Birds, Pictures, and Hoops..

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We are expecting some rain over the next few days. Temps are rather chilly after a nice 10 days of springlike days. The bird activity has been low. So, you know what that means? Yup, today was a good day at the feeders. Let’s do an official count…and watch the variety you can bring in if you diversify your feed and offer the basics (food, water, shelter, nesting sites).

830am…37F…overcast with showers in the area….no new sightings (but, a couple rare ones)

4 doves, 3 blue jays hopping in the trees rading squirrel nests of their nuts, 4 juncos, 3 downy woodpeckers, 6 goldfinches…two days in a row their numbers are way up, 1 red-belly, 3 cardinals…still chasing each other, 3 ETS, 1 house sparrow…they are rather rare at my house, 1 chickadee, 1 cooper’s hawk…flew over twice with a piece of food once and nesting material the second time, 1 robin, 1 flicker…these are rare for me, too, 3 starlings…nesting in a tree in my neighbor’s yard, 1 canadian goose….i hear them going crazy with the honking in the quarry behind my house and there are likely many more than 1, 4 house finches, and 1 brown creeper….i was dying to grab a shot of him but he flew away really quickly; they are pretty rare in my yard.

So, there is a nice diversity of 17 different species, of which I have some pictures to post today!

As for the hoophouse, I think I have things figured out. If I only use the single layer of plastic, I get about 1 degree of protection. If I use the second layer draped like a floating row cover over the milk jugs, I get about 6-8 degrees of protection. The next experiment I plan to run is in a separate bed with no hoops. I want to see if the floating row cover is all I need to be using. Granted, the hoops will help in the summer with taller plants and bird netting. But, we will deal with that when the time comes. My readings from overnight are 37/39.

I also planted some seeds yesterday. With hoop protection, I could have planted carrots, spinach, and peas directly in the garden a couple of weeks ago. With the cooloer temps, germination will take longer. But, who cares? I planted in my garden!

I plan to run another test, though. I want to sow some seeds inside and once they sprout, immediately move the seedlings outside to the garden. I am of the understanding this won’t kill them. So, I plan to try this today. Maybe tomorrow, you get pics of the process?

Keep Chuggin’!

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