Posts

Showing posts from November, 2013

Poultry - Kate Crowley

WINGIN’ IT By Kate Crowley Right now most everyone is thinking about turkeys; how big, fresh or frozen, brine soaked or traditionally stuffed and roasted.  But I am thinking about chickens.  Not that we are planning to have this smaller fowl for our Thanksgiving feast, but because I am thinking about eggs; locally produced, free range, and fed with non-GMO grains.  It just so happens, Minnesota is in the spotlight for just these sorts of eggs and chickens. A small company called Locally Laid (Lola) could bring national attention to our state and this type of animal husbandry on – believe it or not – the SuperBowl!  Maybe you have seen some of the ads and news stories about Lola and their efforts to win the contest which would result in an ad to be shown on the televised football game. 
But before I describe this effort let’s take a look at the bird (or birds) itself.  Today, the American Poultry Association (APA) recognizes 64 breeds of chicken, but looking at a variety of websites I sa…

Feeder Watch - Kate Crowley

WINGIN’ IT By Kate Crowley For many years we participated in Project FeederWatch, a program designed by a Canadian Bird Observatory and now associated with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  We have taken a sabbatical the past few years, but I decided it was time to renew our membership and once again be part of this great Citizen Science project that helps scientists understand more about the bird populations in North America during the winter months. Through data collected by FeederWatch volunteers scientists can begin to analyze the distribution and abundance of more than 100 bird species.  This is important information because it can provide an insight into the population of birds that can’t be found by any other available method.  Since 1976 in Canada and 1986 here in the U.S., data has been collected through the observations of local citizens.  This sort of long term data can show a decline in a particular species and once bird population scientists see this trend, they can evaluate…

November and the snapdragons are in bloom - Kate Crowley

GOING NATURE’S WAY By Kate Crowley November 2 and we still have phlox and snapdragon’s in bloom.  I can’t say I recall ever having flowers so late in the year.  It’s wonderful, but strange.  After a week of grey, drippy, damp weather, the sun came out on Saturday, lifted our spirits and put a spotlight on all the remaining leaves in the forest.  Our silver maple tree still has nearly all its leaves and there are a few aspens with an equal amount.  The oak trees are a rich maroon and they will hang onto many of their leaves well into the winter; just down the road a stand of tamarack have reached the peak of their golden glory. Even on the gray days their needles put out a glow, unequaled by any other tree.  Soon those needles will drop off and we’ll be left with their skeleton forms. We have been waiting for a day like this to complete the outdoor work that so many do in preparation for the coming winter.  For those of us who live in the country, that means putting the garden ‘to bed’ a…