Native Plants Do Help Habitat for Wildlife

Native Plants Do Help Habitat for Wildlife

A friend forwarded an article “Are We Really Helping” by plant ecologist Susan Tweit that questions how much the planting of native plants aids wildlife.  The answer is yes, it does. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, while keeping some mature (50 + years) California natives such as Sugar Bush (Rhus ovata) and California Sycamores (Platanus racemosa) on our property, we’ve converted a former lawn in our front yard to mostly native plants. We’ve also taken out dead or half-dead oleanders in our backyard and plugged in local California native plants such as sages (salvias), toyons and elderberries.  The result has been more wildlife, evidenced by butterflies, small native insects, bees and wasps that visit our plants (and our pool where I fish them out), and larger critters photographed in our wildlife camera. Photos below. [Read more…]

What’s blooming (and feeding wildlife) in our native plant yard

What’s blooming (and feeding wildlife) in our native plant yard

We have an early spring this February with our warm Southern California weather. I’ve been keeping track of what our resident hummingbird – the Anna’s Hummingbird – is taking nectar from in our reconverted lawn, now mostly California natives. The insect life is also rich – which in turn attracts the hummingbirds and other winged life. Seems photos will speak best, so here are a few from the last couple months. [Read more…]

Supporting Local Organic Farmers

Supporting Local Organic Farmers

Another great talk — by Abby Harned from Three Sisters Farm in Redlands CA —  at our Redlands horticulture meeting last night. (One advantage of being program chair is you get to invite wonderful speakers.) We learned first-hand how an organic farm is set up, and how they attract natural predators –insect and mammals that include coyotes and weasels —  to take care of pests. They also plant rows of native plants and pollinator-attracting plants that provide habitat for beneficial insects. It was obvious that Abby and her husband, Jason, really love what they do. [Read more…]

Positive News to End Predator Wildlife Killing Contests in California

Positive News to End Predator Wildlife Killing Contests in California

Many states have killing contests for our nation’s predators, such as coyotes. Now there’s good news in ending this – at least in California.

In past posts I’ve written about the efforts of Project Coyote to promote co-existence between humans and coyotes and other predators. At their request, the California Fish & Game Commission voted unanimously to consider a statewide ban on wildlife killing contests. [Read more…]

The Lesson of ‘Little Bill’

The Lesson of ‘Little Bill’

I received this story about a blackbird named Bill in a Christmas card from my childhood friend, Linda Gurtz Hildreth. Such a good message…. thank you Linda. [Read more…]
Our Backyard Brethren: Recent Wildcam Photos

Our Backyard Brethren: Recent Wildcam Photos

I took a hiatus with our Bushnell wildlife cameraOur Bushnell Trophy Trail Camera, but have put one up again the last couple months in 3 different places to track our wildlife visitors.  Thought I would post a few photos of what’s been in our yard, plus what’s been waking up my husband most early mornings as it goes through the gate next to our bedroom. [Read more…]

Wildlife and Predator Friendly Products

Wildlife and Predator Friendly Products

In writing an article for the Organic Trade Association I came across an interesting program that certifies livestock producers (ranches, farms) for having wildlife-friendly and even predator-friendly practices. They allow carnivores such as coyotes and foxes to co-exist with their agricultural practice. What a great concept. [Read more…]