In my family, we love mice so much that I had to say no when my husband and daughter wanted a snake. We had it in the house for two nights and I couldn't stand the idea of feeding it mice--or worse, rabbits, when it got older. We've had many mice pets! I understand they have to eat them, but I won't buy them as food. Luckily the breeder was happy to have the snake returned.
We all want more honeybees, whether for our personal gardens or the fate of society in general, so any news about protecting bees is always helpful. But what about bee language? While it doesn't seem like being able to "speak bee" would be all that helpful in preserving bee populations, there are actual benefits to decoding "bee dances" in order to understand how they communicate.
We all want to help the bees, if not to save them, then to preserve our own species in the process. Other than banning pesticides, protecting wildlife areas and holding our officials accountable, how can we help them right in our own backyards?
The City Nature Challenge is taking place April 27-30 in over 60 cities across the nation. The goal? To see which city can record the most observations of nature in a weekend--and to get people outside, taking photos and exploring nature where they live. First, log on to find the closest participating city near you.
"Wait ar minute!" I can already hear you saying, looking at the photo. "Rabbits destroy my garden!"
Yes, but they can also help it thrive! Did you know that rabbit droppings are some of the best fertilizers you can use in your garden? No, you don't have to open up your garden to all of the wild bunnies, but you can get a couple of rabbits (same sex to prevent mating!) to keep as pets. You can either put their enclosures above your garden to help droppings fall right into it, or you can just scoop it up and toss it in to use. Pretty awesome, right?
A few years ago, any mention of Siegfried and Roy might have triggered an angry reaction rather than praise, given the whole tiger situation, but now their Secret Garden attraction is being hailed as a sanctuary for animals. The garden and habitat at The Mirage has recently been awarded the gold standard of animal welfare from American Humane.
There is a great program from the National Wildlife Federation that allows you to recognize your beautiful landscape and garden work as the habitat that it is. If you have worked hard on creating a natural habitat with food, water, shelter and a place to raise young for wildlife, this is the program for you.
Since we are working toward a sustainable lifestyle, cheap eggs aren't our only motivation. We're limited to five birds on our property, though, and we aren't interested in culling a flock every few years. After much research and visiting with other backyard poultry aficionados, we decided against chickens. The short laying life, health issues, winter issues and sometimes viciousness of the birds just didn't fit into our life. But, ducks on the other hand were almost perfect. We now have two Khaki Campbells and one Indian Runner duck peeping in an improvised brooder in our bedroom.