Talkin' Birds is a live and interactive radio show about wild birds and the beauty of nature -- attracting birds to your back yard, feeding them, and learning more about them. We feature expert guests and contests for prizes like bird feeders and other bird-related items each week.
Our mission is to encourage appreciation of our natural world, and to promote the preservation and protection of our environment.
Listen in and be part of the show by calling in with a question, sharing some information or observations, or trying for one of our weekly prizes.
Identifying and Feeding Birds (Peterson Field Guides/Bird Watcher's Digest Backyard Bird Guides) [Bill Thompson III] on Amazon.com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. This readable, friendly guide is intended for bird watchers and non–bird watchers alike—for anyone who wants to enjoy nature right in his or her own backyard. The longtime editor of Bird Watcher’s Digest and author of numerous books on birds
Jo-Anne van den Berg-Ohms John Scheepers * Bantam, CT I concocted this between Christmas and New Year's when I wanted to serve something kind of special but nothing time consuming or tricky. It is also nice because you can prepare it in advance and freeze it. Just add the grated gruyere after you thaw it and before popping it into the oven. It is lovely served with a lightly dressed green salad and warm crusty bread.
Crab and Shrimp Gratin1/2 cup butter (1 stick)3 finely diced small shallots2 cups sliced white mushrooms2 garlic cloves, minced3 scallions, finely sliced (white and very pale green part only)1/2 cup flour1/2 cup milk1/2 cup dry white wineJuice of 1 lemon1/2 teaspoon salt1/4 teaspoon black pepper1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepperOptional: splash of dry sherry2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley1 pound cooked, peeled, cleaned shrimp (large to jumbo)1 pound cooked crab meat (remove any shell or cartilage)2 cups grated gruyere cheese
Melt the butter in a skillet and sauté the shallots and mushrooms over medium-low heat until the mushrooms release their liquid and the liquid is almost cooked away. Add the minced garlic and chopped scallions and sauté briefly while stirring. Add the flour and stir, combining well over medium-low heat for 2 minutes. Slowly add the milk, stirring to combine until smooth. Add the white wine, lemon juice, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Keep stirring until smooth and thickened. (You may add an optional splash of dry sherry now if you like.) Gently stir in the freshly chopped parsley, prepared shrimp and crab meat to combine (without breaking any nice chunks of crab meat).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Gently scoop the crab and shrimp mixture into one large buttered baking dish or individual butter ramekins or gratin dishes. Top with grated gruyere cheese (you may need more grated gruyere if you are making individual gratins). Bake uncovered on a tray at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes until piping hot and bubbling. Serves 4 to 6.
Taming Wildflowers: Bringing the Beauty and Splendor of Nature's Blooms into Your Own Backyard [Miriam Goldberger] on Amazon.com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Wildflowers are the jewels of spring and summer everywhere. Families drive miles to witness their beauty in wild landscapes. Now
Alzheimer's disease represents the most common form of dementia, with the early stages of the disease generally characterized with short term memory loss and learning difficulties that increase in severity as the patient progresses in age. SE
Domesticated doves and pigeons like human contact. They are quiet and peaceful, and make wonderful pets.
Pet Pigeons and all types of doves have a subtle appeal due to their special characteristics. Most have a pleasant voice. It is generally a 'cooing' sound and most have about 4 or 5 types of calls. The strut of these adorable birds is accompanied with head nodding.
When pigeon breeds and doves take flight, they take off with a whirring sound. These breeds were noted early on for their flying behaviors which include aerial acrobatics as well as a homing instinct.
These birds can be quite entertaining as well as useful. Throughout history they have been used to carry messages, and were known as carrier pigeons. The homing instinct is still employed today.
The homing instinct is demonstrated today in the popular use of white pigeons for wedding releases. (Note: the birds used in Weddings are White Pigeons, not White doves. White Pigeons are a larger bird with a developed homing instinct that the White Dove lacks.) Itt has also influenced the popular sport of racing pigeons, or 'Pigeon Racing'.
