About Dana

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I'm a dichotomy of blue jeans, pretty jewelry, frugalista, and Southern girl living the simple rural life. I want to live my life holistically, thoughtfully, economically, and most of all gratefully, and encourage other women to do the same.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Of Birds and Boys

Remember when I got bit by the spring bug last weekend when we had a stroke of warm weather? I put new bird seed in the feeder. I had forgotten to do this for about a week, and all the birds left. I miss the birds, so I pulled out the safflower seed. They love it, and the squirrels hate it because it's bitter on their taste buds. A win-win. I get to see the birds, and I don't have to spend a fortune replacing seed the squirrels dig through and throw around everywhere.

So I got to see this little one today.
A Carolina Chickadee? That's the best I can tell from our booklet of South Carolina birds. If you know better, I'd like to hear.

Then this fellow came along and scared away everyone else.

Male and female cardinals swarm around the safflower seeds. They really love them.

And there was a beautiful Yellow-bellied Sapsucker but he was too skittish for me to take a photo. Next time.

And then this happened.

Do you know what is going on here? I'll give you a hint - the birds didn't like it.

Look closely. See the sparks? Shooting BBs at the feeding birds is EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED in this household. But someone found a way around that with leftover firecrackers from New Year's Eve.


Don't understand the thrills. Still gotta love them.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Winter Yard Maintenance

One week ago today, snow covered the ground here in the South. Quite a feat for South Carolina. My son was happy, just like this all day.

But the good Old South. Today, we had a sunny 65 degrees, which got me wanting to actually venture outside long enough to do a little winter yard maintenance.

Like turn the compost bin.
I started a bin in the fall so we could re-use what we had been throwing away. And I have so many flower beds I am thinking this will be a more economical way to feed all my plants.

I've learned that I have to turn under the discarded vegetables on top, not just for composting sake but to keep them out of the hands of that pesky racoon that comes out at night. Two nights ago, I caught him hanging on one of the bird feeders with one hand, the other reaching for the bread crumbs my son had added to the seed.

I thought I was going to have a little help with the composting. After all, it's not just my project but my son's project too.

Or so I thought.

Oops. Caught!

Might as well keep going now.

But  back to composting.

I found this great composting bin at one of my favorite sites http://www.gardeners.com/.

It has individual slats so you can take off one or a few to easily get at the contents inside to turn them with a pitchfork. It makes the job very easy.

If you can keep a good ratio of materials - about 75% brown material such as leaves and 25% green material such as grass clippings and vegetable peelings - the results will be good, rich compost to add to your flower or garden beds in the spring.

Why not give it a try? There are much pricier and fancier bins, but this one does the trick beautifully.

Happy gardening,