Deb's Big Backyard http://www.lymanstreetproductions.com/apps/blog   Deb's Big Backyard en Fri, 14 Dec 2012 12:17:01 GMT Thu, 23 Nov 2017 00:05:54 GMT 60 It's cool to Grow Veggies in Containers Now http://www.lymanstreetproductions.com/apps/blog/its-cool-to-grow-veggies-in-containers <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="462" original-width="617" src="http://static.wixstatic.com/media/88a0e8_58c7b10889f90a413486297e367d9771.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 617px; height: 462px;"></div> <p> by Deb Quantock Mccarey</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> In March I spent a couple of weekends flieding edible gardening quesitons at two major&nbsp;&nbsp; gardening events, the Chicago Flower and Garden Show and the Macy's Flower Show "America the Beautiful, which runs through April 3rd if you haven''t caught t it yet.</p> <p> The most FAQ was regarding the fesibility of&nbsp; edible container gardening in a small backyard, or on a patio or deck.</p> <p> Of course, my response was a resounding yes, yes and yes, as that is mostly hat I do now..</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Year after year, e, the veggetables that work well for this gardening practice require less space to grow, e.g. particularly the dward or determinate varieties that bear fruits or other harvestable parts over a longer period of time, and require more than six hours a day -- tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, and eggplant ,</p> <p> Leafy vegetables such as lettuce, cabbage, collards, mustard greens, spinach, and parsley can tolerate more shady location or partial shade, chich means three to six hours of morning or early afternoon sunlight a day.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> As an experiment, this year I amplanning to grow all cool-weather root crops -- turnips, beets, radishes, carrots, and onions -- in grow bags,&nbsp; as well as my re-purposed wash basin.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> Sun, 20 Nov 2016 17:47:53 GMT 3e07ddc0-6aeb-4fdd-92a1-af5cf2d8b367 Digging Into Urban Nature At Columbus Park http://www.lymanstreetproductions.com/apps/blog/digging-into-urban-nature-at-columbus-park <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> video/photos by Kevin J. McCarey</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> by Deb Quantock McCarey</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> In the early AMs, for several months now,&nbsp; Kevin and I have been heading into the natural beauty that is our nearby touch of urban nature:&nbsp; Columbus Park in Chicago.&nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> With virtually no reruns, It's our own&nbsp; Nat Geo station, unplugged,&nbsp; AND&nbsp; a&nbsp; compilation of beauty shots that is&nbsp; our latest DBB nature short, "Digging into Urban Nature at Columbus Park."</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <iframe allowfullscreen frameborder="0" height="345px" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/o2K78Bgz_YI?wmode=opaque" width="420"></iframe></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> Sun, 20 Nov 2016 17:47:16 GMT 9ece111e-e91f-4edc-98d9-e4731dbec249 Behind the Scenes: 5 Cool Things You May Not Know About Lurie Garden. http://www.lymanstreetproductions.com/apps/blog/behind-the-scenes-5-cool-things-you <p> video by Kevin J. McCarey</p> <p> by Deb Quantock McCarey</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="462" original-width="617" src="http://static.wixstatic.com/media/88a0e8_a27010811d73476cb3c37c3caafba53e.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px; width: 617px; height: 462px;"></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> When I took an end-of-the-season inventory of my native specimen garden, it was a trip down memory lane, as most of the plant materials I have installed there were inspired by little road trips to my favorite public gardens for strategic look-sees at who is planting what, when and where.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); display: inline !important; float: none;">Walking through Morton Arboretum's&nbsp;</span><u><a href="http://www.mortonarb.org/news/perfect-prairie-no-pioneer"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); display: inline !important; float: none;">Schulenberg Prairie</span></a></u><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); display: inline !important; float: none;">&nbsp;got me growing everything from oxeye sunflowers and joe pye weed to stiff golden rod, and compass plants in my front and backyard wildlife gardens.</span></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> I was first introduced to the winsome sway of grey-bearded cone flowers and swamp milkweed as we strolled the&nbsp;<u><a href="http://www.lpzoo.org/exhibit/nature-boardwalk">Nature Boardwalk</a></u> of Lincoln Park Zoo, and get this: &nbsp;A host of my Illinois wild flowers selections trace back to the countless trips I have made to the educational&nbsp;<u><a href="https://www.czs.org/Centers-of-Excellence/Center-for-Conservation-Leadership/Communities-Nature/Pollinators">Butterfly Garden</a></u>&nbsp;at Brookfield Zoo.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> But, probably my biggest what-to-plant-now-and-next influencer has been the four season landscaping of Millennium Park's <u><a href="http://www.luriegarden.org/plant-life/plants-by-season/">Lurie Garden</a></u>. That is where I became bedazzled by bluestar in the Spring, passionate over purple prairie clover one Summer, pleased with pale coneflower that Fall, plus bound to beautiful browns every Winter.