Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Broad-headed skink (5/11/2014)

Last year we replaced to platforms for our rain barrels with concrete blocks.  This weekend we saw that these block pedestals are being used by the wildlife in our back yard.  This is a photo of a broad-headed skink (Plestiodon laticeps) that was sunbathing on the block.  This guy was surprisingly docile and allowed me to come pretty close for this picture.  Skinks are a group of lizards; we have at least two different types in our back yard.

 We really try to be wildlife sensitive in our yard.  I can’t remember the last time we fertilized our lawn; and it shows.  I think we have more weeds and diversity in our lawn than most people have in their entire garden.  You should have seen the buttercups this spring.  We also collect all the sticks in our yard and created a large stick pile.  This winter there were literally dozens of birds flying in and out of the pile; this spring it has a family of rabbits living in it.  It creates great cover from predators such as hawks (and yes we have hawks feeding on birds … guess that is nature).  From our back deck we've seen the occasional raccoon, possum, fox and even a coyote.  We try to grow mostly native plants in the back yard; plants that provide, food and shelter to wildlife.

As I mentioned above, we have rain barrels.  They are great in providing water for my plants that is chlorine and chemical free.  It really beats water our plants with drinking water, which is what a lot of people do when they water their plants and lawns with tap water.  It is such a waste of money in my pocket; but also to society, knowing we are running out of reliable water sources.  We have four barrels, three of which are operational.  The fourth one is on our wood shed and will be operational soon.

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