Vol. 11 Issue 4, Winter 2006
By Joe Midolo
This winter, don’t forget about our furry and feathered little friends. Holiday decorations have been known to be harmful to some of our local critters, making their season anything but fun. After the holidays are over, you still want to have a festive time during winter, but not at the expense of the animals that make Loudoun County such a diverse area. Here are some winter activities that will be fun for you and your tiny neighbors.
First of all, try getting a live pine tree to plant in your yard. It will provide a habitat for birds, squirrels, and chipmunks. Going to the pine tree farms is a wonderful way to spend a winter day with your family; the fresh smell of the trees is amazing. Each year, you can look out your window, upon your family “nature” tree and watch the powdery snow cover its boughs.
If you want to give your backyard friends a winter dinner that they will remember, cover your tree with environmentally friendly “decorations.” Strings of cranberries, popcorn, or even breakfast cereals will give the inhabitants of your yard a tasty treat.
If you are a winter bird watcher, you can make a delightful avian delicacy to hang on your “nature” tree. First, get yourself a medium to large sized pinecone; the size of the pinecone really depends on the size of the birds you’re trying to attract and how much you want to feed them. Second, tie a piece of sturdy twine (it will have to withstand weather conditions) onto the stem of your pinecone. Next, get a large jar of peanut butter, and coat the pinecone with it; if you have little kids, they’ll love this part!
After the pinecone is completely covered in peanut butter, roll it in birdseed. This is where you have some freedom of choice. Depending on what birds you want to attract, choose the appropriate birdseed for that species of bird(s). Then, hang this treat out on your tree and watch your feathered friends come flocking!
May you and your backyard buddies have a very merry time throughout the winter months!