Life Lived Outside|
The Kerby's Nursery E-Newsletter
April 23, 2020
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The Sound of Silence
by Joey Bokor
The other morning, I was sitting in our backyard surveying the spring garden, or as Tim McGraw once said, I was 'watching my corn pop up in rows.' But something struck me as odd. It was quiet (and not just because the girls were still asleep . . .) A strange silence. Usually you can hear the dull roar of I-75 in the background and cars whipping down the street in front of our house. You couldn't hear any of that. No garbage trucks, no sounds of airplanes in the air, just silence. It was marvelous. And then I realized that it wasn't completely silent. As I sat and stared up at the trees, the sound of calling birds became the dominant sound. Cardinals, blue jays, sparrows, tufted titmouses, a brown thrasher and birds I can't even identify were hopping, flying and fluttering from tree to tree. And each one was starting the morning with its own unique sound. It became a little outdoor concert, just for me. I tried to repeat one of the calls back to a little guy that was about 20 feet away from me. He seemed to respond, but then I think he realized I was an imposter. And when I concentrated on his call a little more, I heard a repeat of it echo through the trees, farther and farther away. Without the silence, I never would have been able to enjoy those lovely sounds of nature.
While the world is quieter and you are staying at home, I hope you are finding moments to enjoy the time. Whether it is a concert of birds, a flutter of butterflies or a morning walk through the vegetable garden, make the most of this slightly slower world. I'm hoping that I hold on to some of lessons from this time to slow down and enjoy the moment just a little bit more.
And if you need to celebrate something, this is the week of celebrating the earth. Yesterday was Earth Day, and tomorrow is Arbor Day. So, go out and celebrate in your garden and take a moment to enjoy the silence that a slower world brings.
Put your fears aside and get ready to get wild in your garden. Okay, you don't have to go crazy, but one of the things that many of us love about the outdoors is the fact that you see so many cool critters. Besides a concert of chirping birds, I saw a bunny, an uncountable number of squirrels, a hawk, a woodpecker and vultures, just to name a few. That doesn't even start on the lizards, frogs, butterflies and bees. When our yards and gardens are planted not just for us to enjoy, but for all of the earth's creatures, it can make it a really amazing place to enjoy nature. Below are some of our tips for attracting wildlife to your yard. Feel free to get as wild as you like. That's what fences are for, right?
1) Don't be Neat - I know your HOA says that everything has to be perfectly maintained and weed-free. That, unfortunately, is not the way to attract wildlife to your yard. Allowing little areas here and there to become overgrown and unkempt gives little critters a place to shelter and hide. It doesn't have to be your entire yard, so find a spot that is a little more out of sight and let it go back to its natural state.
2) Avoid Pesticide Use - When we spray plants for bugs, we inevitably introduce pesticides into the food chain. Bugs ingest pesticide, birds and critters eat bugs and so on. Consider using natural and organic options such as Neem Oil to treat insect issues when you do have a bug issue that requires attention. And when you can, limit the use of pesticides altogether. Bugs provide a great source of food for lizards, birds and even other cool bugs.
3) Plant a Tree - There is never a bad time to plant a tree. They add value to your home, they keep your garden cool and shaded and who doesn't love a spring picnic under the arching branches of a stately oak or towering maple. And you aren't the only one who will enjoy it. All manner of creatures call trees home. Bees and butterflies, squirrels and birds of all shapes and sizes, we even have a family of racoons that sleeps in the upper canopy of our oak trees. Too few trees and you won't find a lot of wildlife around.
4) Plant Natives - Many native plants are natural food sources for wildlife in the form of leaves, roots, flowers, berries and seeds. Where possible, add natives into your landscape to keep your garden as close to the landscape wildlife is used to as possible.
5) Enjoy - An outdoor game that we love to play with our girls is called Sit-Spot. You sit down and find a spot to look at in a tree or in the yard around you. Then you wait to see what you spot. You'll be amazed at how areas of your yard that look vacant are really teeming with wildlife of all shapes and sizes. So after you've made sure that your yard is the place for wildlife to be, be sure to take time to enjoy the haven you've created for the wildlife around you.
Monarch's Promise Milkweed
6" Pot - $8.99
4" Pot - $4.99
String of Turtles
3" Pot - $36
Krimson Princess Hoya
8" Basket - $27.99
10" Pot - $29.99
6" Pot - $14.99
2311 S. Parsons Ave.
Seffner, FL 33584