18 Feb GardenSong Feeding & Protection Areas
GardenSong Feeding & Nesting & Protection Areas
In GardenSong Booneville I have set up many areas where I feed the Birds. I am sure that other little Critters feed there, too, like Mice and Squirrels. Probably Bugs, too. I AM a CURIOUS BEING. I LOVE watching them, learning from them. I LOVE snapping pictures of moments here and there, documenting the wonder, and I feel like these photos are visual stories.
GNOME GROVE – FEEDING AREA 1
The 1st feeding area is in front of our Penguin-Rooster House (all the houses and garages and other out buildings here in our Booneville Motherland have names) in the Gnome Grove, near the Goddess Garden, with feeders hanging from Cassie, one of my Tree friends. Here I placed a feeder designed for smaller birds and one filled with food for the Woodpeckers. Sometimes I scatter Sunflower seeds on the ground for the ground peckers and scratchers. I have lots of Woodpeckers visit these 2 Trees, Cassie, a Sugar Maple, and Peartal, who is a very very old Winter Pear. She has been here longer than most who live here can remember. See GardenSong Tree Friends.
I can see the Birds from our 2 front doors and front porch rocker where we Sun and eat when it is warm enough. So can Catalyst, my Cat friend, who hangs out on the front porch. I see her watching the Birds, tail twitching and mouthwatering, imaging whatever Cats imagine about Birds. I usually don’t interfere since she needs to hunt, it is in her nature right now. She needs the nutrition from the small Critters (including insects) she is lucky enough to catch.
I hung a Suet Block there today, on a Y-shaped log leaning against Cassie and right above the Goddess Garden. As I was doing that I noticed the first little Purple Crocus pushing up out of the ground at her feet! Since it is Valentines Day today, I thought “How appropriate!” A gift from the Goddess!
BIRD ROCK – FAIRY NURSERY – FEEDING AREA 2
The 2nd area is out the side door near Bird Rock and the Fairy’s Nursery. I sprinkle lots of seeds on the ground there for the Cardinals and Sparrows that like to hop and peck and scratch on the ground. There is one feeder hanging for seed. I am still learning from these BIRDS what they like and adjusting as we go along.
HAPPY MORNING SUN GARDEN – FEEDING AREA 3
The 3rd feeding area is out my back door. Looking out from my Creative Studio door I can easily see who is visiting and this is my favorite place to watch. This area is in the Happy Morning Sun Garden and I have that greatest variety of feeders there. Some days I am at the door watching and taking photos for hours.
Sometimes I stay up all night creating art or writing or playing with my websites and I see the dawn Sun shining in my windows and hear the soft chirpling of the Early Birds. I love that time of day when everything is fresh and new and bathed with early morning light. So many different Birds visit then. If I am particularly tired, I mutter to myself, “Do not look out the window. Head straight for bed, Saleena.” And of course I do and I get caught up in the Bird Magic and happily delay my sleep for several more hours.
HEAVENLY HEDGEROW HAVEN -NATURAL FEEDING & PROTECTION AREA 4
Our Wild Privet Hedgerow (A privet is a flowering plant in the genus Ligustrum.) grows along the back side of the land and engulfs a row of taller Trees. It is always filled with Birds. Beautiful Birdsongs originate from there. Birds nest in it. I call it Heavenly Hedgerow Haven for it is filled with Honeysuckle Vine and I LOVE HONEYSUCKLE! Honeysuckle blooms in profusion in the Spring filling the air with such an intoxicating sensual scent I stand and inhale in grand appreciation of this AWEsome world I live in. Honeysuckle Flowers are edible and useful in flavoring natural concoctions for your health and enjoyment.
This wild Hedgerow is a wonderful habitat for the Birds and all the smaller Critters, like wild Rabbits, Snakes, Skinks, Cats, and such. When Ligustrum blooms it is covered in tiny white softly scented Flower clusters that set into hard purple berries the Birds feed on through Winter. It also provides protection for many lives; small mammals, reptiles, winged ones and insects and occasionally me.