Most people can't wait for spring to arrive, and backyard bird watchers seem especially eager for the earth, spinning on its invisible axis, to lean closer to the sun. This subtle planetary shift creates warmer weather for those of us in the northern hemisphere. Warmer weather brings us many of our favorite things: birds, flowers, butterflies, and best of all, an end to being cooped up inside the house during bitter cold winter days.
When the winter weather breaks, it's time to get outside to look for other hopeful signs that spring is on its way. In honor of those first tentative steps we take out the ice-battered door, squinting skyward at the bright yellow orb we thought had deserted us, here are my Top Ten Backyard Signs of Spring. Please forgive me if your backyard does not have all 10 of these signs. Look on the bright side: Winter is almost over! Spring is nearly here!
10. Songbird songs. The first species that I noticed tuning up this year was a tufted titmouse singing Peter, Peter, Peter in our orchard on a sunny Sunday afternoon in late January. His song was my first aural reminder that winter will eventually fade. Since then I've heard house and purple finches, white-breasted nuthatches, song sparrows, and northern cardinals.
Most adults would benefit from one and a half to two cups of fruit and two to three cups of vegetables each day. But it might be easier to reach our recommend servings if we didn't throw away so many beneficial pieces and parts of our favorite fruits...
We spoke with a successful entrepreneur about her bug-based baking company and why she believes insects are the future of food. Eighty percent of the world regularly consumes critters; every year, Ame…
Indiana Vegetable Gardening Timeline Vegetable Gardening has become quite popular in recent years. Here's a time line for central Indiana for planting your vegetables:
The earliest things you can plant in the garden.
Peas: Plant seeds. There are several new good bush varieties or you will need some sort of trellis or stake for any vining variety. Harvest mid-May. Potatoes: Plant seed potatoes.
Potato Planting Tips: Put straw down on top of your ridge of soil. Cut your seed potatoes so you have at least 3 eyes on each part of the potato. Lay your cut seed potatoes about 6-8in apart on top of the straw. Cover the potatoes with straw. Mound more soil on top of the straw. Wait for the potatoes plants to grow. The straw will help you have lots cleaner potatoes when you harvest them and should help to keep them from rotting.
April 1st These crops can take cold weather...in fact they prefer it. Some things will not grow when it gets hot in the summer.
Onions: plant onion sets or onion plants about 18" apart. Harvest end of July or you can pull a few in May for some green onions. Broccoli: plant baby plants about 18" apart. Harvest first part of June. Cabbage: plant baby plants about 18" apart. Harvest June. Cauliflower: plant baby plants about 18" apart. Harvest first part of June. Radishes: plant seeds. Harvest late May. Kohrabi: plant seeds. Harvest late June. Turnips: plant seeds. Harvest mid-June. Lettuce & Spinach: plant seeds and then go back and thin out baby seedlings so they are about 6" apart. Asparagus: plant perennial plants. Rhubarb: plant perennial plant. Brussels Sprouts: plant baby plants.
Mid-April: Strawberries: plant plants about 18" apart with 3' feet between rows. Ever bearing varieties will produce fruit in the spring and fall of the year. June bearing produce one big crop around the first part of June. Plants typically live for around three years.
May 1st Sweet Corn: plant an early variety such as Early Sunsation around May 1st. Plant in several short rows to promote pollination. Best to grow in block of three rows. Later varieties such as Kandy Corn and Silver Queen should be planted around May 15th. You can expect to get some early harvest in mid-July and late harvest around August 1st.
