The Importance of Native Sumac

Numerous articles have been penned extolling the virtues of native plants.  The West Virgina Native Plant Society  has posted this article

Native Shrubs in wildlife landscaping

Exotics or invasive species squeeze out natives and diminish populations of both flora and fauna.

Terrestrial orchid flower Epipactis Helleborine  2

A Beautiful Invasive weed – Helleborine epipactis

In order to preserve our native ecosystems we need to recognize the importance of our natives.

Reflection of the sumac stand

This stand of sumac was a mass of shrubs when we became the caretakers of this farmstead.

3 flicker birds on sumac

Northern Flicker


We carefully thinned out the stand and today we have sumac trees which feed our native bird population.

Titmouse bird on sumac

Tuffed Titmouse


If you have Staghorn sumac growing on your property consider allowing them to reach their full potential.

Blue Jay  bird on sumac

Blue Jay



American robin bird on sumac in winter

American Robin


Both you and native wildlife will be rewarded!

Ruby-throated Hummingbird on sumac

Ruby-throated Hummingbird


Downy Woodpecker on sumac

Downy Woodpecker


Ficker bird on sumac

Northern Flicker


Last of the Autumn Flowers


DSCN7677 Self-seeded Daisy mum DSCN7742North winds blew into the valley bringing with it a light blanket of snow

First snow the pottong shed November 2014

Days before I knew the autumnal freeze was coming

Brass cranes hidden in aylssum blossoms 

I found myself drawn to the gardens seeking out the last of the autumn flowers

Spiderwort flower

I found some standing tall

Cone flower - Echinacea

Others demure cloaked in leaves

Self-seeded violas in the lower gardens
  The colors mimicked the rainbow

 Memories until next year

Fiirst snow November 2014

Autumn Falling

Autumn overwhelms our senses

Sunrise over our neighbor's home morning has indeed broken

Sienna – Maize – Umber

Oak and Maple trees behing our home

Terra Cotta – Walnut – Scarlet

The labyrinth with Native Red maple

The wind dancing through the leaves and the hairs on our skin

Turning its dance into a frontal assault as it roars through trees ripping the last of the leaves from their branches leaving behind skeletal remains

Leafless trees behind home

We witness the reaping of Gaia’s sustenance as combines roll over fields of soy and corn

Firlds of soybean and corn Eastern Pennsylvania

Leaving her creatures to glean what humans leave behind

Canada geese feeding on corn kernnels

Night falls earlier homes become our refuge
Pennsylvania homestead
As others choose to leave

Canada Geese


When You Provide Water, They Will Come – Certified Wildlife Habitat 139,583

When you provide … they will come

Green frog 2014

One of the 4 key components of a Backyard Wildlife Habitat is water with the other 3 being food, cover and places to raise young. Providing water can be as simple as placing a bird bath in the garden  or as complicated as installing a pond.

Reflection of the sumac stand

 I have provided a bird bath, installed a small, molded pond  as well as creating downspout watering holes.

Pond in lower gardens

This pond in the lower garden was created using a plastic molded form purchased at a yard sale for two dollars.

Green Frog

Galvanized tubs are placed under downspouts to catch the rain. Animals now use them as a summer home. The tubs are surrounded by river rock which allows the water to flow into the gardens without washing the soil away.

  At every water source animals who share this space come  to drink, sun themselves and play.


Three Green frogs sunning themselves on a log in the pond

Three Green frogs sunning themselves in the molded pond.

To help the smallest creatures who frequent the ponds, I’ve provided a way to enter and exit the water.  Even amphibians and insects could drown without an exit strategy.

Green frog

A green frog sitting on a partially submerged log used as a ramp for smaller creatures to move safely in and out of the pond.

 Providing water not only helps those who share this space called a garden,  it also provides a place of harmony,

a place to co-exist.

Pond in the lower gardens

Every day after work Maddie looks forward to her walk through the gardens. Her favorite spot is the pond where she stalks the “wild” frog.

Green frog Lithobates clamitans

Green frogs (Rana clamitans), are a common anuran of the eastern half of the United States. The two green frogs pictured in this photo have shared a galvanized tub all summer.


October in the Vegetable Garden Where Has the Summer Gone?

One by one plants in the garden produce their last flower

Chili pepper ans flowerMiniture Bell pepper and flowerHarvest in upon us

The bounty of heirloom tomatoesThis years harvest of pumpkins and gourds Colors intensify

Cabbage white butterfly on ghost white eggplantGhost white eggplant in maturity












Jalapeno peppersSoon the earth will rest

Sweet Pea tomatoesv

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A fine site


Wine and roses is a sweeter blend . . .

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