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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Great Backyard Bird Count Bird Walk at Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Area

My good friend, Keri Dearborn of Animalbytes.net, led us on a great walk around the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife area this morning in honor of the annual Great Backyard Bird Count this weekend. We spent 2.5 hours spotting all sorts of birds, including 2 new one's for my life list, a Downy Woodpecker and an Osprey and also an up close look at a vulture.

Below are 6 embedded videos streamed live and recorded with my iPhone. I hope it gives you a bit of a feeling of what it was like to be out with us this morning.

Keri's husband, Michael Lawshe, took some great photos on the walk, too.

Photos of today's Great Backyard Bird Count Walk

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Sunday, January 24, 2010

A buzzing in the garden

Ash tree "flowering"Taking a few moments in the garden this morning, I heard a gentle and general buzzing throughout. It seems the large ash tree in the back garden is flowering and the bees are taking great advantage of this bright sunny day after all our rain. More rain is expect tomorrow, so it is good they are so industrious. They may be stuck in their hives for a few more days.

I have been following a lot of beekeeping info these days and seriously thinking of getting a hive of my own. I think it would be simpler than trying to keep chickens, the other big backyard farm animal, and fit better in my smallish garden.

What do you think? Are you interested in keeping bees? Let me know in the comments!

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Do It Right! LA City Christmas Tree Pickup and Recycling

My friend, Keri Dearborn, over at Animalbytes has pointed out this great information for City of LA residents about Christmas tree pickup, dropoff and recycling.

In the past, many Christmas trees were simply dumped curbside, on lawns or in empty lots. They would often site there for a month or more until someone decided to clean them up.

The best action to take, of course, is to cut up, or chip/shred your tree for use as mulch in your garden or compost pile. While I have the ability to do that here, I realize some other city dwellers might not be equipped for such things.

If you can't mulch or compost your tree, the City of LA has 3 different ways to dispose of your Christmas Tree.

  1. Cut it up and place it in your standard green garden bin

  2. Leave it curbside, if it is too big to fit in the bin (or you are unable to dismantle it)

  3. Take your tree to a long list of drop-off sites around the city incuding various Parks and Recreation and Fire Station locations. This is a limited time option, though. You will only be able to do this on Saturday, January 2, 2010 and Sunday, January 3, 2010.

Here is complete information on City of Los Angeles Christmas Tree Recycling Program. Dispose of your Christmas tree properly!

Photo Credit: Flickr picture by Shira Golding

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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Los Angeles Watering Restrictions

Update: (July 25, 2009): "Councilman Greig Smith introduced a motion Friday, July 24 seeking to change the Department of Water and Power's (DWP) two-day-per-week lawn watering restrictions to three days a week in an effort to help homeowners save their lawns and save additional water.

"The twice-a-week restrictions are turning people's lawns brown, which hurts home values in our neighborhoods," Councilman Smith said. "For more than a decade we have had a policy of greening, not browning L.A."

The motion would change the restriction from Monday and Thursday, 15 minutes per day, as it is currently, to Monday, Wednesday and Saturday for 8 minutes per day. This would help lawns, trees and shrubs survive while still meeting conservation goals. It would even reduce watering by 6 minutes per home per week, saving many thousands of gallons of water.

Read entire article: Councilman Smith Seeks to Change Lawn Watering Restrictions from Two Days to Three Days a Week to Help Homeowners Save Their Lawns and Save More Water

EMERYVILLE, CA - MAY 13:  A sprinkler waters a...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

I don't use sprinklers very much in my garden, but even alternative methods like soaker and drip are effected by the watering restrictions passed by the City of Los Angeles on June 1, 2009. After getting conflicting answers on the subject, I went to LADWP.com and got the word from the "horse's mouth". (LA Water Restrictions PDF Flyer)

It is illegal to...

Water using sprinklers on any day other than Monday and Thursday
Water landscaping including lawns - between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Water using sprinklers for more than 15 minutes per watering station, 10 minutes for other irrigation systems
Use water on any hard surfaces such as sidewalks, walkways,driveways or parking areas
Allow runoff onto streets and gutters from excessive watering
Allow leaks from any pipe or fixture to go unrepaired
Wash vehicles without using a hose with a shut-off nozzle
Serve water to customers in restaurants unless requested

Source: Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

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