Friday, November 12, 2010

Meadow Management!

This lower meadow has been in place for over 5 years providing a rich habitat for numerous birds, insects, rabbits and deer as well as the predators, such as the red-tailed hawks, crows and fox that frequent the area. Its lies next to a wetlands area and consists largely of goldenrod, multiflora rose, grasses and some fern on the outer edges. It is a dynamic space, beautiful to observe and enjoy. To maintain it as a meadow and not to allow it to succeed to a forest, it needs to be mowed or bushwacked periodically, but when? 

After a call to Laura at Bucks Country Gardens for some guidance, she sent to me a very helpful document but with very conflicting information. If done in the fall or early winter, the mowing could weaken the growth of goldenrod and asters, or reduce the chances of plants surviving the winter due to the soil freeze thaw cycles. During the winter many flower species grow actively and would reduce weeds from germinating. Mowing in the fall also eliminates winter shelters for wildlife but would help reduce the mice population. 
On the other hand, mowing in early spring, the concern is damaging regrowth and reemerging plants and coinciding with red wing birds nesting. The weather may also be too wet or the meadow might be encased in ice as last year. 
As you can see, we chose to do it in the fall due to our concerns with spring weather and the emerging of new plants and nesting birds. 

The deer emerged just minutes after it was completed looking a bit dazed and confused. We left a portion around the bees to protect them from the northern winds and a section around the Sweetgums to provide some shelter for the birds and deer.  It is so bare and we are already counting the days to spring.

It is an experiment and time will tell.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Early Morning Sighting!

Frequently, we have a herd of about 11 does and rarely do we ever spot a buck. It is rutting season now though and every once in awhile we catch a glimpse. This one I caught early in the morning before the sun peaked over the evergreens. There is a younger one with just wee little horns too. They are very proud but cautious and seem to know to keep a low profile and rarely are seen mingling with the herd openly.

Monday, November 8, 2010

What a line - a dragline, I mean!

About a month ago, I was walking and observed this extremely long spider’s dragline dangling over the driveway. My husband had just drove speedily under it and it was still swaying in the breeze.

It reached from the top of a Sweetgum tree, over the driveway and then to a Norway Spruce, meandered through the branches and then up to the beautiful web, as pictured here. I was amazed, quickly ran home and grabbed a measuring tape and camera. It measured over 20 feet long. I wanted to learn more - how could it still be intact?

A spider makes a new web daily and uses a dragline for making the web's outer rim and spokes as well as for a lifeline. Spider silk, made of proteins, has a tensile strength comparable to high grade steel and is very stretchable and has a high toughness similar to nylon. It is so amazing that labs all over the world are carefully studying its composition and mechanics in hopes of reproducing it someday for human needs. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Changing Seasons.

This blog was created over a year ago and with each season I like to post a new picture to capture the new changes and colors of the meadow. This entry is a summary of all the headers for this year and a celebration of the seasons. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hovering Maniac!

For the past 2 weeks I have observed small greenish birds hovering around the golden rod and eating its seeds. And I mean - HOVERING! I found the bird in the Peterson Field Guide on Eastern Birds, on the "Confusing Fall Warblers" page. I recognized it immediately with its broken eye ring and greenish color and wing bands - its a Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula), not a warbler at all. In Lives of North American Birds by K. Kaufman, this Kinglet is described as a conifer dweller but at this time of year it is migrating through stopping for food in woods and stream side thickets, exactly where I found this active and little excitable guy. It usually eats insects but also will eat berries and seeds even nectar while migrating.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Spiders do the dew (wop)!

Recently, on one very humid morning, these mini 'pearl drops' were captured on a web of a grass orb weaver.

Apparently dew can not adhere to human hair but can on dry spider silk. A study published earlier this year in Nature (Zheng, Y. et al. Nature 463, 640-643 (2010) of the hackled orb weaver spider Uloborus walckenaerius web concluded the following:

“Dry spider silk forms a necklace-like structure. Two main fibres support a series of separate rounded 'puffs', each made up of tiny, randomly intertwined nanofibrils. When water vapour condenses onto these puffs, they shrink into densely packed knots, shaped like spindles (or two cones with their bases stuck together). Thinner connecting stretches of nanofibrils, separating the knots, become more apparent; these areas are called 'joints'. As water condenses on the web, droplets move towards the nearest spindle-knot, where they coalesce to form larger drops. The spindle-knots have a rough surface, because the fibrils within them are randomly interweaved. But the joints between the knots have a smooth texture, because their constituent fibrils run parallel to each other. It is this difference in roughness that helps water drops to slide towards the spindle-knots, sticking when they arrive.”

