Saving seeds ensures our future

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Wildlife in the city

Wildlife in the city

IMG_0315You’ve seen them in some communities: giant flower pots planted to spiff up the sidewalks of urban areas. So it was in one of these giant flower pots decorating Montgomery Avenue in Pleasant Ridge (Cincinnati), OH I spied a good sized Garden Spider, Argiope aurantia, only inches from the crazy drivers.

I have childhood memories of large Garden Spiders around the barn at my great aunt Betty’s farm outside Springboro. Couple that memory with the scent of Sweet Annie growing around the pen that used to hold hogs in years past. Those memories are probably 50-55 years old and yet still clear as a bell.

It was fun introducing the two Cinci G-kids to the wonder of the Garden Spider, what with her lovely white woven ZZZZZZ coursing vertically in her web. I always hope they behold the wild world of flora and fauna with wonder – and not fear. Respect. Not fear.

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Spring means Compost time!

The New Neighbors Garden Club (Springboro/South Dayton area) is again selling Posy Power organic soil amendment. If you live in the Miami Valley, your garden would LOVE an annual application of Posy Power. Click the following link to access full details and order information. To quote a fellow gardener, “It’s good stuff!”

CLICK HERE for 2017 PosyPower Order Form

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Orders now being taken for Caladiums

The Here and There Garden Club, an Ohio Association of Garden Clubs affiliated club, announces the 2017 Caladium sale. Caladiums are tender, summer bulbs that really can liven up a garden with their colorful leaves. Bulbs are $1 each, though please order in quantities of 5 bulbs of a variety. (5 bulbs = $5) Orders will be filled in the order they are received. Delivery late April. Message me with orders/more info.

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Zick is coming to town!

Baby Birds: An Artist Looks Into the Nest

babybirds-plainSunday, January 22 • 2:30 p.m. Marie S. Aull Education Center (1000 Aullwood Rd., Dayton, OH 45414   http://www.aullwood.org)

Admission is $5.00/adult and $3.00 child, Friends of Aullwood and National Audubon Society members are admitted free.

One of my favorite nature peeps will be speaking in the Dayton area January 22. Julie Zickefoose is an Ohio Writer/Artist that has the heart of a angel where nature is concerned. She is a widely published natural history writer and artist. She shares her experiences through word and brush/pencil stroke, much to the delight of her fans…… Needless to say, I am one! Check out her blog at www.julieckefoose.blogspot.com 

Here is a description on her upcoming program as noted in the Aullwood Audubon newsletter:

Why and how do baby songbirds develop so quickly, some launching into flight only 11 days after hatching? In 2002, Julie Zickefoose began to draw and paint wild nestlings day by day, bearing witness to their swift growth. Over the next 13 years, Julie would document the daily changes in 17 bird species from hatching to fledging. Baby Birds is the enchanting result, with more than 500 life studies that hop, crawl and flutter through its pages. In this talk, Julie shares her influences as well as her artistic process, a must- see for the aspiring natural history artist. Art and science blend in every Zickefoose pursuit, as the scientist’s relentless curiosity joins the artist’s quest for beauty. The work, wonder and fun of studying nestlings, including being foster mother to orphaned hummingbirds, chimney swifts and bluebirds, makes for an irresistible and highly inspirational presentation.

Writer/artist Julie Zickefoose, author of Letters from Eden, and The Bluebird Effect, is a Contributing Editor to Bird Watcher’s Digest. Julie loves to introduce people to birdwatching, speaking at a number of festivals around the country, and now leads natural history excursions abroad. Because she believes birds to be the most vibrant vessels for the life force, painting baby birds as they grow has been her favorite project to date. Her new book is Baby Birds: An Artist Looks Into the Nest (2016). She lives with her family on an 80-acre wildlife sanctuary in Appalachian Ohio.