April Notes from Donna

by Donna Lewis

Hair, and a Bunny Story

Donna’s hair

Since I can’t get my hair cut, this is the new normal…

Anyway, the little cottontail in the picture below got separated from his mom. He was on my front porch for about three hours.

Now, our first impulse is to pick the baby up and try to give it food and water.

That is wrong of course. I checked and she/ he was not injured, so it did not need intervention.

I herded him out towards the pasture where he probably had a worried Mom waiting for him somewhere.  The rehab group All Things Wild calls it kidnapping when humans try to rescue an animal that is not hurt or starving. Most will be reunited with their mothers. We need to give them that chance to return to the wild.

Baby bunny

Now, if they are injured, we need to get them to the rehabbers.  But Mother Nature will normally do what is needed.  It was so cute, and I did want to hold it…

My Purple Martins

This is my Purple Martin Gourd rack. I normally would have about 20 to 24 adults in the house by now, laying eggs. I just welcomed a new pair on Earth Day ( that was neat) and now have only eight martins in this house.

The gourd rack

This is very late and very few. There are potentially several theories for this, but only time will tell me what has caused this to happen.

I watch my martins all day long every day, so lots of field observations are made. The one thing I know is that I am so happy to have any martins to brighten up the day with their beautiful song. Thank you Mother Nature for this gift.

Spring in Rose’s Garden

by Catherine Johnson

The Milam Wildscape Project is within the 100-acre prairie Bird and Bee Farm. Mr. Rek’s parents originally owned the land, and the garden is named after his Mom, Rose. 

Herbs and native plants

The garden is bursting with wildflowers, natives, bushes, trees, and vines. Milkweed will be planted soon. Many creatures call the garden home. 

Camouflaged garden kitty
Helping out with bug control

Two new additions are a large metal sculpture for photo ops and LED lighting that covers the entire Wildscape! 

Charming photo background for visitors
New lighting

A new garden room is under construction with donated tin from Donna Lewis.

Charming new gazebo from donated material

Before the shutdown, the Rek’s sold over 1,000 chickens in 21 days. Everyone wants to go back to nature😊.  

Easter eggs of many colors

They will reopen the end of May and are also incubating Rio Grande turkeys now. Available later this year will be custom chicken houses.

These utility poles that are being used for erosion control have also been donated.

Aside from future nature programs, we plan to have a Master Naturalist table on some weekends.  If any chapter members would like to earn Volunteer Hours for working in the Wildscape, email me. You will able to work ALONE.  

Cindy Rek found these huge buddleia plants for only three dollars!
Weeping lantana

Nature Goes about Her Business

by Donna Lewis

I hope we are all using this forced time at our home’s to look at the beautiful things that nature provides for us. I hope you enjoy these photos of the life in my garden as I share this story.

Earth Day, April 22nd, is coming up.  But every day should be Earth Day.

Last evening I had a concert put on by the frogs in my small pond.

In the morning the doves, phoebes, cardinals and purple martins sang to me.

In my garden the bumble bees and Hummingbirds busied themselves with the business of breakfast, paying little attention to my presence.

The breeze started to move the grasses and wildflowers around in the pasture.

Nothing short of magnificent! 

Nature goes about her business no matter what is going on with humanity.

We can learn a lot from her.

Snail Trails

by Carolyn Henderson

I have attached a picture I took this morning for the ECRMN blog. It is the trail of a snail and the snail. It’s outside my office. You have to look at the picture in large format to see it. It struck me as appropriate for the times that the snail had traveled quite the distance, but only gotten about three inches from where it started. I guess the moral is, “Just keep moving.”

Travels of a snail.

PS from Suna: I happen to have taken a similar picture yesterday, of milk snail tracks on one of the columns in front of the house we are renovating on Gillis. They are busy.

More busy snails, cleaning that post!