One day I was looking out my back studio door at the Hedgerow. It can be very invasive as it like to spread out underground and long straight tall shoots pop up to create a kind of forest effect. It tends to creep toward the house, engulfing all areas in its path. It also seeds itself everywhere due to its natural transport flight system; BIRDS! These long willowy shoots are wonderful for creative natural crafting. I have used them for trellises, making creative woven arches, and once a year, after major trimming events, I find myself MAKING. I weave them into interesting artistic energetic art wands to poke into the ground here and there in the gardens. I feel like this was influenced by the Fairies. They love fun, artistic touches in the Gardens. Check out the Fairie’s Portal.
This day I decided that I wanted to cut a kind of “room” into the Hedgerow. Sculpt it into something more interesting and appealing for me. It can look like a vast wall of swaying singing branches and green leaves. So I slipped on Gloves and grabbed our Clippers and headed out. In this one area, I cut deep into the center and hollowed out a kind of living cave inside, a secret room. The back area was getting too thin for privacy from the neighbors activities so I began to weave in the cuttings into a kind of natural wall, using the larger Privet trunks. It is gently curved to embrace the room and make it feel cozy. I snipped and shaped until I liked the feeling of it.
There are two young Cedar Trees growing on each side of the room. Now they have a chance to spread out and grow. I used the larger branches and some Honeysuckle Vine, still growing, to weave a decorative arc for the entrance. Then I hung a tiny Bird House for the final touches.
It was very hot that day and the cool inside this wonderful little room was welcoming. I dragged one of my Star Gazing chairs in and sat enjoying the feeling of this co-creation. I mean co-creation because we all have to cooperate in projects like this; Me with Nature, the unseen (with 3D eyes) Nature Beings, Wildlife and Mother Earth.
Since I can see this little room from the back door where I watch the Birds feeding in Area, I just noticed (Feb 2016) that
BIG BERTHA HUGELKULTUR BERM – FEEDING & PROTECTION AREA 5
Bird Rock and Fairy Nursery are in the same area as a hugelkultur type berm I created using the basic hugelkultur ideas for it. Just for the record, I followed the ideas and instructions for building a hugelkultur raised bed berm loosely. Sometimes I do this to anchor the energy and set in place new concepts for later possibilities. I didn’t start with big logs and I haven’t covered it all with dirt. My needs for this berm are different.
First of all I needed a place close by to stack all the trimming and plant materials from cleaning up the gardens. There tends to be LOTS of this natural stuff compiles into piles and piles everywhere if there isn’t a designated area for it. Many people in the local area have burn piles and in it goes everything like this and more, often toxic stuff like plastics. I have suffered from this kind of toxic smoke too often, so I chose not to burn. Though burning some natural stuff makes lovely ash to dig into the soil for nutrients, I haven’t done this yet. Some of the plant materials I use in the composters, some of it I clip up and drop on the ground right in the garden it comes from to enrich the soil and some of it is too noxious, invasive or bulky so I created this Caterpillar Berm to accommodate it.
I designed it in an area where I wanted to divide two areas. I can get to it easily from all sides so I can pile it up with old tree limbs, brush, roots, tough grasses, old stalks with seeds and such, to create a nice small Critter-Bug-Bird friendly area.
Some Giant Ragweed “trees” grow there naturally so I let some of them grow tall surrounding this area to reinforce it and act as landing places for the Birds. In the fall when the plants die, they leave giant hard stalks, still rooted in the ground. I leave some branchy stalks for the Bird. I top the rest, cut them to about a foot above the top of the berm and sort of lean them in to reinforce the ever getting taller berm. Then I weave in some willowy Privet shoots from the Hedgerow to keep the sides from falling down.