The researchers then created their own spider silk using nylon fibers dipped in polymer solution and found when dry formed a similar structure. Their findings could lead to new materials for collecting water from the air.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Autumn delight!

Throughout the day, deer come to browse the fallen fruit from our mature crabapple (Malus) tree. The tree is at least 20 years old, has rough gray bark, has a round habit and blooms beautiful deep pink flowers in the spring. It produces literally tons of 1” diameter glossy reddish yellow fruit which I finally sampled and found to taste quite good. It is an excellent food source high in sugar for our local deer who keep our yard spotless of apples year round and it provides nectar for our bees and local pollinators in the spring. With 35 species of crabapples with 700 varieties, it is no wonder I can not quite identify it even after perusing Michael Dirr’s amazing: Manual of Woody Landscape Plants for awhile.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Herbst kommt an!

Today is a day worth celebrating! Not only is it Equinox and the beginning of the fall season, officially but also tonight we can enjoy an amazing extra special large Harvest Moon. Apparently the equinox began actually at 11:09 p.m. last night. With the sun setting and moon rising, together they create a special 360 degree twilight glow- only rarely seen. This is not to happen again until 2029. Also, according to Science News from NASA (, it is called the Harvest moon because farmers actually harvested during the bright night to prepare crops for the last markets of the year.
Be sure to keep an eye out for Jupiter in the east as well. Happy Viewing!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Spiders Everywhere!

There are spiders everywhere I look - especially orb weavers and funnel web spiders. A funnel web caught my eye - I gently tapped on the web and out pounced the spider ready for some prey only to find me. We exchanged some looks, I shot a few photos and left him to his business. Spiders live in abundance here and we have had our share of nasty bites this year including several bites on John's head and on my stomach and still after 3 months, I have necrosis of tissue on my knee. They are important predators though and an integral part of the ecosystem.
I found an excellent ID chart on the web:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


(This is not a current map)

We have experienced an excessively dry summer this year in Bucks County PA and I was curious if it is an official drought yet. I found excellent drought monitoring sites: and According to the sites it is excessively dry and we have a drought warning for our region. With temperatures this week back in the 90s and no to little rain in the forecast, this designation might become more severe. Be sure to water plantings less that 1 year old – for trees 1-2 gallons per inch of trunk caliper – 2-3 times per week and for shrubs 3-5 gallons twice a week or use gator bags or a slow dripping hose – it is a balancing act when having a well – so use your best judgment.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Goldenrod is all the buzz!

The golden rod is blooming and the nectar is flowing, despite the 4+ weeks of drought we have been experiencing. The hive we gathered over 100 lbs of honey from is weakening with the queen laying irregularly and several frames are empty. We rotated the emptier hive box to the top. There was concern of disease with a few brownish larvae but thanks to Brian Marcy he determined the hive is fine and just needs to be re-queened. We continue to administer Tetra-Bee Mix from Dadant to be safe. Both hives are creating honey at a good pace in preparation for the winter.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Shedding Time!

I was out removing Apiguard trays used to treat mites from the beehives yesterday and on my way I discovered a snake in the midst of shedding. I believe it was either a garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) or an eastern ribbon snake (Thamnophis sauritus)with light stripes down its dark brown checkered body which was about 2 feet long. Apparently the eastern ribbon snake is thinner and has a longer tail and has pure white lips and a white mark in front of its eyes, all of which I was not aware of until now. Both snakes are non-venomous and abundant in PA, feed on worms, small frogs and toads and fish and are viviparous, sometimes having as many as 50 live babies at once. I saved the skin and even the eye impressions are visible – it is a perfect specimen.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sugar Woes!

