Christmas Bird Count Week

The Christmas Bird Count (CBC) occurs December 14 to January 5 every year. The CBC is a long-standing program of the National Audubon Society, with over 100 years of community science involvement. It is an early-winter bird census, where thousands of volunteers across the U.S., Canada, and many countries in the Western Hemisphere go out …

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Bees and Neonics

Neonicotinoids (commonly referred to as neonics) are the most widely used insecticides in the world, commonly used on farms, in our gardens, schools, and city landscapes.  They are systemic insecticides – they are absorbed into plants and can be present in pollen and nectar, making them toxic to bees and many other beneficial insects. These …

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Keep Pests Away from your Figs

It’s National Fig Week – time to recognize this popular fruit that’s actually a little bundle of tiny flowers inside a small, thin sac. Most figs grown in home gardens are called common figs with varieties like ‘Brown Turkey’ and ‘Celeste’, and they’re self-pollinators.  Figs lose their leaves each year and are easy to grow. …

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It’s National Raptor Month

October is National Raptor Month – a time to recognize these amazing birds of prey.  A raptor is a meat-eating bird with keen eyesight, eight sharp talons, and a hooked beak. They’ve been around for millions of years, with nearly 500 species across the globe.  Most are active during the day, while 178 are night …

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International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer

While we are all dealing with climate change today, 35 years ago there was another environmental threat that was successfully abated.  Damage to the ozone layer, that fragile shield of gas that protects the Earth from the harmful portion of the rays of the sun, was happening at an alarming rate.  Caused by a number …

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Snakes are good for the Garden

It’s a good time to recognize these natural pest controllers!  Gardeners should be glad to see snakes glide through the garden. These much-maligned reptiles consume garden pests, including slugs, grubs, mice, voles, and rats. Garter snakes are the most common type found in our area.  They’re medium-sized slender snakes with a head barely wider than …

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