May 15th These crops like it warm at night. They cannot handle frost. Best to wait until Mid-May. Tomatoes (plant baby plants about 2' apart. Use a cage or stake if the variety recommends it. This year's tomato varieties. See below for more information on growing tomatoes. Eggplant: plant baby plants. Harvest end of July. Peppers: plant baby plants about 18" apart. Harvest end of July. Green Beans: plant seeds in rows. Blue Lake Bush beans are a very popular bush variety. Pole beans will need to be staked. Zucchini and Summer Squash: plant baby plants..expect a harvest mid-June. Melons: plant baby plants. Very susceptible to cold...wait until its very warm at night. Expect harvest in early August. Cucumbers: plant baby plants. Expect harvest in July.
Early June Pumpkins: plant seeds. Expect harvest for Halloween. Winter Squash: plants seeds. Expect harvest in fall.
Thinking about vegetable gardening this year for the first time? Experts are predicting that lots of new gardens will spring up all over the US this year because of our current economy. Feel free to stop by the store or greenhouse and we'll be happy to guide you as you begin to garden. Here are some good resources for vegetable gardening: Indiana Vegetable Planting CalendarVegetable Gardening Information
(this article has excellent information, keep in mind that the dates are for Kentucky. You will plant things later in central Indiana because of frost potential).
Demystifying the Tomato Tag When you do go to buy your tomatoes, you encounter those tomato plant tags. What in the world do all those things on the tag mean anyways? Let's look at a plant tag together. Generally, at the top of the tag it will have the variety name. For example, the tag I have in front of me says "Mountain Gold." After the name there are letters: V, F, F. Those letters tell you that this variety is resistant to certain diseases or problems that effect tomatoes. Any variety that has letters like this is a hybrid variety which mean it has been created by mixing different varieties, etc. Every tag is a bit different, but generally if the tag lists the letters they stand for the following: V= verticllium wilt F= fusarium wilt N= nematodes T= tobacco mosaic virus A = alternaria
Are these important to look at? It depends. If you know that you have trouble with one of these problems, then growing a variety of tomatoes that is resistant to these things can help. In general, some of these varieties are a good choice for new gardeners as they tend to be heartier plants in general than heirloom varieties. Heirloom varieties are those that are not hybrids. They have not been bred or crossed with other varieties. This means these are older varieties and are often grown for their distinctive characteristics or taste. You can also save the seeds of an heirloom tomato and grow them again the next year.
Tomato tags also list a number of days. This is the time it takes for you to get a tomato after you plant the seedling outside in the ground. The earliest tomatoes are about 62 days; the latest varieties are around 85 days. If you are planting several tomato plants, you can choose different lengths so that your tomatoes will be ready at different times.
The last terms that you may see on a tomato tag are determinate variety or indeterminate variety. What is the difference? Determinate varieties will grow to a certain height and produce tomatoes. They don't keep growing. Indeterminate varieties are those that keep producing new leaf growth. They grow up and up and the tomatoes get progressively higher on the vine. These are the varieties that sometimes you see grown on a string. Most of the varieties that you will grow in your garden will be determinate varieties.
Tomatoes and Watering The area where we see most people have trouble with their tomato plants is in the area of watering. This is especially a problem when growing tomatoes in a container or in an upside down hanging basket. Tomatoes need a very even amount of water throughout the growing season. They like to receive the same amount of water at regular intervals. They do not like to be over watered. Tomatoes that have had irregular or excessive watering will develop what's called bottom end rot. This is a brown spot on the bottom of the fruit that develops when the tomato is still green. This is not a disease. You don't need to spray your plants. Rather, it is due to irregular watering. You can correct that by making sure to water your plants with regular intervals and the same amount each time. If you are growing your plant in a container or upside down basket, check the soil to see if it is wet in the morning. If the soil feels dry, you should water the plant. Sometimes in late afternoon a tomato plant will appear wilted from the heat. This is does not necessarily mean it needs more water. It is just reacting to the heat and will be fine when it cools down in the evening. The tendency is to water the plants every time they look droopy which can lead to over watering. You may also want to be aware of containers during heavy rains. If they receive a lot more water than their average amount this can cause the fruit to develop bottom end rot. Growing tomato plants in the ground or raised beds provides the best opportunity for consistency in watering.