This year (2015-2016) has been a year for Cardinals. In the 4+ years I have lived in Booneville, I have never seen so many congregate in one place. One day I looked out the side door and saw so many specks of brilliant red around the berm and in the Giant Ragwood Trees, I grabbed my camera. I had piled all kinds of spent plants with seeds onto the berm in the last weeks garden cleanup. They were landing on top of the berm, poking about for seeds or bugs. So many fluttering and sitting in the branches, more hopping about on the ground surrounding the berm, scratching pecking and hunting for food. I counted somewhere around 30 that I could see at one time that day!
It is a very satisfying feeling I get when I see that some of my creative ideas and physical energy spent implementing them have paid off for the little ones here. Supporting the local wildlife and creating a friendly ecosystem is one of the reasons I do what I do. Included in this is co-creating an environment that is supportive for us, the HUMANS, to live healthy, share love and thrive in.
Over several years this method has created some nice rich compost in the heart of BIG BERTHA BERM. Someday maybe I will plant this berm to continue the experiment.
NEW MASCULINE GARDEN & LABYRINTH within OROBORUS BERM – FEEDING AREA 6
This Garden and Feeding Area is surrounded with an oval shaped berm, resembling a SNAKE curled around the perimeters. We call it our OROBORUS BERM. The entry to the NEW MASCULINE GARDEN has an arch that connects each side, thus symbolizing the snake with its own tail in its mouth. This is where many old stalks, branch cuttings and softer plant material go from this side of the Gardens.
This feeding area is the newest. It is on the east morning Sunrise side, where Hugh and I can see into it from our office/studio windows. In the center is the NEW MASCULINE GARDEN under the spreading branches of one of my most loving Tree friends. He is a giant Sugar Maple and one of my first friends here in Booneville. He watches over us all and first introduced himself as THE BEAST. I will share that story another day. I feel like it was him who first started impulsing me with ideas to create the new garden there. That happens when you are co-creating in a GardenSong Project.
I hung a feeder full of Sunflower Seeds, a Thistle filled Seed Sock and a Suet Block there to see who will find their way to it. I also hung a Wind Chime there and will watch to make sure it doesn’t scare the BIRDS away. I also have a small Seed Feeder hanging with a suction cup on the outside of my Studio window, right where I sit for many hours at my computer writing and creating. I love to support these beautiful BIRDS through the cold months and my gift is to be able to enjoy their variety and beauty and to photograph them. Of course then I can share them with YOU! Check out my I Love Bird Galleries.
HUMMINGBIRD HAVEN – FRONT PORCH – FEEDING & NOURISHMENT AREA 7
Come early Spring, I am outside digging, planting, barefoot and happy. Inevitably the day comes when a little HUMMER zips up and hovers in my face, then zooms toward the Hummingbird Haven Front Porch. I know what this means, it wants me to dig out the Hummingbird Feeders and fill them with sweet nectar! “Okay, little one,” I message to them and away I go to fulfill the request.
This is part of conscious co-creation with nature in this GardenSong Project. To be open to listen and respond to each other. Sometimes I have the form needed to do specific things that need to be done to keep things in harmony here. So I fill the Hummer’s Feeders and hang them out.
I LOVE watching HUMMINGBIRDS! They are such tiny characters. I know some Animal Spirit practices associate them with JOY. They do bring me JOY and smiles and laughter watching and photographing them. They are rather cranky and quarrelsome though.
One day I was watching several of them attempting to get to the feeder. Just as one would get near it, another would dive in and BOP him out of the way. Before he could get to his sip, another would BAM him out of the way. This went on and on, with them all chittering and scolding each other like a bunch of cranky kids! I laughingly messaged to them, telepathically, “There is enough for you all if you would just cooperate and share!” Funny birds these tiny bits of bejeweled feathers and energy are!
One challenge I encounter with this feeding area is that the ANTS love the nectar, too. I don’t mind sharing it with them, except they fall in and drown in it, sad for them and this spoils the nectar. So I have used creative ways to keep them out of it, from wrapping the wire hanger with that coiled sticky fly paper to creating an ANT MOTE they can’t cross. Once in a while I set out a bowl of nectar just for them.
