Outdoors
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Wildflowers are among the easiest plants to grow, especially if you copy Mother Nature. For cool climate gardeners, that means spreading seed over the ground after the first killing frost and before the ground hardens. Natural germination inhibitors … more
We've all had those days when nothing seems to move. No matter where we are - the highway, the line at the grocery store or the ATM machine - everything is at a standstill. This happens much too frequently for my taste, so on days like this I … more
Q. Question for you: I saw one male red-winged blackbird in my yard Sunday, Oct. 30. I don't recall seeing them so late in October before. I've looked at several migration maps and information on their migration. What the maps say and most of the … more
"Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right." — Oprah WinfreyAgain, it's the time many of us make New Year resolutions, and scores of these resolutions are personal, like cut down on coffee consumption, eat less or lose … more
Q: I thought my bird feeders would be safe from bears by now. Unfortunately, I was wrong and they ripped down my bird feeders on Thanksgiving. Shouldn't they be hibernating by now? -Joyce, Sheffield A: With the second bear hunting season … more
Q: I wonder just how late our summer birds stay in the fall. For instance, what is the latest?- Jim, Hinsdale.A: Many of our nesting songbirds arrive in April or May and leave in September or October. Although, unless we have banding records, it is … more
Landscape designers in cities are creating quieter living spaces by using trees to mute loud noises like sirens and air brakes. It's called "soundscaping," and it aims to restore peaceful, natural sounds like wind whispering through leaves, birds … more
Early winter is when poinsettias come into the limelight, showing off their colors in homes and shop windows. But a poinsettia is more than just seasonally flamboyant.To check out more of this plant's botanical flair, set your holiday poinsettia on … more
Q: We enjoy your articles and hope you have a suggestion how to deter small birds from perching and pooping from our 20-foot, wind-out deck awning cowl structure mounted on our house. What we think are little finch and sparrows leave a mess on our … more
I've been gazing skyward for more than five decades, and in that time I've learned a few things. One is that novice stargazers have some deeply ingrained misconceptions about the heavens.For example, many think that we cannot see the moon during the … more
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