by Allison Vaughn – Guest Post
Recently, there has been a surge in literature throughout the conservation community highlighting the importance of native plant gardening for the sustainability of wildlife. The National Wildlife Federation writes that chickadees, for example, require 5,000 insects from native plants to successfully rear a clutch. I trust them, just as I do Doug Tallamy’s fantastic book that highlights the importance of converting landscapes from turf to native flora to benefit wildlife. These and a myriad of other articles have positively impacted many communities now embracing native plantings in urban areas; they have reinvigorated Wild Ones chapters, native plant enthusiasts, and wildlife advocates. Add to the resurgence in growing natives are the reports of impacts to non-target wildlife from the widespread broadcasting of glyphosate and other herbicides in an effort for a “weed-free” lawn, and so forth. The assault on wildlife and the natural world is pervasive with sprawling development, wanton abuse of chemicals, regular thumbing of the nose to regulatory agencies and procedures that were put into place in the 1970s during the heyday of the environmental movement.
By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz –
Ahhh! Who doesn’t love a spring day? The birds are singing and the flowers are blooming and it’s just a beautiful free for all. We’ve spent a lot of time in the garden recently, planting and weeding and the general stuff. I was standing there in the garden, when a beautiful pileated woodpecker sailed by me and beyond, into the woods. I suddenly thought of an interesting gardening experience from some years before – and in another garden. It involved a pileated woodpecker, a hollow tree, a mess of squirrels, and me.
Posted in A Piece of Home, Features, Garden Gate, Nature Notes
Tagged A Journey of Seasons, fun with critters, garden, gardening, hollow tree, jill henderson, pileated woodpecker, show me oz, squirrels
by Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz –
Karst is crucial to the biodiversity of the Ozark region. At some point in its travel from heaven to sea, nearly three-quarters of the water in our rivers, streams, springs, aquifers, and wells have been filtered through this fractured limestone. This massive system of water movement and erosion is what makes karst one of the most bountiful and fragile geologic formations in the world. And while it’s beau Some of the water that falls or runs across our hills will become forever locked below the surface in aquifers, but a larger portion of it reemerges somewhere on the surface, usually in the form of a spring or a seep, or a wet weather stream.
Posted in Features, Nature Notes
Tagged A Journey of Seasons, jill henderson, karst, Karst in the Ozarks, nature, ozarks, seeps, show me oz, sinkhole, spring
By Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz –
This morning I woke at 4:00 am. The crescent moon was high in the eastern sky casting it’s milky light into the open spaces on the edge of the woods. In the deep shadowy crevices the cicadas and crickets wound down the night’s exuberance in a fading farewell hum. I stood at the open window, basking in the slightly cool breeze coming down the mountain and relishing the silence when suddenly a series of piercingly eerie shrieks broke the spell. The suddenness of it startled me, but my instinct was answer with my own crazy whoop and scream, which would surely have woken the house. Instead, I silently searched the branches of the tall, dark oak beside the house for the Cheshire Cat of raptors.