In between nectar flows bees are fed sugar water, heavy or light, depending on the time of year. For our 2 hives we use 5 lbs a week. When purchasing sugar recently I noticed that the bag seemed lighter – and IT WAS! Not 5 lbs but 4 lbs and for the same price!! That is a 20% price increase for a beekeeper and also something to take note of when preparing the sugar water mixtures. It takes 10 cups of water to 5 lbs and only 8 cups to 4 lbs when making a light sugar water used during the warm months! Most shoppers might not notice this but this is something for beekeepers to buzz about.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Deer Nursery

Each spring we enjoy the birth of several new fawns. This year we have 2 sets of twins and one more with three mothers. We see them in all sorts of configurations, sometimes one mother with all the babies - babysitting in a sense. It is fun to see how they scamper about, chasing each other with their ears back or resting in the shade during a hot day or hiding under the magnolia tree peeking out as I walk by with the dog. Other times they are all together eating, usually 2 - 3 times per day from the crabapple tree or grazing on clover or grasses or the most recently planted tree. One fawn seems to be a bit unruly at times or curious going off by itself for hours at a time.

The caterpillars are back!

Last year I grew butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa), a yellow flower variety. I just found a wild one growing in the side meadow - a pink variety though - with yet again a couple of dozen monarch caterpillars on it as last year. I was having difficulty taking a decent picture though because of how the caterpillars place themselves under the leaves, eating the leaves from below. They are always in a shadow. Perhaps they do this to hide themselves from predators lurking above.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Weeds/Plants of the Meadow Series

When I first paged through“ Weeds of the Northeast”, I thought, wow, I have almost every single weed in this book in my yard. I must admit it pains me to think I have a yard of weeds, so what is a weed anyway? It is defined as an unwanted plant that crowds out cultivated plants in parks, gardens, etc. So, is a plant considered a weed when found in a meadow? Other questions to ponder regarding my "weeds" are: Is it a non-native species? and Is it invasive - hence, crowding out natives? In any case, I would like to embrace “the weeds” of the meadow and share some that have emerged since we went from lawn to meadow.
This weed pictured above is especially attractive and called Yellow toadflax (Linaria vulgaris Mill.) or also known as butter and eggs, Jacobs-ladder or wild snapdragon. It is sometimes cultivated as the flowers are long lasting. It creates a colony with creeping roots or rhizomes and blooms from June into the fall. Due to the shape of the flower, it is pollinated primarily by bees. Despite its beauty it is an invasive species and a non-native coming originally from Eurasia and introduced into the US in the 1600's.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Bumblebees galore!

This year we seem to have a lot more bumblebees than honeybees in the garden. I have even observed bumblebees bullying honeybees from a flower. I decided to investigate further about them:

*They remove nectar using their long tongue called a glossa and store it in their crop or they will bite directly into the corolla called nectar robbing.

*Some species will leave a scent to mark that the flower has been visited – I wonder if honeybees do the same and if they can also can detect the scent left by the bumblebee.

*Once they have collected the nectar, they return to the nest and deposit it into brood cells made of wax but do not process it as honeybees so it is diluted and watery. It can only be stored for a few days unlike honey which can last indefinitely.

From this amazing site(, here is some very interesting information regarding honeystomachs:

Bumblebees gather nectar into their honeystomachs to transport it back to the nest. The honeystomach is located in the abdomen, and it is just a cuticle-lined bag with a long neck located at the mouthparts. It holds 0.06 - 0.20 ml, depending on the size of bumblebee, and when full can take up as much as 95% of the abdominal space and hold 90% of the body weight.

During foraging the bee needs energy, so she will consume some of the contents of the honeystomach. To allow her to do this there is a small valve at the end which can allow some of the nectar to pass into the bee's own digestive system. It has been estimated that a full honeystomach will give a bumblebee about 40 minutes of flying time.

Some flowers contain as little as 0.001 ml of nectar, so to fill her honeystomach the bumblebee may have to suck nectar from 60 flowers, and to find these 60 she may have to visit 100 or more. Then she will return to the nest, which may be as much as two miles away. So providing a supply of nectar for her nestmates would not be possible without the honeystomach to carry it in. A teaspoon holds about 5 ml and nectar is about half water, so to fill a teaspoon of honey a small bumblebee might need to make over 80 foraging trips, flying up to 320 miles, and sucking 80 000 flowers! Honeybees also have a honeystomach, and as they are smaller than bumblebees they would have to make even more foraging trips. Think of that next time you spread honey on your toast!”

