Here are few 'Bird' Friendly ideas for both enthusiasts and wannabe's!
*Don't throw your hair away- or your pets for that matter! After you comb your hair or the pets, put the wads out in bushes or low branches of some trees. Watch and see as your feathered friends will take them to add to their next. Other things you can help them with is the lint from your dryers & scraps of yarn. It is so neat when you look up in the tree and see some of your red yarn up high in a nest!
*We always include a row of giant sunflowers at the one end of our small veggie garden. It's not just beautiful but it provides so much food for the birds in the fall. If you don't have a veggie garden plant them next to your kitchen window or some other visible spot so you can watch!
* Egg shells are loaded with calcium and birds need it to make strong egg shells. Rinse and crumble them up and scatter around under your bird feeders or on top of evergreen shrubs. If you have chickens by chance add to their feed, you're eggs will be much stronger and if you have little hands gathering, a bit less likely to 'crack' on the way up to the house :-) !
*Give a bird a break and free rent. The entertainment they provide will be worth the work! Put bird houses out in trees and other locations. You can get all kinds of info on what types of houses attract certain birds. If you want Blue Birds, start reading and preparing now! What a special treat to have a pair of these!
*Super easy bird feeders are right in your kitchen and yard! Here are a couple simple ones to make and are great fun for children to help with! First gather some pine cones, fill all the cracks with smooth peanut butter then roll in bird feed of your chose. Tie a bright piece of yarn around the center and hang where you will be able to enjoy. Another easy one is to take some corn syrup and mix loose bird seed into it until it is moldable and not drippy, gooey. You can roll flat & cut with cookie cutters into shapes or just make balls. Add a string then let dry. Hang, watch & enjoy!
*Keep a journal! I use to keep a journal of all the birds that would gather at my bird feeders. Just the first time. You can make it really special by using photo's you have taken or found or water colors of those birds and adding them in along with the sitings.
I am all about a Pretty Porch! I absolutely love to decorate my porch, (see photo's) and make it as welcoming as possible. Last year I painted the ceiling a sky blue and that added such charm! I have two rocking chairs on it, one for me and one for Neil. I love to sit out their in the early morning before everyone else gets up and do my devotions with a cup of coffee. I get to 'hear' the whizzing of the humming birds wing's, the buzzing bumble bee and the wood pecker tap tapping in the tree. I love the morning sounds on the porch, but the evening ones are equally interesting~ the swooping of the bats wings as they slide out from the chimney and pass by us very closely, the peepers in the pond across the road, the crackling wood in the fire pit we are all sitting around and the shrill scream of the Screech Owl in the woods. There are a few other 'sounds' around, like the laughter of busy boys, the vroom vroom of the tractors hauling my pea stone away from the patio area, the 'crack' of the ball hitting the baseball bat from the boys playing, the girly scream of the big sister as the 'flying bat' swoops a bit too low.... so you have to listen closely for the evening sounds!
A porch in my opinion has to say, 'Come set awhile'! So now is the time to start preparing! Go ahead & start shopping around at all the local thrift shops for 'porch' worthy items!
*Neat old chairs that will be a welcome seat for a pretty potted plant, bird houses.
*An Old window that you can hang on the wall and swag some grape vines over top.
*A neat old table that you can set potted plants on or use as a quaint little breakfast table.
*Rocking chairs of course!
The ideas are limitless, use your imagination and let your porch be beautiful!
Try these yummy & easy open faced sandwiches!
Market Square Open Faced Baguettes!
3 tbsp butter 1 tsp. dried Basil from A Pinch of Spice & More
1 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms from Willowridge Farm 1/2 tsp. dried Garlic from A Pinch of Spice
1 cup thinly sliced Zucchini from Willowridge Farm 1/4 tsp. each Salt & Pepper from James Creek Sutlery
2 Tomatoes sliced from Springbrook Gardens 4 Baguettes, sliced from Golden Wheat
1/2 cup sliced and separated Red Onion from Garden Gate 1 Cup shredded Cheese from Grassfields
1. Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Stir in all ingredients except baguettes, cheese and tomatoes.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until veggies are crisp-tender, about 4 to 5 minutes.
2. Arrange baguettes on an ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese over each half and bake at 375 degrees for about 5 minutes or until lightly toasted and cheese is melted. Remove from oven; top each with one slice tomato. Spoon on veggie mix; top with remaining cheese. Continue baking 4 to 5 minutes longer, or until cheese is melted. Yummy!