All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful: the Lord God made them all. 1. Each little flower that opens, each little bird that sings, God made their glowing colors, and made their tiny wings. (Refrain) 2. The purple-headed mountains, the river running by, the sunset and the morning that brightens up the sky. (Refrain) 3. The cold wind in the winter, the pleasant summer sun, the ripe fruits in the garden: God made them every one. (Refrain) 4. God gave us eyes to see them, and lips that we might tell how great is God Almighty, who has made all things well.
|Grasshopper - "I'm ready for my close-up."|
I would steal the first verse of this Anglican hymn for book titles, but James Herriot beat me to it. We watched the entire series - All Creatures Great and Small - during a Netflix binge.
The hymn happens to describe perfect gardening - all creatures great and small. We have two neighbors who tried various poisons and have suffered the consequences.
The primary cause is work and expense: the result, an impoverished garden. One can hardly imagine all the work involved in created a rose garden full of weeds. It took various herbicides plus landscapers cloth to diminish the roses and favor the weeds. Creating raised beds was a lot of
work for the man with good intentions, but each additional step was harmful rather than beneficial.
All creatures, great and small, were fashioned for a purpose. Our knowledge of Creation can enhance the work they do by design. One example is the Jackson Bird Spa.
The total experience consists of:
- The spa with seven birdbaths and many levels of food, various seeds plus three bags of suet.
- The food and baths resting on wooden mulch and a newspaper layer below, which fosters critter life for the birds, keeping food dry and the soil moist.
- The window feeder for small birds, and the adjacent Jackson EZ Bird Swing.
- The aerial aqueduct (soaker hose on the fence), creating dripping showers for plants, birds, toads, earthworms, slugs, bacteria, protozoa, and fungi.
- Bits of string and lint for bird nests.
- Mulched zones under the entire fence, also covering the vegetable and Three Sisters gardens.
Everyone's backyard will have birds, squirrels, and other creatures from time to time. Ours is alive with many birds and squirrels - feeding, drinking, splashing, vying for position at the food or baths - all the time. A starling may land on the file cabinet only to find a squirrel popping out to assert his dominance over the food scattered inside.
|Dustmites are a good reason to change pillows.|
They live on the skin cells we shed.
Starlings will check out baths and pick one, only to have another one land and take over. So the second choice becomes the alternative bath. Then a third lands and looks for a place in line or jumps in to force one out. The one shoved out may fly directly to the window to feed on suet bags.
If the starlings take off with the scout bird, the doves will dither and just go behind a tree, then return to feeding. Squirrels often feed at the same time, or one sits on the filing cabinet and dares any bird to interrupt his eating.
The birds invited to the Jackson Bird Spa include - cardinals, mourning and rock doves, blue jays, goldfinches, purple finches, chickadees, starlings, grackles, and woodpeckers. If I put seed on the window sill, a baby squirrel will come to feed there.
I expanded the spa to make some spots useful for toads. I still need some crockery around the yard for toad shelters, but shallow water and frequent watering is a good beginning.
The pests eaten by all the birds, toads, and spiders is astonishing to consider. Anyone who doubts this should read just one example from the observations of nature enthusiasts.
|People kill insect-killing spiders with insecticide.|
Does that make sense?
The common toad usually moves by walking rather slowly or in short shuffling jumps involving all four legs. It spends the day concealed in a lair that it has hollowed out under foliage or beneath a root or a stone where its colouring makes it inconspicuous. It emerges at dusk and may travel some distance in the dark while hunting. It is most active in wet weather. By morning it has returned to its base and may occupy the same place for several months. It is voracious and eats woodlice,slugs, beetles, caterpillars, flies, earthworms and even small mice.
|Toads eat slugs and many other creatures.My toads will get broken clay vases, not castles.|