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> In late September when Lurie Garden's Director Scott Stewart (the former manager of the Oak Park Conservatory and a current resident of Oak Park) agreed to take me on a behind-the-scenes tour of what most people do not see as they stroll the&nbsp; walkways, we did not hesitate to dig right in to get all the dirt behind what makes this gorgeous garden go ...including finding out where Head Horticulturist Laura Ekasetya helps tend to Lurie's&nbsp;<u><a href="http://www.luriegarden.org/2016/10/14/appreciate-honeys-variety/">bees</a></u>.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> What?&nbsp; Who knew they kept hives here, too?&nbsp; Well, belated spoiler alert: &nbsp;Now you do.&nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <iframe allowfullscreen frameborder="0" height="345px" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/2ZNS20uSJqY?wmode=opaque" width="420"></iframe></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> Tue, 25 Oct 2016 01:47:34 GMT 83da6558-a768-498b-9d2a-47cc7a8555ee Growing Roses Made Easier http://www.lymanstreetproductions.com/apps/blog/roses-rule-at-chicago-flower-and-garden <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="411" original-width="618" src="http://static.wixstatic.com/media/88a0e8_d5da61e253c24a99a8f26b2fc15de12d.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px; width: 618px; height: 411px;"></div> <div content-type="media-description" style="width:100%"> <p> Double Knockout Rose, courtesy Susan Fox</p> <p> Video by Kevin J. McCarey</p> <p> by Deb Quantock McCarey</p> </div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Growing up, my Dad grew roses along the side of the house.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> White, yellow, red and pink.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> As I write this now, I can still smell those roses and remember how my Dad cared for them.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Some 50 years later, now in my edible garden I grow a climbing rose vine up a trellis on the side of my garage for its beauty, fragrance, and, of course, to attract pollinators.&nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> A local birding naturalist told me that the vine's rose hips attract Northern Cardinals in winter.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> And, they do.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> From the <u><a href="http://www.rose.org/growing-roses-can-be-easy/">American Rose Society,</a></u> here is more.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Over the weekend, I did a stint as a University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener volunteer, where I sat at an Information booth and answered all sorts of gardening questions.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="463" original-width="618" src="http://static.wixstatic.com/media/88a0e8_d79cde01056249dfbcd601ce3ee40751.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px; width: 618px; height: 463px;"></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Directly behind me was the show's gorgeous rose garden installation.&nbsp; Hanging around in it were two rose enthusiasts, <u><a href="http://flowershowproductions.com/">Tony Abruscato</a></u>, Director, Chicago Flower and Garden Show and <u><a href="http://www.gagasgarden.com/susanfox/">Susan Fox</a></u>, a consulting Rosarian (a person with expertise or a special interest in the cultivation of roses).</p> <p> Susan told me that "85 percent of people say roses are their favorite flower and they want them in their garden. &nbsp;But there is this idea they might be a little more difficult to take care of. &nbsp;But that is just a wives tale." &nbsp;Susan said. &nbsp;"They are easy care and these roses are more disease free, and are prolific bloomers. &nbsp;Gardeners can put these roses in their gardens and have great success."</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Happily, Tony plucked some time out of his busy Show schedule to talk about the trends in rose growing with me.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <u><a href="http://chicagoflower.com/">The Chicago flower and Garden show</a></u>&nbsp;runs through Sunday, March 20, so there is still time to establish your rite of Spring... as I do year after year.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> I always thought I could not grow roses in my small, urban backyard.&nbsp; Now I know that absolutely everyone can.</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <iframe allowfullscreen frameborder="0" height="345px" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/4h1aoqL12A8?wmode=opaque" width="420"></iframe></div> <div content-type="media-description" style="width:100%"> <p> Everything is coming up roses for Deb at Chicago Flower and Garden Show at Navy Pier through March 20, 2016.</p> </div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> Mon, 14 Mar 2016 15:13:24 GMT 41d46113-4eb6-47ca-83ef-c02d945f47ca Luring Beneficial Bugs to your Garden w/Pretty Pollen & Nectar Producing Plants http://www.lymanstreetproductions.com/apps/blog/gardening-for-beneficial-iinsects <p class="MsoNormal"> &nbsp;</p> <div style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="346" original-width="618" src="http://static.wixstatic.com/media/88a0e8_eab6066aa38743d8a7366b3757fe00bd.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px; width: 618px; height: 346px;"> </div> <p> &nbsp;</p> </div> <p class="MsoNormal"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> video/photos by Kevin J. McCarey</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> by Deb Quantock McCarey</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> Well, in a public education setting I do like handling snakes, but in my garden I still get a little jumpy when I encounter a spider of any size.