One good thing that has come out of the pandemic is that many more people have discovered gardening after being forced to slow down and stay home.

As a result, we are increasingly aware of our homes’ surroundings and that our yards are more than a patch of grass that needs incessant mowing. Our pesticide -free yards can also become wildlife habitats with the following four provisions:

1. Food

   – plants and flowers for pollinators   – berries and seeds for birds to eat

   – insects for lizards, frogs, birds and larger insects

2. Water at different access levels for all creatures

3. Cover for shelter and places for animals to raise their young: shrubs, trees, rocks, logs, leaves, and mulch

4. Sustainable practices including plants suitable for your weather, soil, sun exposure, and temperatures

You will reap the joy of watching your own personal wildlife park come to life right outside your door. Even balconies and patios can become miniature wildlife habitats!

Are you ready to have your own wild kingdom?

My backyard, a sanctuary, a prayer

Cardinals, chickadees, wrens and finches

Gently gliding, artfully carving out space

The cat poses languidly against the winding paths

Except for the careening dragonflies, so peaceful, so still, so precious

I stop and listen to the wren’s trill, the hummingbird’s buzz

Meditating on home, place, family

I’m transported

Back to another garden, another home

Where I left my heart 

Sheila Graham Smith

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