Thursday, November 29, 2012
Monday night meeting was "for the birds"
Monday night at our regular monthly meeting of the Crossroads Garden Club, Charlotte Nelson, usually referred to as "the Straw Bale Lady" talked about another passion of hers (besides gardening). Nelson loves animals and every year about this time, she mixes up winter treats for the wild birds and puts them outside her window and around her home and garden, so she can watch as they hungrily gobble up the winter treats she prepares.
Above is a bird feeder/birdbath she made from glassware, mostly platters and vases. Nelson finds yard sale treasures and glues them together using "goop" to make beautiful garden ornaments. The one above she made from two vases, a platter and a dish and we all were amazed when she unveiled her creation.
Nelson told us that she prefers to use suet (beef kidney fat), peanut butter, oatmeal, birdseed and raisins to make the bird food and below she shows us photos of her feeders. According to Nelson, birds need a diet high in fat and protein like the bugs they eat in the summer.
She said she never feeds the birds from March 1 through September 30, describing it as the time for the birds to eat insects from her garden and yard. As October begins, she prepares her suet mixture in a large sauce pan and forms the resulting concoction in squares that will fit into a suet holder or makes smaller suet blocks in cupcake holders to place in feeders for her birds. Though Nelson didn't provide an exact recipe, she said we could easily get one from the Internet and the recipe didn't have to be exact. It was just important to use enough fat to hold the mixture together.
Nelson said that at her home, one bird will begin peeking in a window around the first of October and that is when she knows to prepare the treats. Below, Nelson shows us photos of her winter feeders.
After Nelson spoke, everyone participated in a raffle and one of our members won the beautiful feeder. It wasn't me, though I did come home with a small cupcake holder of suet and plans to make both suet blocks and my own bird feeder. I just must go out and buy a supply of Goop.