Thursday, July 15, 2010

To Mow or Not!

After weeks of excessive heat with temperatures in the 90s and even into the 100s, the lawn has taken a beating. Usually grass will go into a dormancy period. Although we have had a couple days of rain, the grass is still quite brown and the question is whether it should be mowed or not. It has not been mowed for 3 weeks. Based on some information online, lawns should be kept long – anywhere from 3-4 inches long so the sun can not reach the roots. Ours is about 2-3 inches long so we will wait another week.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mid-Summer Bee Report , 2nd of July

With weather sunny, very dry, with low humidity and temperatures in the 90s, we extracted our second batch of honey for the year from our strong hive. Being very effective last time, we used a fume board again and removed 2 small honey supers with little fuss. The bees hadn’t created much new honey since we checked 2 weeks prior, not even new capping. We had been waiting to ensure the nectar flow was complete. We extracted happily another 50 lbs of lightly golden sweet honey, almost the exact same color as our previous batch and bottled the following day, adding my label that Sue Ann helped improve and made a pdf file for as pictured above.

Regarding the weak hive, we had killed the second queen as she too was not laying and had added the hive body to the top of the strong hive to keep mice at bay. We returned it to the original platform before we removed the honey supers keeping in mind that it only takes bees 45 minutes to realize they do not have a queen. Later in the day we added a nuc to the weak hive which we purchased from Mark Antunes and has a ton of bees and a queen that lays beautifully. To add the nuc we did the following: On top of the original hive body, we placed a queen excluder and then a sheet of newspaper with a few slates cut into it and then added a hive body we had been saving in the freezer that still had built out frames, some even filled with honey. We removed 5 frames and then added the nuc which is basically a mini hive with 5 frames of brood and a queen. We added 2 jars of light sugar water and hope we can get this hive in good shape before the winter. We returned a few days later to remove the queen excluder and newspaper and hope that they have happily become acquainted with one another.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Why "von der Vogelweide"?

Ich saz ûf eime steine

und dahte bein mit beine.

dar ûf satzt ich den ellenbogen, 

ich hete in mîne hand
daz kinne und ein mîn wange.

dô dâhte ich mir vil ange, 

wie man zer werlte solte leben.
"Von der Vogelweide" has a dual meaning to me – it means literally in German “bird pasture” or “meadow of birds” which aptly describes our land here. During the Middle Ages, bird handlers would go to a Vogelweide near a castle or town and capture hawks there for falconry or for song birds to be enjoyed in the home.
As a German major in college, one of my concentrations was the Middle Ages and my favorite lyrical and political poet or Minnesänger was Walter von der Vogelweide (1170-1230). He broke the boundaries of this genre and wrote critically of the struggles between the papacy and political players of the time including Philip of Swabia, Otto IV, Innocent III and Gregory IX. He served first in Vienna and was trained by the famous singer Reinmar von Hagenau and moved on to other courts between Germany and Austria and eventually settled in Würzburg, where he served Frederick II.

For more information, see:

Friday, June 18, 2010

Catmint Lovers

Right beyond our solarium, we planted catmint or Nepeta and enjoy the show of pollinators all day long. One morning though I was especially surprised to see goldfinch. First a pair arrived one morning, then it seemed as if they passed the word and the next few days several more birds arrived, perching on the stalks, swaying with the breeze and nibbling on the flower’s tiny black seeds. Here are some websites to learn more about goldfinch and catmint.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

How Sweet It Is!

It has been awhile since I shared some bee adventures. Starting in early April we observed our strong hive working hard and creating some queen cells. We were concerned with swarming and kept an eye on things. The queen was laying well and the hive was booming. Near the end of April, we decided instead of splitting the hive we would add some honey supers as we noticed they were making honey in the brood chambers. On May 22nd we harvested over 50 lbs of honey. We used a fume board and bee quick spray and it worked like a charm pushing the bees below. The honey is light and sweet. We have the honey supers back on and will extract probably another 40-50 lbs in about 2 weeks, after the nectar flow comes to an end.

Regarding the photo, the jar to the left is our honey from last year, which we extracted in mid July.

