Look! Up In the Sky!

ouse Sparrow

If you’re anywhere near my age you probably shouted the next line out loud.

“IT’S A BIRD!”

“Watch the birdie!” is another often head phrase.

Today, millions of people are.

Bird Watching is one of the most popular hobbies in the world. In the United States and Europe alone, there are thousands of groups dedicated to bird watching,; ranging from small, informal gatherings of friends, to large organizations that hold annual conventions.

If you’ve never tried bird watching, you may wonder what draws so many people into it.

Bird watching’s popularity stems from it’s simplicity and ability to relieve stress. Birds are symbols of innocence and freedom, and bird watchers gain a measure of relief from the day to day stresses of modern daily life simply by looking at these little winged wonders of nature.

Another appeal of bird watching is the thrill of discovery. The sheer variety of birds in the world gives birdwatchers a sense of something new every time they see a breed they’ve never encountered before. Unlike enthusiasts of domestic animals like dogs and cats, bird watchers who want to look at certain breeds may even have to go into the wilderness on camping trips to look for these birds; thus getting fresh air and exercise mixed in with their hobby.

Due t their colorful nature, birds are a joy to behold.  They are one of the animals that use visual displays to attract their mates. For this reason, birds are usually colorful, flashy, and really fun to view.

Their behavioral patterns are also more whimsical and playful than most other types of wild animal.

Anther reason people enjoy bird watching is their beautiful songs. While some species of birds just squawk or shriek, there are enough songbirds with melodic voices in the world that some enthusiasts have actually compiled their own recordings of the various songs of the birds they’ve viewed.

Bird watching also contributes towards the preservation of nature. Besides environmentalists and natural scientologists, formal bird watching societies make a habit of knowing which species of birds are endangered, which are rare, and the general behavioral patterns and migratory paths of flocks of birds. With this knowledge, even casual birdwatchers are able to help official wild life preservation groups keep track of and protect avian wildlife.

There are many more reasons that people get into birdwatching. Is it for you? Why not give it a try and find out?

 

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Fall Gardening

 

by B.G.Roberts

Many gardeners never consider fall gardening.  They let the fear of the winter frosts that might make an early appearance scare them inside However, fall gardening will result in excellent vegetables and can extend crops long after spring planted plants are finished. Vegetables produced from fall gardening are sometimes sweeter and milder than those grown in the summer and offer a brand new taste to the same old veggies.

 

To get your soil ready for fall gardening you must first remove any leftover spring/summer crops and weeds. Crops leftover from the last season can end up spreading bacteria and disease if left in the garden. Spread a couple of inches of compost or mulch over the garden area to increase the nutrients, however, if spring plants were fertilized heavily it may not need much, if any. Till the top layer of soil, wet it down, and let it set for about 12-24 hours. Once this has been done, you are ready to start planting.

 

There are some plants that will quit towards the end of summer like snap-beans, summer squash, and cucumbers. If these vegetables are planted around the middle of the summer they can be harvested until the first frosts as well. Hardy, tough vegetables will grow until the temperature is as low as 20 degrees, but those that aren’t as strong will only be able to grow through light frosts. Remember that if you have root and tuber plants and the tops are killed by a freeze the edible part can be saved if a large amount of mulch is used.

When fall gardening, make sure and pick the vegetables with the shortest growing season so they can be full grown and harvested before the frost arrives. Most seed packages will be labeled “early season”, or you can find the seeds boasting the fewest days to maturity. You may want to go after your seeds for fall gardening in spring or early summer; they are usually not kept in stock towards the end of summer. If they are stored in a cool and dry location they will keep until you are ready to plant.

In order to know exactly when the best time to start fall gardening, you must know about when the first hard frost will hit your area. One of the best ways to tell this is by a Farmer’s Almanac. They will give you exact dates and are rarely wrong. You will also need to know exactly how long it is going to take your plants to mature.

Many gardeners will run from fall gardening so they don’t have to deal with frosts, but if tough, sturdy vegetables are planted they can withstand a few frosts and give you some wonderful tasting produce. Fall gardening gives you the chance to enjoy your vegetable garden for at least a little bit more time.

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