COMPOST CORNER – FEEDING & NOURISHMENT AREA 8
The first area where I began my composting adventure is in the back corner where the Sun rises. We bought a black box type Composter and began to fill it with layers of plant materials and finely ground kitchen compost. This area feeds the worms and lots of bugs that then feed the Birds. In turn, for the food “thank you very much” , the worms literally turn it into Black Gold that feeds and nourishes the plants. It is a lovely arrangement. Each year, I move the black box, shovel it all onto a tarp on the ground, in another little cave I carved out of the Hedgerow, and cover it to continue composting. Then I move the bin and start again.
Each area where the composter sat all year, is now rich and bare. I have been starting a new little garden there, growing Squash or Tomatoes there. There is a nice little Compost Haven Garden there now.
RECYCLED TIRE EARTHSHIP COMPOSTER – Feeding & Nourishing Soil-Area 8
2 years ago (2014) I got the idea I was going to build myself a token Earthship, after finding a couple of old tires on the new Library House land. I had been studying Earthship Homes and loved what people had created to live more sustainably. I want to live in a sustainable home. I want to be able to generate our own power needs independently from a power company. This was a token first step. I decided the best place for it, behind the Geometry Garden and in front of the Hedgerow, tucked slightly into it, and placed the tires. Later I got some more by cleaning up some adjoining land in the neighborhood, loading up the back of my car with old abandoned tires. I brought them all home to continue building my Earthship. I laid a log across the front to mark the “bins” boundaries and was ready to begin this grand experiment.
At first I placed garden and land plant materials in the center of the tire stacks. I was amazed at how fast they broke down with the extra heat of the black tires. I had been planning to buy some soil to fill the tire stacks. One day I realized that I was making really rich soil right there. Actually the worms and microbes were making it. I was co-creating with them, giving them the material they need to make rich compost. So I shoveled the new soil into the tire stacks, filling a few of them in the front. I wanted to plant something in them.
After that I added more plant materials into the bottoms of the taller stacks in back. This helped me to fill them faster. After a few months the next dirt was already there, so I scooped it into more of the tires, filling them more. Eventually they all were filled and I planted our adopted Tomatoes in them in 2015.
There is one BIG FAT Robin that likes to perch on top of the tallest stack. The cat also likes to sit up there at times.
BIG BERTHA BERN – Composts Heavy Yard Cuttings & Feeding Birds-Area 9
I started my first big pile area around the idea of
NATURAL FEEDING AREAS
I have been sharing about all the feeding stations I set up for the BIRDS. In reality there are many natural “feeding stations” everywhere in GardenSong, and throughout our MOTHERLAND, with all the TREES and PLANTS that FLOWER and SEED throughout the seasons. I have gradually learned to let the “spent” flowers stay in place to feed everyone. Read more about this in Is Your Winter Garden a Wildlife Habitat?
When I began the GardenSong2 Booneville Project in 2012, there were many natural plants surrounding the “yard” surrounding our house. It was all mowed flat regularly to “control the weeds” and keep it all pristinely well kept that I couldn’t really tell what lived in the lawn.
To me, it was a shock to my system, moving from 12 years in Hawaiian Paradise and away from our first GardenSong1 Hawaii Project. We had lavish Flowers and trails and Trees and arbors with organic food hanging and growing everywhere. All I had to do was step out any door…actually, my house was filled with Orchids and other Flowers. We slept on an open air screen-in porch filled with flowers, looking out into the top of the Tree canopy, overlooking the ocean, being lulled by the roar of the water and awakened by the cacophony of wind chimes and Birds. It was truly a living Paradise!
You can read more about my experience at the beginning of GardenSong2 Booneville here.
2 Bluebird Houses
2 Small Bird Houses
Goji Berry Arch
Lovin’ Mother Morning Glory Arch
Various Tree Stumps & Logs for Fungi and Insects
NESTING PROJECTS I Want to Do:
More kinds of Bird Houses mounted on Carriage House and various fence posts.