Wine Drinkers: Choose Corked Wine

Wine Drinkers: Choose Corked Wine

During the last year I’ve read about the importance of cork trees and recently read another article on the topic in Living Bird magazine, which expressed concern that wine bottlers were replacing cork stoppers with plastic or screw caps.

Main takeaway: The cork stopper in your wine bottle represents a rich history, vital income for generations of Europeans and a key to conserving European birds, plants and a number of endangered species. [Read more…]

Going Native: Even Small Amounts Bring Benefits

Going Native: Even Small Amounts Bring Benefits

Even small patches of natives bring pleasant surprises. (See below for Midwest resources and click here for a previous article about  favorite Midwest native plants)One of my best walks here in Redlands CA takes me by some mature sections of chaparral and sage scrub that some owners left on their adjoining properties. I love the number of birds, raptors and other critters that are drawn to the native habitat – here are some photos from my last two walks. [Read more…]

Our Conversion to Low Water Landscaping

Our Conversion to Low Water Landscaping

When we moved into our Southern California home in September 2008 the grass was dead or dying – a great opportunity to convert most of the lawn to native or drought resistant landscaping, which we also did at our San Diego home.

We’re going on three years now after planting, and the landscape is not only thriving but repopulating.

The benefits

  • Lower water bill – instead of watering the lawn 4 times/week, we turn off the irrigation in our rainy months and we’re down to watering once a month the remainder.
  • No landscape service needed– the no-fuss plants generally take care of themselves.
  • Create habitat – our landscaping offers a nice home also for a variety of butterflies, birds, lizards and insects (Click here for photos of wildlife attracted to our yards) [Read more…]