You are most likely already doing it….
….If you garden, if you love the earth and the creatures with which we share it.
If you mulch, compost and stay away from chemicals.
Did you guess what is so easy to do, that you are probably already doing it? ……. Join the thousands of wildlife enthusiasts across the country who have been recognized for creating havens for neighborhood wildlife in their very own yards. These individuals have provided the essential elements for healthy and sustainable wildlife habitats and have earned the distinction of being part of National Wildlife Federation’s Certified Wildlife Habitat™ program. Click here to find out more and get your very own fancy schmancy signage!
The first requirement is to provide food sources – For example: Native plants, seeds, fruits, nuts, berries, nectar.
Water Sources – For example: Birdbath, pond, water garden, stream, and yes, Fairy swimming pools do count in this category.
Places for Cover – For example: Thicket, rockpile, birdhouse.
Sustainable Gardening – For example: Mulch, compost, rain garden, chemical-free fertilizer.
Places to Raise Young – For example: Dense shrubs, vegetation, nesting box, pond.
There are several choices in each of these requirements to help you qualify. There will be some changes to the way the Fairegarden is managed to help us be even more wildlife friendly, like switching over to all organice fertilizers. Since we began the veggie growing last year only bagged Black Kow compost is used to fertilize those beds along with our own compost. The spraying for pests and diseases was eliminated several years ago. If something gets eaten up too badly, it gets composted. There are plenty of plants, many of them natives that will grow well with not enough pest damage to bother us. A few holes are expected, some even welcome, as in the case of the passionvine, Passiflora incarnata, the larval food of the splendidly dark orange Gulf Fritillary butterfly. The holes are in the leaves and even the petals, but there have been no sightings of the orange and black spiky caterpillars…yet. In the meantime, the birds and other critters keep us company in the refuge we have created for them.
The photo of the snake skin was taken using the new camera, the Canon Powershot sx1 IS soon after the bodyless outer covering was discovered inside the rapidly decomposing trunk of the deceased Red Maple, Ferngully. At first we snuck in close to get a better shot, then realized that the owner of that skin might be taking a nap in the rotting wood. Standing back a ways and using the zoom seemed the wiser option.
The photo of the skunk family, Mamma, Daddy and four young ‘uns was taken just at dawn while standing safely behind the sliding glass doors in the addition. This parade of wildlife went under the garage deck and behind the crafting table. Cleaning out this area needs to be added to the jobs list. We do prefer the wildlife habitat to be a little farther away from our own.