Friday, May 7, 2010

On the Move

As I was walking on Monday in the early afternoon, I noticed a female snapper turtle heading up the driveway moving rather quickly towards the pond across the street where she will spend the summer. She still had wet mud on her shell which was almost a foot in diameter. It was a perfect day for a move - sunny, warm but not hot with a pleasant breeze. As soon as she saw me, she stopped dead in her tracks. Last year, a female was hit by a car (see entry from Nov 20th) by my driveway and luckily lived after being cared for at the Aark. I didn’t have time to wait for her to continue on and stop traffic as she crossed so I scooped her up into my recycling container and carried her across the road. I went back to grab my camera to document the event and she was almost in the water when I took this parting photo. She has most likely already laid her eggs near the stream she left so we will be on watch for the babies next.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Down by the stream

The swamp or skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) emerged a couple of weeks ago down at the stream. I had read that it provides one of the earliest sources of pollen in the spring and I was curious if my bees were taking part. Upon closer scrutiny I indeed found many bees flying in, crawling deep into the dark purplish curled hood and then off again to the hive to store the pollen. The foul odor attracts the bees and inside they may find a cozy temperature reaching into the 80's. After knee deep in mud and patiently awaiting for a bee to emerge, I captured this great shot. If you click on the picture, you can see the bee at the tip.

At the dig

When the snows melted, revealed to my surprise were many extensive mouse trails around and inside the meadows. It was like discovering a archeological dig. A few weeks have passed since then and the trails have faded. The mice actually helped aerate the soil and now the grass is growing in nicely.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Snowy Tunnels

While walking early this morning, I noticed some interesting shadows in the meadow. The slow melting of the snow has revealed some intricate mice pathways. I am happy to see the mice are living in the meadow and not in my garage. Sadly, we caught 20 earlier in the winter after I haphazardly attracted them with my sunflower seeds but we haven’t seen any since. (See Nov 22, '09 blog)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Emerson's Snow Storm

Huge snow flakes, icy rain, dry blowing snow, mini snow tornados, roaring winds - these words only barely describe our fourth major snowstorm. This storm is befitting of a poem by Emerson.


Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,

Arrives the snow, and, driving o'er the fields,

Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air

Hides hill and woods, the river, and the heaven,

And veils the farmhouse at the garden's end.

The sled and traveller stopped, the courier's feet

Delated, all friends shut out, the housemates sit

Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed

In a tumultuous privacy of storm.

Come see the north wind's masonry.

Out of an unseen quarry evermore

Furnished with tile, the fierce artificer

Curves his white bastions with projected roof

Round every windward stake, or tree, or door.

Speeding, the myriad-handed, his wild work

So fanciful, so savage, nought cares he

For number or proportion. Mockingly,

On coop or kennel he hangs Parian wreaths;

A swan-like form invests the hiddden thorn;

Fills up the famer's lane from wall to wall,

Maugre the farmer's sighs; and at the gate

A tapering turret overtops the work.

And when his hours are numbered, and the world

Is all his own, retiring, as he were not,

Leaves, when the sun appears, astonished Art

To mimic in slow structures, stone by stone,

Built in an age, the mad wind's night-work,

The frolic architecture of the snow.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Next Step

Our overall goal is to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and other non-green energies. We have reduced our energy needs now by approximately 30% since we moved here 3 years ago by replacing appliances, light bulbs and installing a house wide energy saver as I described in an earlier blog in Sept '09. To seize upon the still available state and federal energy rebates and grants, the time has come to investigate alternative, green energy options such as solar energy.

Our friends, Hal and Gail, recently invested in solar energy systems for their home and invited us over to learn more. John was listening more attentively, thus summarizing our visit as follows: “ To reduce (eliminate?) their reliance on utility company supplied electricity, they developed a plan with Mark Bortman of Exact Solar to install two systems: a solar thermal system to provide energy for heating water and a photovoltaic system to generate electricity. The thermal system generates preheated hot water for cleaning, showering and for their spa. If the water isn’t hot enough then ordinary house current electricity can be used to bring it to the desired temperature. Their photovoltaic system, which was installed just two months ago, consists of 16 panels that can generate up to 5 kilowatts of power per hour during the day. This energy is then inverted into AC electricity and a monitoring system reports how much energy is being produced each day as well as how much carbon dioxide is being saved by their environment friendly energy systems. Interestingly, when we saw them on a cold but sunny February afternoon they had already generated about 25 kW hours of power- approximately enough electricity to meet their needs for the day. Hal is looking forward to seeing how much electricity will be generated when the long, sunny days of summer arrive. “

The picture shows the actual installation taking place at their home.

