Hi River Roaders,
This month we are focusing on “Spiritual Activism for the Environment”, and we are asked how we can do one small thing to make a difference for the earth. For the last couple of years, the Grounds Committee’s one small thing has been to remove non-native, invasive plants from our grounds and plant native plants indigenous to Montgomery County. This is something we can all do on our properties and neighborhoods. Join the Grounds Committee to get some very hands-on experience with removing invasive non-natives and grow your understanding of our native plants.
Let’s take a look at what’s happening right now on our grounds with our native plants and birds.
It’s bluebell time! I was sitting and watching a patch of our bluebells and watched one of our early emerging native bees gather nectar.
Plant this, not that. A common approach to helping you understand natives is to take a common plant like forsythia, and then to provide a native plant with similar features. Our native spicebush has wonderful yellow flowers in early spring, and unlike the non-native forsythia, it is the host plant for the wonderful spicebush swallowtail butterfly. Plant this, not that.
Our wonderful stand of trout lilies on the left side of our entrance drive. This is the plant I mentioned in my Stewardship Campaign talk. It’s about a week away from bloom.
OK, not a plant or bird, but I love the material and craftsmanship of our new roof and gutters, especially when the copper glints in the sun. I don’t think most folks are aware that we added insulation over the Sanctuary roof, which effectively raised the roof about a foot. This was not one small thing. This was one big thing we did for the earth!
Our property is a local hot spot for birds, likely because of all of the native trees but also the springs. Here is a male northern flicker checking out one of the cavities in a maple tree in Springsview Garden.
The brown creeper is a winter visitor to our area, but is not that common to see. Here is one on the same maple tree in Springsview Garden.
A female pileated woodpecker in Springsview Garden.
I couldn’t resist sharing this photo of a robin on a moss-covered rock at the first pool in Springsview Garden. A favorite bathing site!
I’ll say so-long for this month, much like this red-tailed hawk saying so-long to me. I’m a big believer that the more we understand and spend time in nature, the more likely we are to protect it. It really can be Spiritual Activism.