Our housesitter called when we were away to say that we hadn’t told her about our unexpected friend. At dusk she had walked out onto the back patio and discovered a 5-foot gopher snake slithering along the house. Knowing our respect for critters, she successfully whisked it away with a broom. We hope it stays around. After all, gopher snakes eat lots of rats and other rodents, which also seem to like our yard. [Read more...]
Our yard is alive with wildlife this spring, so thought I would post some photos of the critters and a few native plants they’re especially attracted to. The insects attract a host of larger insects and in the chain of life, they in turn attract a rich bird and lizard population that feeds on them all. The last photo I took was of a Cooper’s hawk hoping to feed on one of those birds. [Read more...]
What a joy this spring to walk around our yard here in Southern California – a former lawn now full of native and other wildlife-attracting plants. The native bees have arrived in higher numbers, challenging the busy honeybees on our blooming ceanothus and lavender. Our resident Anna’s hummingbird seemed to survive the cold spell this winter and is perching on his usual tree branch [Read more...]
Pollinators – birds, bats, bees and butterflies – are critical. They pollinate over 200,000 of the world’s flowering plants, including 80% of our food plants. The genetic material they transfer allows seeds to form, which continue the species.
Kurt Leushner, a popular professor at the College of the Desert in Palm Desert, highlighted our local pollinators at a recent horticulture meeting.
Below are some of his highlights [Read more...]
I’ve been fishing up to a dozen bees out of our pool the last few days (about 2/3rd survive if I make my rounds frequently) so I knew something was blooming in the vicinity. Yep, looking nearby, the loquats were in full bloom. I had an earlier post with a 6 month list of plants used by the bees on our half acre of property. Here’s a more complete list [Read more...]
I’ve been following the campaign dollars and the newspaper endorsements surrounding Proposition 37 –where a yes vote would approve the genetically engineered foods labeling initiative.
Polls conducted two months ago showed 2/3 voters supporting it. Now, after a huge ad blitz against the initiative – according to a Reuters article today, $46 million have spent – it’s expected to fail. [Read more...]
Native California salvias (commonly called sages) make my favorite list for many reasons: their spectacular show of flowers spring through summer, their aroma that permeates the air, especially after rainfall. Also, the sages in our landscaping offer great wildlife habitat. I have photos of butterflies, hummingbirds and a variety of bees taking the nectar, while a variety of birds [Read more...]