There are both federal tax credits and state grants that can offset the cost by approximately 60%. Please see below for more information:

PA solar rebate information:

Federal solar tax credit information:

We are meeting with Exact Solar this week so we can begin to determine how to substitute green energy in place of conventional power sources from utility companies.

Monday, February 22, 2010

In the last few months, a group of concerned citizens created a food club where local consumers can purchase food from local growers and producers. By supporting such a group, it helps our local economy, our local farmers and the environment.

A fellow master gardner, Rotarian and dear friend, Jim Schmitt, had joined the group and kindly shared the information with me. I promptly joined for only $100 and I have already enjoyed the fruits of my membership which included some delicious apple cider from Solebury Farms, delicious bread from Crossroads Bake Shop (they have the best bread and Italian cookies ever) and eggs from Ricks farm. There are regular meetings and you order online biweekly, then pick up your goodies the following week, currently at The Goddard School at The Farm.

If you would like more information, visit their website at

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Winter Blues

At last we have a bit warmer weather. There is still at least 8 inches of snow on the ground but the sun feels warm, the temperature is around 40 degrees and there is an approximate 15 mph wind out of the NW. We spot a flock of bluebirds in the meadow and 2 red tailed hawks swirl past.

It is finally warm enough to take a quick peek at our bees. We trudge through the snow following what looks like a fox trail through the snow that leads directly to the hives. A couple of bees greet us from the stronger hive. They haven’t touched much of the fondant we gave them months ago, there is a large bundle of bees near the top of the second hive body and they are milling around slowly, probably dazed by the sun and cool wind. After closing that hive, we head to the second hive, where it is very quiet. We find that they are all dead. There is no honey to be found and they must have starved. We are silent and sad. They originally were our stronger hive from which we collected over 30 lbs of honey in the spring. In the fall though we noticed their numbers were decreasing and they had not collected as much honey. They will be missed.

Picture from this site:

Thursday, February 11, 2010

White on White

The snow and winds intensified later in the day during our"Blizzard" creating a white on white scene.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Winter Wonderland

After receiving almost a foot of snow over the weekend, 3 days later another snowstorm/blizzard has arrived bringing with it perhaps as much as 2 feet of snow. The area hasn’t seen this much snow since the 90’s. The snow is swirling, pelting and blowing horizontally at times.

The birds have intensified their feeding at the bird feeders as they try to endure this challenging winter. This easy food provides a way for the birds to survive and conserve energy. They especially enjoy black oiled sunflower seeds and hearts which have a high meat to shell ratio and are high in fat. Millet, nuts and thistle are also good seed choices. Suet is especially enjoyed by insect eating birds such as the red-bellied woodpeckers and wrens.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Past the Sweet Gum Forest

Thankful that the storm has finally passed, I pull on some boots and walk past the Sweet Gum forest down to the small stream that follows the edge of the meadow. I hear it rushing before I arrive at its banks. From the vantage point of an old berm, I see the swollen stream racing by, bringing with it leaves and sticks. The temperature has risen to above 60 degrees and the ground has mostly thawed as my boots sink and squish with each step. The dark grey clouds above are racing and the wind is howling, sure to bring the arctic cold back in the days ahead.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Green Gadgets and Bunnies

On my way to work, I was listening to NPR on WHYY radio station 90.9 and they were discussing a new book called Green Gadgets for Dummies – You can listen for yourself by just clicking below:

After the bunny invasion of our garden last year, John and I proactively purchased online a solar powered electric fence to surround both our vegetable and flower gardens. Our friends Margaret and Mike recommended the company and have had much success with this fence. I feel renewed inspiration and hope for our garden and can’t wait to start planning. Here is the site, if you are interested.

We already are using a solar powered electric fence (as pictured above) to keep the deer out of the blueberry and raspberry field but it is more minimalist.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Morning to Behold

A sheer pale veil,
A fog
That caresses and softens
The deer lying in the woods
The leaf dangling
Kissed by frost
The birds' whispering
Above swirling rays
On their way.