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> Actually, I usually let out an eek.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> Just do.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> I am working on my so-called "fear factor" because those predatory, eight legged arachnids, plus a slew of other creepy crawlies, including millipedes, centipedes, earthworms, hover flies, ladybugs and yes, parasitic mini- wasps, are known as beneficials.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> Because, in the garden, and other natural habitats everywhere beneficials are doing their job.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> Hornworm caterpillar may look comfy resting on your tomato vine.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> &nbsp;</p> <div style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img src="http://static.wixstatic.com/media/88a0e8_98e803358049476b86e75fbed08b8221.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 617px; height: 328px;"></div> <p class="MsoNormal"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> But if you have lured in its natural enemy, the parasitic mini wasp, it will become dinner for that beneficials babies, as they hatch eggs inside the caterpillar and eventually eat their way out.&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> &nbsp;</p> <div style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img src="http://static.wixstatic.com/media/88a0e8_373304a18e4a47ad8c694530719b7847.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 617px; height: 462px;"></div> <p class="MsoNormal"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> When one decides to discard the use of pesticides, to pursue the option of attracting beneficial insects to the garden with specific families of pollen and nectar-producing flowers and herbs to manage pest problems, some call the gardening practice <u><a href="http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/pest-control/plants-to-attract-beneficial-insects-zl0z1005zvau.aspx">organic pest control</a>.</u></p> <p class="MsoNormal"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> Growing the populations of this community of <u><a href="http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/QT/beneficialpredatorscard.html">"good guys</a></u>", in my recent experience, will naturally stave off the pests (e.g. mites, hornworms and cabbage worms, aphids and so on) whose dining habits tend to destroy crops, and most likely a gardening season.</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> &nbsp;</div> <p class="MsoNormal"> Bugs in the garden can be pretty big, and really small, but recently, thanks to the Friends of the Oak Park Conservatory's (FOPCON) annual KidFest event at the Oak Park Conservatory, I learned a lot more about some REALLY BIG ones that compose the University of Illinois Extension's Master Gardener traveling Insect Petting Zoo.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> It is available for events such as this one, and visits to schools. &nbsp;The next stop for The Rose Hair Tarantula, PRETTY BIG Centipede and Millipede, plus THE Bess Beetle, Madagascar Hissing Cockroach and vermicomposting red wiggler worms will be at the&nbsp;<u><a href="http://chicagoflower.com/faq/">Chicago Flower and Garden Show</a></u>, March 12-20 in the Kid's Pavilion, says Sarah Batka, Program Coordinator, Horticulture, University of Illinois Extension.&nbsp; As always it will be manned by Master Gardener volunteers who won't skimp on the bug "feels" and factoid,.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> But back to KidsFest, on a break from the bug fun, Patti Staley, Director of Horticulture and Conservatory&nbsp; Operations, told me that in the&nbsp;<u><a href="http://www.pdop.org/elsie-jacobsen-discovery-garden-is-now-open/">Elsie Jacobsen Discovery Garden</a></u>, and especially in our own gardens, "We have a lot of beneficials here. &nbsp;Really, it's free entertainment in your own backyard. &nbsp;From the Aphids that are eating our plants to the Lady Beetles that come along and are eating the Aphids, to the birds that are swooping in and eating that Ladybug. &nbsp;We have that going on in our yards. &nbsp;People just don't stop to smell the flowers and look at the bugs and see what's happening."</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> Here's another resource with&nbsp;<a href="http://permaculturenews.org/2014/10/04/plants-attract-beneficial-insects/">info, through the lens of</a><u><a href="http://permaculturenews.org/2014/10/04/plants-attract-beneficial-insects/"> permaculture.</a></u></p> <p class="MsoNormal"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> BTW, Patti added that many of those plants could be purchased at FOPCON's annual <u><a href="http://fopcon.org/w/events-and-things-to-do/annual-events/">plant sale</a>,&nbsp;at the end of April.</u></p> <p class="MsoNormal"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> Full disclosure time: &nbsp;I did handle every critter I was handed.&nbsp; Did I let out an eek? &nbsp;Go ahead, watch our latest video, Deb's Big Backyard: &nbsp;Insect Petting Zoo at KidsFest 2016 and find out.