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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Inspired by . . . Life thru My Lens 7:52

This week has been all about counting birds and preparing for butterflies!

For those of you who enJOY birding, you were probably aware that this past weekend was the Great Backyard Bird Count. Others of you may have noticed an unusual number of people out-and-about looking up into trees and sky. 

This is no small event, with over 132K checklists submitted, and over 14M individual birds being counted - around the world. The count is over, but you can see the results, and some fabulous photographs, here.

This was my first year participating and I stayed, literally, in my backyard. My count was small, 10 species, 15 birds, and included all the usual suspects. I observed for just under an hour, before the wind chased me inside.

Goldfronted Woodpecker, Western Scrub Jay, Carolina Chickadee, Carolina Wren
Eastern Phoebe, Northern Cardinal, Lesser Goldfinch
Black-crested Titmouse, Northern Mockingbird, White-winged Dove

There has been a lot of talk lately about the declining number of bees and butterflies, due mainly to the use of pesticides. This is a concern for all of us, because pollinators make two out of every three bites of food we eat possible! If you enJOY gardening, even in pots, and want to learn how you can help, Monika's website, Texas Butterfly Ranch, has good information, and great resources.

If you live in Texas, you may have heard that San Antonio has been named the first Monarch Champion city in the country by the National Wildlife Federation. This status will bring a lot of opportunities for learning and will implement ways to help the monarchs as they migrate north through our area.

One of the ways I'm helping to "bring back the monarchs" is by incorporating a monarch waystation, or habitat, into my existing flower garden. 

It's difficult to find milkweed plants at our local nurseries (although I'm hoping that changes with our new Champion status), so I purchased a seed kit through Monarch Watch. This past week I started 150 seeds. The kit included three milkweed varieties, which are host plants for monarch larvae, and six nectar plants. I was delighted (and shocked!) to find that the Tithonia Torch {Mexican Sunflower} and the Zinnias are already sprouting!

Gardening is a lot of work, and I'm praying my back will tolerate it. It will all be worth it to encounter a beauty like this again!

What are you seeing
through your lens
this week?


Sharing inspiration here:
Nature Notes, Through My Lens, Little Things Thursdays,
Bird D’pot, Saturday’s Critters, Life thru the Lens, Wild Bird Wednesday,
Our World Tuesday, Community Global, Photo Friday

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If you read something here that inspired you, I’d love to hear about it. Please know I appreciate every comment! Thanks so much for stopping by! Blessings, June