In praise of useful plants and things handmade....
New Year’s for the Birds
The days may be getting longer, but we’re just now settling into winter proper. I have never quite understood this topsy-turvey concept. Today we awoke to a shivering 20-degree morning under a frosty blanket; last week, we were warmer than Orlando; a month earlier, we were buried under 2 feet of snow and temps in the teens. In between, we’ve been hammered by winds, rains, floods, and everything in between. And they say winter has just begun.
Whatever the weather is up to at this time of year, one thing for certain, there is always a frenzy of activity beneath the bird feeder. We may sit in our cozy home roasting chestnuts and singing carols, but for them, it’s just another day about survival.
Ok. So maybe we’re just a couple of nuts roasting by a propane fire and are really more into vintage blues than Harold’s angels, but you get the idea.
I will spare you the sordid details, but I confess, I’m addicted to feeding the birds – hence, the frenzy. I mean, once you start, you can’t really stop, can you? I confided to our neighbor, who just happens to run a nursery, that it was my main source of entertainment, which earlier in my life would have seemed quite pathetic, but he quickly assured me that this is, in fact, a *good* thing. His quick response also told me I had met a fellow addict; we instantly bonded and were fast forming our own little support group. “SOME” people, he confided, actually get on airplanes for no other reason than to go see a certain bird. I nodded in understanding. The cost of my own addiction was starting to approach rising airfare status. Would the money I spend on feed be enough for a trip to the Galapagos? I didn’t want to do the math. I purchased a couple of salal plants, some kinnickinnick, and some bearberries – all good plants for birds – wished him a Happy New Year, and left.
And then I got to thinking – I may not exactly be Martha Stewart, but why not make my own bird treats?
Bird Muffin Treats
Barbolian Fields is a little backyard horticultural experiment / permaculture adventure located just outside Sequim, WA. We sell herbs, uncommon plant starts, seeds, garden surplus, handcrafts, and custom-made Warre-style beehives at local outlets and online. We are also an authorized distributor of Solexx greenhouse materials and products. Our focus is on creating regenerative mini-ecosystems that conserve water, build soil health, and provide habitat for pollinators and wildlife. Sometimes I serenade things with a little harmonica, just for good measure. Thanks for visiting!