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <iframe allowfullscreen frameborder="0" height="345px" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/a0SrIhDDV9k?wmode=opaque" width="420"></iframe> </div> <p> &nbsp;</p> </div> <p> &nbsp;</p> Fri, 11 Mar 2016 18:05:31 GMT e081aa40-215b-43b7-a2d8-e04ef418cd4f Check Out West Cook Wild Ones' NEW! Hyper-Local Butterfly Gardneing Guide http://www.lymanstreetproductions.com/apps/blog/check-out-this-new-online-local-butterfly <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> photos by Kevin J. McCarey</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> by Deb Quantock McCarey</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> The time to plan your 2016&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nwf.org/~/media/PDFs/Garden-for-Wildlife/Certified-Wildlife-Habitat/Attracting%20butterflies_1-13_sm.ashx">butterfly garden</a> is now.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> I am.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Especially last year, with my inclusion of more native plants in my edible gardens and landscape, I strategically upped the quotient of backyard bliss by adding in host and nectar plants to attract more butterflies, birds and beneficial insects.&nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> I planted Common Milkweed and Swamp Milkweed, the host plants for Monarchs, and they came in droves.</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="350" original-width="618" src="http://static.wixstatic.com/media/88a0e8_fedcd7cb1d0948d7b50b9e4e243e6b02.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px; width: 618px; height: 350px;"></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Tiger Swallowtail seemed to like sipping the nectar of my Bee Balm, <span><span style="color:#141823;background:#F6F7F8">Monarda fistulosa, but, as with the female Black Swallowtail, it hatched from an egg and grew as a caterpillar munching on a few herbs (host plants) I planted in a container garden.</span></span></p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="463" original-width="618" src="http://static.wixstatic.com/media/88a0e8_b855e7a5352444a8966bd3c0f8176505.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px; width: 618px; height: 463px;"></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="463" original-width="618" src="http://static.wixstatic.com/media/88a0e8_866e00e3df16483ea765de967c72f887.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px; width: 618px; height: 463px;"></div> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="586" original-width="617" src="http://static.wixstatic.com/media/88a0e8_754e672b7b7447cd926832f708d4711b.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 617px; height: 586px;"></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Meanwhile, over the summer with my little eye I spied a pretty Painted Lady.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="432" original-width="618" src="http://static.wixstatic.com/media/88a0e8_54ff94e8a842400a88968503d5faf21b.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px; width: 618px; height: 432px;"></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> And, a flurry of Question Marks were also drawn here, likely by their love of the leaves of a nearby Elm tree.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="362" original-width="618" src="http://static.wixstatic.com/media/88a0e8_906a65b40461461190837ac6122d30f3.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px; width: 618px; height: 362px;"></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> To confirm my sightings, as is my practice, I circled back to confer with West Cook Wild Ones' Stephanie Walquist, a butterfly gardening enthusiast and educator who is a lead player in the development of the group's resolve to continue moving forward with its&nbsp;<em><span style="font-family:Times"><a href="http://westcook.wildones.org/wildlife-corridor/">Living Landscape Project</a>, </span></em><em><span style="font-family:Times;font-style:normal;mso-bidi-font-style:italic">the creation of a wildlife corridor they are pushing forward with</span></em><em><span style="font-family:Times"> </span></em>partners.</p> <p> Their project was one of the six finalists in the Oak Park and River Forest Community Foundation's "What's the Big Idea?" pitch party last month.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Stephanie and her group have been digging in to a lot of community education initiatives recently, and one of the fruits of this volunteer-driven organization's labors is the recently completed online resource, <a href="http://westcook.wildones.org/butterflygardening/">The </a><u><a href="http://westcook.wildones.org/butterflygardening/">Ultimate and Local Guide to Butterfly Gardening in the Chicago Region.</a></u></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> With that info in hand, and with the Wild Ones' 2016&nbsp;<a href="http://westcook.wildones.org/">Native Plant Sale</a>&nbsp;coming soon, being a butterfly gardener just got easier.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> Sun, 06 Mar 2016 00:10:27 GMT 7e7bd677-0323-422d-9923-570b57541084 Winter Birding Basics with Eric Gyllenhaal http://www.lymanstreetproductions.com/apps/blog/birding-basics-in-winter-w-eric-gyllenhaal <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img alt="Downy Woodpercker at Deb's suet feeder" original-height="462" original-width="617" src="http://static.wixstatic.com/media/88a0e8_1f7ab6e074be4e8bb114d3dac9a6ed2d.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 617px; height: 462px;"> </div> </div> <p> Downy Woodpecker attracted to Deb's out-the-window Suet Feeder.&nbsp; Photo by Kevin J. McCarey</p> <p> video by Kevin J. McCarey</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Deb Quantock McCarey</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Last year about NOW is when I changed up my urban "farming" practices to focus on gardening for food and wildlife&nbsp; --&nbsp; butterflies, native bees, beneficial insects, and especially in winter, backyard BIRDS!