Chicago Botanic Garden’s Dixon Prairie

Here’s another post about a summer visit to the Chicago Botanic Garden. This time I want to write about Dixon Prairie, one of the less visited parts of CBG. Dixon Prairie is a 15 acre restored prairie with six different ecological communities,… Read More

The Vole Patrol

It’s more about rabbits, actually, but I couldn’t think of anything that rhymes with rabbit (Babbit?). The biggest catastrophe that befell my garden last winter came as a result of nibbling and gnawing creatures. The worst damage was to three dwarf Black… Read More

The Bird Jacuzzi: Who Says it’s Ridiculous?

Notwithstanding climate change, we can have some pretty harsh winters here in the Chicago area. During these winters, birds find fresh water even harder to come by than food. And that’s why I bought my heated bird bath from Wild Birds Unlimited,… Read More

2012: The Year in Birds (Part II)

Since my head may be about to explode as a result of watching cable news and reading political blogs, this seems like a good time to work on the second installment of 2012: The Year in Birds. A summary of the year… Read More

2012: The Year in Rodents

When I first envisioned the results of wildlife gardening, I thought of clouds of butterflies, flocks of colorful songbirds, all punctuated by dragonflies and hummingbirds darting about. The thing is, wildlife gardening does not work like an exclusive country club, only letting… Read More

2012: The Year in Birds (Part I)

Backyard bird watching has had its rewards and disappointments this year. Among the high points were the first ever appearances of cedar waxwings and indigo buntings. The cedar waxwings just hung around for a week or so, but I’ve planted a number… Read More

The Day of the Giant Brown Stalky Things

It was late October just about ten years ago, when my younger son looked at me with considerable exasperation and asked, “Dad, why do we have the only house with giant brown stalky things in the front yard?” This is as good… Read More

‘Autumn Brilliance’ Indeed

Right now the showiest foliage in my yard is displayed by ‘Autumn Brilliance’ Serviceberry (Amelanchier x¬†grandiflora ‘Autumn Brilliance’). ¬†I have six of these upright, multi-stem shrubs in a couple different spots in my yard, and I consider them pretty much indispensible. There… Read More