Nature Trivia – It’s Summer!

We are never too old to learn!
One of the great things about this blog is learning all the interesting things I pass on to my readers. Today, with the help of the Farmer’s Almanac for gardening tips and Knowledge Cards from the Sierra Club on birds, we’ll all learn a few things.

In my last post, I wrote about the Blood Moon, or Pink Moon in April. Remember the Native Americans gave names to each of the monthly full moons?  (Although sometimes we have TWO full moons in a month – the second one is always a BLUE moon as well as any other name.) The full moon this past May 14 was the “Full Flower Moon.” I can guess why. May is the month when typically all the beautiful flowers begin to bloom, as long as rainfall has been adequate during April and earlier in May. These flowers usually last into June and sometimes throughout the summer.

In June, the full moon is tomorrow, and it is called The Full Strawberry Moon. If you have strawberry plants in your garden or flower beds, you know that we are smack in the middle of strawberry season! Keep that shortcake coming!

So what does the Almanac say about gardening at this time of year? The seeds are planted. How do we make sure we have a crop of flowers, fruit or vegetables?

GARDENING



  • A bag of 6-8-4 fertilizer contains 6 percent nitrogen, 8 percent phosphorus, and 4 percent potassium.

  • Roses like a dose of nitrogen-rich fish emulsion every month during the growing season.

  • Sprinkle dog or cat hair around the garden to deter rabbits.

  • Feed peonies when their petals fall.

  • Plant French and African marigolds to control lesion and root-knot nematodes.

  • A single little brown bat can catch 600 insects per hour and as many as 3,000 per night.


BIRDS
How silent the woods would be if only the best birds sang.

The American Kestrel
This bird was once misnamed the sparrow hawk. Sparrows are only a small part of its diet, and it is not a hawk, belonging instead to the falcon family. This bird is found throughout North America in woodland borders, open fields, sparsely treed pastures and deserts with giant cacti.

Franklin’s Gull – Often called prairie doves, Franklin’s gulls build floating nests of dead marsh grasses in Great Plains lakes, their preferred habitat. Typically they winter at the coast. They are distinguishable by their black head, which is their typical plumage when breeding.
 
Dunlin – Large flocks of startled dunlins perform remarkable synchronized movements in the air before descending back to earth; when migrating, their vast flocks look like swarming insects. This long-legged short bird is found in North American coastal regions from the Arctic to the Gulf Coast, and prefers coastal mud flats and sedge tundra. Its blackish bill is slightly bent downward at the tip; and in summer it has a patch of black feathers on its belly.

And finally, here’s my thought for the day I really love: “Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold well.” – Josh Billings, American humorist (1818-85)

COMING UP: Summer Solstice – June 21

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