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Initially, my interest in doing this was sparked by meeting Eric Gyllenhaal, the local Naturalist who is currently a science/nature educator at <u><a href="http://www.wonder-works.org/learn/science.html">Wonder Works, A Children's Museum</a></u> in Oak Park.&nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> It was in his teenage years when Eric says his interest in birding started by seeing a Cooper's Hawk at his family's bird feeder.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Since then, he has become an avid birder, and participates in <u><a href="https://www.audubon.org/section/citizen-science">citizen scientist</a></u> programming to assist in monitoring the dynamics of neighborhood birds by keeping a running count of them in Oak Park, as well as&nbsp; several public parks in Chicago.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> He likes to pitch in with these two birding groups <u><a href="http://ebird.org/content/ebird/">e-Bird</a></u> and <u><a href="http://feederwatch.org/">Project Feeder Watch</a></u>, he says.&nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Around here, many birding enthusiasts probably recall how in 2011 Eric, and his two teenage sons, Ethan and Aaron discovered <u><a href="http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/11-22-2011/A-rare-hummingbird-visits-Oak-Park/">a rare hummingbird in Oak Park</a></u>.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> The next spring, as a features reporter for the <u><a href="http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/5-15-2012/The-eagle_eyed-Gyllenhaals-of-Oak-Park-are-making-a-name-for-themselves-in-the-birding-community/">Wednesday Journa</a></u>l, I was assigned to spend a late afternoon counting birds with Eric and his sons in the "tucked away" butterfly and bird sanctuary surrounding the lagoon in Chicago's Columbus Park.&nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> I got another heads up about the doings of Eric and his birding boys in 2013 when his younger son Aaron, made <u><a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-10-15/news/ct-met-oak-park-bird-record-20131016_1_bird-species-record-number-illinois-ornithological-society">a big media splash</a></u> when at age 16 he counted 276 species of birds -- a top flight accomplishment in the world of birding.&nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> So, at the height of Fall migration, 2014, I went "hummingbird-ing"&nbsp; with Eric, and blogged about how he attracts hummingbirds and other species to his backyard.&nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Now, as a beginner backyard birder, I was feeling that what I was doing could be fun for others, and of course,&nbsp; "tweetable," since into my yard have come <u><a href="https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Northern_Cardinal/id">American Cardinals</a></u>, <u><a href="https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Downy_Woodpecker/id/">Downy Woodpeckers</a></u>, <u><a href="https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Black-capped_Chickadee/id">Black-Capped Chickadees</a></u>, <u><a href="https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/House_Finch/lifehistory">House Finches</a></u>, <u><a href="https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Dark-eyed_Junco/id">Dark-Eyed Juncos</a></u>, <u><a href="https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Mourning_Dove/id">Mourning Doves</a></u>, and <u><a href="https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Blue_Jay/id">Blue Jays</a></u>, plus several varieties of sparrows, including this <u><a href="https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_Tree_Sparrow/id">one</a></u>, just in time for me -- AND YOU -- to join in the National Audubon Society's (and <a href="http://www.birds.cornell.edu/">Cornell Lab of Ornothology's 2016 Great Backyard Bird Count</a> February 12-15).</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> The organizers say:&nbsp; GBBC is a free, fun and easy online event that engages bird enthusiasts of all ages in counting birds to create a data-driven, real-time snapshot of bird populations.&nbsp; During GBBC, you can count the birds in your backyard for as little as 15 minutes (or as long as you wish) on one or more days of the four day event, then report your sightings <u><a href="http://www.birdcount.org/">here</a></u>.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> My biggest concern was how in the heck does one count birds in their backyard without duplication?&nbsp; Well, to figure that all out, in mid-January I invited Eric to assess my backyard birding strategies, and, of course he did, and then some.&nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> &nbsp;</div> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <iframe allowfullscreen frameborder="0" height="345px" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Ny3ngxkFs8I?wmode=opaque" width="420"></iframe></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> Fri, 22 Jan 2016 17:09:13 GMT 09e77af4-9ae3-4c5c-891c-851459974219 DBB's Top 10 Nature Videos of 2015 http://www.lymanstreetproductions.com/apps/blog/dbbs-top-10-nature-video-shorts-for <div style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="373" original-width="617" src="http://static.wixstatic.com/media/88a0e8_be71dbeab4b54501b28109138e1a384e.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 617px; height: 373px;"> </div> <p> &nbsp;</p> </div> <p> photos/video by Kevin J. McCarey</p> <p> by Deb Quantock McCarey</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Okay, it's a bit last minute, but the clicks have been counted.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Hundreds and hundreds of them.