ARTISTS AND BIRDS
by Marilyn and Keith Davis
My Honey and I enjoy evening drives around Washington County. We wait until about an hour and a half before the sun goes down to leave. This is a great time to go. It’s cooler, there’s less traffic, and the birds are out looking for that last snack before calling it a day. On our drives we found that there are some yards where birds are drawn to it like a magnet . . . and then, there are other yards where they stay away. For that magnetic magic appeal, follow the three steps. Step 1 - plant lots of trees. Step 2 - plant lots of shrubbery. Step 3 - have some type of water feature or bird bath in your yard. It’s simple, and it works every time.
Trees and shrubs provide protection along with a source of food. Favorite shrubs for attracting birds are Rosemary and Pyracantha. Rosemary has a wonderful scent, blooms constantly, and hides yummy spiders inside. Pyracantha bushes have beautiful white flowers in the spring and abundant red berries later in the year. What’s more, with their many thorns they can be used as a natural barrier for home security, and, if you have too many berries for the birds, they make great jam. Birds love cherries, raspberries, apricots, plums, etc. Of course you have to be willing to share the year’s crop. The sound and smell of water is a super attractant for any bird. Our bird bath in the front and our watering trough in the back attracts lots of big, small, and in-between birds. Some are passing through, and some staying a season. We landscaped our yard for horses with lots of pasture and some trees. Today we wish we had three times as many trees. I hope my neighbors don’t hear me when I walk past saying "I’d sure like to have that mature pecan tree in my yard."
Do some planning. You can never have too many trees. The shade is worth a million dollars when it’s hot. Get ready for fall and spring planting periods. In just a few years you too can have a magnetic yard.
Keith Davis is the artist this week. If you have questions about birds or attracting birds call 435 673-0996. For more information, or for a little "bird talk" call 435 673-0996. If you wish to read more of the Artists and Birds articles, they are listed below.