• It's Summertime! Time to Clean Your Bird Feeders

    Carolina Wren watermark Lisa Patria 20201224Now that the summer rains are upon us, it is especially important to remember to properly maintain your bird feeders. Dirty/moldy feeders and bird baths can transmit disease, particularly salmonella. Salmonella from birds can also be spread to people and pets as well as other birds. It’s not just salmonella, either. Just last month a strange and frightening disease started affecting birds in Washington, D.C., Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, and other east-central US states, and federal agencies are urging residents NOT to feed any birds until more is known about the nature and causes of the affliction.

    There are many hints and videos online to show you how to clean your bird feeder. They all involve washing it with soapy water and soaking the feeder in bleach OR vinegar.

    (Read more...)

  • A Standing (Cypress) Ovation for Hummingbirds

    202107 Standing Cypress photo by Larry SmithImagine, you just landed your dream job, aced that final exam, or delivered an award-winning performance. Family and friends rush to their feet and give you the warmest standing ovation to show their support and admiration and you simply feel great. Now, remember that feeling and let’s head to your backyard. We’re about to make some hummingbirds feel just as great with a standing ovation of their own. All we need is a dazzling red wildflower.

    Standing cypress is a native biennial wildflower with bright red and yellow, ornate, tubular flowers that bloom downward on a thick spike. The first year, it produces a fern-like rosette and on the second, a flower spike. Although the standing cypress does have a two-year life cycle, through reseeding, it can remain in your garden for years. And it’s fairly easy even if your green thumb is still growing. Standing cypress also requires little water. However, when it does, it must be watered deeply, and the soil should be allowed to dry. It is sensitive to root rot if its soil doesn’t drain properly. It also thrives in both the full sun and minimally shaded areas. Now, the best part is that not only does it attract hummingbirds and butterflies, but the standing cypress is also deer and drought tolerant!

    Standing cypress is a great addition for your native pollinator garden, backyard and even rock gardens. It’s pretty accessible as well. You can find juvenile plants and seeds at your local plant and garden nurseries as well as online platforms like Etsy. With that, let’s get out there and give our nectar-loving, pollen-spreading feathered friends a standing (cypress) ovation.

    ~ Chris Conner, EDI and Volunteer Director

  • Upcoming Events

    Even though we're (mostly) on break this month, there are still some great community events and volunteer opportunities coming up in July:


    Lots to do in our area this month - have a great summer!