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Thanks to you!</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Just 'cuz it IS the right thing to do as 2015 winds down, here's another chance to click them before the ball falls, and the New Years horns sound.&nbsp; They are all "shorts", and in a few minutes, from local experts you'll take away everything from advice on how to garden for birds, bees and butterflies, as well as learn the ins and outs of installing a green roof and building a DIY no-fuss cold frame.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> And away we go...</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> 1.&nbsp; Gardening for All Ages and Abilities with Sugar Beet Schoolhouse's Cheryl Munoz and Hephzibah Children's Association's Mary Anne Brown.</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <iframe allowfullscreen frameborder="0" height="345px" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/q1bdRLsq2oQ?wmode=opaque" width="420"></iframe></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> 2.&nbsp; Tapping Maple Trees with Artist Margot McMahon and Urban Gardener Catherine Murphy.</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <iframe allowfullscreen frameborder="0" height="345px" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/-47cj63Ff2s?wmode=opaque" width="420"></iframe></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> 3.&nbsp; Building a No-Fuss Cold Frame with community gardener Seamus Ford.</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <iframe allowfullscreen frameborder="0" height="345px" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/puZA77SD3FI?wmode=opaque" width="420"></iframe></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> 4.&nbsp; Doing a Residential Prescribed Prairie Burn with conservationist Doug Chien.</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <iframe allowfullscreen frameborder="0" height="345px" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/YM9ip-MHuu0?wmode=opaque" width="420"></iframe></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> 5.&nbsp; Three Sisters Plantings with permaculturist Jamine Blesoff.</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <iframe allowfullscreen frameborder="0" height="345px" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/D2p9k6Mqb48?wmode=opaque" width="420"></iframe></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> 6.&nbsp; Growing Green Roofs in Oak Park with folks who have done it.</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <iframe allowfullscreen frameborder="0" height="345px" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/TBlw_ew2RjY?wmode=opaque" width="420"></iframe></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> 7.&nbsp; Counting All Birds with urban Gardener Deb Quantock McCarey.</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <iframe allowfullscreen frameborder="0" height="345px" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/8PPXVfDOHoo?wmode=opaque" width="420"></iframe></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> 8.&nbsp; 8 Tastes of the Sugar Beet Co-op's Edible Garden Tour 2015 with co-founder Cheryl Munoz.</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <iframe allowfullscreen frameborder="0" height="345px" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/0c3mwwkUywU?wmode=opaque" width="420"></iframe></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> 9.&nbsp;&nbsp; Gardening for Native Bees with Backyard ecologist Adrian Fishher</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <iframe allowfullscreen frameborder="0" height="345px" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/GwXWIJKNmuc?wmode=opaque" width="420"></iframe></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> 10.&nbsp; Three Cheers for Local Beers AND Sustainable living with Seven Generations Ahead's Gary Cuneen.</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <iframe allowfullscreen frameborder="0" height="345px" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/XO_f0sSfuPU?wmode=opaque" width="420"></iframe></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> See you in the green in 2016.&nbsp; Happy New Year!</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> &nbsp;</div> <p> &nbsp;</p> Wed, 30 Dec 2015 13:51:35 GMT 82f26cb2-3adf-419a-9552-b8ec99471255 Join in The 116th Christmas Bird Count! http://www.lymanstreetproductions.com/apps/blog/join-the-christmas-bi8rd-count <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="320" original-width="568" src="http://static.wixstatic.com/media/88a0e8_9418c41ab5094a399ab43aab7cb3952e.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 568px; height: 320px;"> </div> <p> &nbsp;</p> </div> </div> <p> One...two...three...twelve.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> I have become a counting bird nerd.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Most mornings I pay attention to the ebb and flow of birds in my backyard and our neighborhood. &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> It's my call to action in beginning to understand how climate change is <u><a href="http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/aboutcc/problems/impacts/species/cc_and_birds/">impacting birds species</a></u> and the planet.&nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> In my garden, and feeding stations, there's always a crowd of Sparrows eating everything, sometimes joined by a Cardinal, with or without his mate, thanks to the Safflower seeds in the platform feeder, as well as the rose hips on the back-of-the-yard trellis.