friends are snacking on yummy sunflower seeds. Success! Since the feeder is conveniently located where cats can't pull a sneak attack, it seems like a safe place for avian dining.
I've heard that once you put a feeder in a spot, the birds will come back year after year, on their migration path. This is good to know for your first year when you might not find much feeder traffic. Depending where you live and what type of birds come through, it might be good to experiment with different seed to see what kinds of birds you attract. So far, I've been getting chickadees, which is nice because it reminds me of my sweet Granny who passed away last year. She had a special fondness for them and would talk to them as they fed outside her kitchen window every day. I can almost hear her voice as they chirp, chirp, chirp outside my house all day.