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The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › Homegrown Bird Seed

Homegrown Bird Seed

user 3832381
Portland, ME
Post #: 6
We've had a lot of fun watching our chickadees, junkos and goldfinches forage in our flower beds hese past few weeks! Last autumn, I cut back only half of my annuals and perennials - so I could see who liked what plant, and so far this year I've cut back about an 1/8th! I don't know if I'll even bother cutting back again, 'til Spring, to heck with 'tidyness' when one has many hungry birds to feed. The birds really enjoy the echinacea seeds and mexican sunflower (tithonia) and absolutely devour the verbena bonarienis. The junkos are obsessed with my Love Lies Bleeding (it's an amaranth). I've watched the junkos jump/fly up from the ground to the dangling flowers and knock the seeds out and then flutter back to the ground the eat up the fallen seeds - delightful! Sweet dance! I fall in love with the birds over and over again. If you haven't yet cut everything back in your gardens and it has a decent looking seed head - let it be and watch who shows up to your feast!
A former member
Post #: 72
What a delightful post! Watching birds does make me happy, but seeing them through your eyes did as well.

We are still busy trying to move into "the farm" and I've had little time to think of the birds. I did finally find a feeder and put it out but no birds have found it yet.

The man who lived here before was a woodworker and he left a lot of wood scraps in the garage. I've finally gone though it all and found two bluebird houses. Across the road is a large mowed field so I will put them up, but I will not get my hopes up.

There are wild turkeys in the woods here! I have seen a flock in the field, found a feather in the woods, and once heard them.

Also, I was outdoors just a dusk one evening and heard two packs of coyotes calling to each other! It was good to hear them but it was a reminder that they would eventually probably figure out that rabbits and chickens live here once we get them.

The thing I have not yet heard this year in the geese flying south. Did I miss them or are they late?
David S.
Washington, ME
Post #: 75
I haven't seen too many geese at all this year either.

Turkeys are ubiqitous around here. Big time pests actually. They raid farmers animal feed, compete with deer for food and squeeze the partidge out of their nesting habitat. They go through the beeches and get every nut. There was a good reason for a second hunting season this year. Didn't make a noticeable dent. I get 4 huge toms in my yard every morning that probably weigh close to 100 lbs. in combined weight. There is a flock of 40-50 hanging in the field up my road most every day. If you drive more than 5 miles around here and don't see turkeys you aren't looking.

The lawn weed "plantain" that everyone who does not use weedkiller has makes good birdseed. When I had parakeets I used to used to put the seedy stalks in their cage and they loved it. It is also medicinal and a good spring salad green.


user 3832381
Portland, ME
Post #: 7
A few weeks back, I did hear and see a gaggle of geese flying South - what a miracle! When the geese migrate South, though, I am left with such an empty feeling in my gut. Of course, in the Springtime - I have the opposite reaction and am filled with promise and hope!

Isn't plantain a marvelous "weed"! We use the leaves to make a poultice and then use that as a compress on beestings - according to lore, it sucks out the venom of a fresh beesting. Even better now that I know it's a delicious bird treat, as well! Thank you, David!
A former member
Post #: 73
That feeling in your gut when you hear the geese... Interesting you mentioned that as it's something I've given some thought to as I too have a deep body/mind reaction to it and I've noticed that people that don't even pay too much attention to nature react to the sound of the geese also.

It is my guess that the sound of the geese is so profound for us humans because it foretells of the season of hardship that is soon to come, as it has for thousands of years.

Yes we also used plantain for knee and elbow bobos when I was a child. I have read that it plantain poultice forms penicillin.

Speaking of knee and elbow bobos, I noticed that you hardly ever see them these days... When we were little we had them all the time. Never saw a fat kid either when I was young, now it is so common.

Sometimes I say that the cause of ADHD is not enough knee bobos... Well, I do believe that some ADHD is probably a brain disorder, some of it is related to the thousands of pollutants now in the invironment, but some must be related to the unnatural life style that we force on kids.
user 3832381
Portland, ME
Post #: 8
Ah, yes - the geese/gut thing. I so appreciate your thoughts on it! I was too embarassed to admit, but now feel I can, that tears usually accompany these geese migrations - both ways. I also offer them a prayer of safe arrival.

And yes, to childhood scrapes and cuts. I did hear a while back that pediatricians barely treat children's broken bones anymore. Now they treat repetitive motion injuries (i.e. carpal tunnel and "blackberry thumb" from too much computer gaming and such)

Oh surely is noted here that "stranger danger" has taken away children's right to play outside in a healthy interaction with our dear old Mother Nature - by themselves, with their own imaginations without any media or adult supervision!!! Luckily, some smart psychologists and sociologists are beginning to get the word out about "Nature Deficit Disorder" - and I believe someone wrote a book with this title.

My oh my, what a strange culture we live in...more than half the world do not even have roofs over their houses, while we can't even let children play outside or learn how to grow the food they eat.

Nonetheless, it is a beautiful planet and the birds right now are making me really enjoy what I do have.
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