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="347" original-width="617" src="http://static.wixstatic.com/media/88a0e8_d456409874154df682d74be7decbf929.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 617px; height: 347px;"></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Most days the diversity builds to include Starlings, Mourning Doves, a Blue Jay, and our eagle eyes have seen a flighty pair of Black Capped Chickadees, who do NOT hang out long to chit, or chat.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> But its <u><a href="https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Black-capped_Chickadee/id?gclid=CjwKEAiAkb-zBRC2upezwuyguQ4SJADZG08vi6Jh6mxTiWptlGASL7wK0zFlog2tgCD2RqyusSAkXBoCaJvw_wcB">bird song</a></u> is distinctive and cheery.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> We also count on seeing/hearing migratory birds (we surmise) that perch on our telephone wires, being ebullient in the morning sun.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="346" original-width="617" src="http://static.wixstatic.com/media/88a0e8_11d4f917aedd4b198c2d78ece4bdad04.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 617px; height: 346px;"></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Seeing and hearing this cacophony of chatter is my joy of <u><a href="http://www.birds.cornell.edu/AllAboutBirds/notes/BirdNote13_Gardening.pdf">gardening for birds</a></u>, and <u><a href="http://blog.nwf.org/2011/05/a-beginner%E2%80%99s-guide-to-backyard-bird-feeding/">feeding them</a></u> intentionally augments a wildlife habitat where pollinators cluster and roam.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <iframe allowfullscreen frameborder="0" height="345px" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/8PPXVfDOHoo?wmode=opaque" width="420"></iframe></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> I also like to go into nature to go nose to beak, so to speak:&nbsp; On Saturday, December 19, I am planning to grab my binoculars and&nbsp;join other bird enthusiasts (all volunteers) for the&nbsp;National <u><a href="https://www.audubon.org/content/join-christmas-bird-count">Audubon Society's 116th Christmas Bird Count</a></u> (CBC) around here.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> There are lots of locations in Illinois and nationwide. CBC is a long-standing FUN &amp; FREE program that is looking for volunteers to participate in its early-winter bird census, December 14 through January 5.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> I checked <u><a href="http://netapp.audubon.org/cbc/public">here for the hows and whys</a></u>, and navigated this virtual <u><a href="http://audubon.maps.arcgis.com/apps/PublicInformation/index.html?appid=e67e3b8ea8e0434d81128d76b8aa0d3d">map view of the forming volunteer counting circles locations</a></u> to find an event somewhat near me.&nbsp; But do follow their links to give the contact the heads up you are coming.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> There are lots of dates and locations from which to choose.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> So that is why I am considering grabbing my binoculars and taking a road trip to McHenry County on Saturday, December 19, where from 8 am to 5 pm anyone can join in this leg of the Audubon's event.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> The go-to bird guy, who they are calling a "compiler" is <a href="mailto:robgough@att.net">Rob Gough</a> of the <a href="http://www.mchenryaudubon.org/events/upcoming/">McHenry County Audubon Society.</a></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> The aim is for the bird counters to drive, walk or sit and watch feeders in a designated 15-mile (24-km) diameter circle, counting every bird they see that day.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Also, the&nbsp;good news is that, if you are a beginning birder, like me, you can join a group that includes at least one experienced birdwatcher.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto"> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="345" original-width="617" src="http://static.wixstatic.com/media/88a0e8_bf8c6ac8cadd4ed2932a70ce8840e2a6.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 617px; height: 345px;"></div> <p class="MsoNormal"> <span style="mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;;mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto"> So, overall I do plan to keep count of the ebb and flow of my backyard birds in perpetuity, and as a citizen scientist, check out the details of the <em>G</em><span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Times;mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;"><em>reat Backyard Bird Count</em> (GBBC) over President's Day weekend in February.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto"> &nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto"> <span style="font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Times;mso-bidi-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;">Again, the idea is for us to count the birds each day in our backyard/community and then enter the results online.&nbsp; For more, link to <a href="http://audubon.org/conservation/science"><span style="color:blue">Audubon </span></a><a href="http://nasprod.audubon.org/content/about-great-backyard-bird-count"><span style="color:blue">GBBC</span></a>.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto"> &nbsp;</p> <p> Very soon, in the light of the <u><a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2015/12/15/this-months-full-moon-falls-on-christmas-for-the-first-time-in-27-years/">historic 2015 Christmas full moon</a></u>, I know I can count on seeing those three wise sparrows who have been pecking through the safflower seeds meant for the others.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> No worries, though.&nbsp; They always leave me a few parting gifts on the porch railings... and it's NOT frankincense, gold or myrrh.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-top:0in;margin-right:0in;margin-bottom:19.15pt;margin-left:0in"> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <div style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img src="http://static.wixstatic.com/media/88a0e8_abf81693c63c4f9595085aa59397d55f.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 617px; height: 293px;"> </div> </div> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> &nbsp;</div> <p class="MsoNormal"> &nbsp;</p> Wed, 16 Dec 2015 14:16:18 GMT f2c18854-84e2-494c-959a-be9c85e45d26 7 Ways to Light Up Your Holidays http://www.lymanstreetproductions.com/apps/blog/light-up-grow-this-holiday-season <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="462" original-width="617" src="http://static.wixstatic.com/media/88a0e8_24590adeba344bbab9b3b0972ba5a6a3.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 617px; height: 462px;"></div> <p> photos and video by Kevin J. McCarey</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> by Deb Quantock McCarey</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> By the first weekend of December, my Christmas Cactus was blooming again.&nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="822" original-width="617" src="http://static.wixstatic.com/media/88a0e8_0ea18e9bc4894869aa7cbab6a1ed6643.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 617px; height: 822px;"></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> I dug into that topic in a previous blog, and now rather than dig any deeper into the history and mysteries of this <u><a href="http://www.oakpark.com/Community/Blogs/11-19-2014/Holiday-Cacti-are-Pretty-in-Pink/">pretty pink plant</a></u>, here are seven sure-fire ways to green up your spirits indoors and outside with a few urban and suburban area holiday light show events.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Okay, pencils down....</p> <p> <strong>TO-DO, #1:&nbsp; </strong>I am continuing to garden in-and-out-of doors utilizing two <u><a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Simple-Indoor-Herb-Garden-With-Adjustable-Grow-Lig/">DIY gardening ideas:</a></u>&nbsp; In my kitchen garden window where light is limited (ugh), with the assist of adjustable grow lights, my culinary herbs that were outside, have been successfully transplanted into containers, and are flourishing in an alternative light set-up.&nbsp; This combination of some sun, with the consistency of grow lights, for me is a proven winner.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> In my edible garden is my DIY cold frame, where my greens, lettuces and kale, are ready to pick and eat, in spite of the snow and cold temps.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="462" original-width="617" src="http://static.wixstatic.com/media/88a0e8_09d452fe7ff44df7bdd907ada2732a98.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 617px; height: 462px;"></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> TO-DOS, 2-7:&nbsp; Through December, of course, to celebrate the season, around here are these five magnificent light shows, most of which I have already seen:&nbsp; Morton Arboretum (<a href="http://www.mortonarb.org/files/15EXH_Illumination_Event_Program.pdf">Illumination</a>) Lincoln Park Zoo (<u><a href="http://www.lpzoo.org/events/calendar/zoolights">ZooLights</a></u>), Brookfield Zoo <a href="https://www.czs.org/magic">(Holiday Magic</a> ), Chicago Botanic Garden (<a href="http://www.chicagobotanic.org/wonderland">Wonderland Express</a>) and Garfield Park Conservatory (<a href="http://www.garfieldconservatory.org/solarise-a-sea-of-all-colors.html"><u>Solaris:&nbsp; A sea of all Colors</u></a>).&nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <iframe allowfullscreen frameborder="0" height="345px" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/tfFDeJdoQY0?wmode=opaque" width="420"></iframe></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <u><a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/millennium_park.html">Millennium Park</a></u>, where the annual Chicago Christmas tree has landed, is steps from the four season wonder of <u><a href="http://www.luriegarden.org/blog/grateful-natures-autumn-nourishment">Lurie Garden</a></u>.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> There, Spring through Fall, is the bliss of blooming native plants framed by stunning architecture.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="462" original-width="617" src="http://static.wixstatic.com/media/88a0e8_48ab703bcd644e07a0992f6169586601.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 617px; height: 462px;"></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Then, comes the season of brown.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <div content-type="media" style="width:100%;margin-top:10px;margin-bottom:10px"> <img original-height="387" original-width="617" src="http://static.wixstatic.com/media/88a0e8_8b6e9953b4b9484ab6afe2df94a76325.jpg" style="display: inline; border: 0px none; width: 617px; height: 387px;"></div> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> On a recent visit I heard bird calls through the rustling of its tall grasses and still standing tall flower seed heads, which are a smorgasbord of peck-and-eats for the <u><a href="http://www.habitatproject.org/CMBA/webdocs/CDE_birdsofthewindycity.pdf">birds of the Windy City.</a></u></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> Thu, 03 Dec 2015 15:39:26 GMT 1aa61eca-89a9-4e28-8200-715a60646032