Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Company is Coming

The Audubon Society's Great Backyard Bird Count is coming Feb. 13-16, 2009
Participation is simple, FUN and educational. Pick a place close by. Like your backyard. Count the highest number of each bird species you see at one time (to avoid erroneous duplicate count of the same bird) and turn in the results on-line. Good at photography? There is a contest. Get all the details by logging onto

My backyard is now officially declared- by me- a Backyard Habitat Redevelopment Area . The goal is to be done with renovations and improvements to my garden one week before the official count. This gives the birdies time to send their advance inspection squads over to check out the accommodations for safety and ambiance.

This is the drill.
1. Water features drained, cleaned and refilled.

2. Substandard housing is being replaced. The house which was invaded by the snake last spring- gone. The Victorian which became ramshackle- replaced with a nifty Droll Yankee Birdhouse decorated with artwork by Majolein Bastin. Right now they are half price at Armstrong's Garden Center.

3. Food stations are being cleaned, repaired and refilled.
4. All major tree and rose pruning will be completed this week. No sprays after March 7. For the comfort of those birds which prefer camping out under the stars to bird condos, apartments and custom units- it is important for the work crews to be gone when the "accommodations" are previewed.

5. Mulch. Bare dirt is a rarity in nature- that is a concept we should strive to copy.

Being a hostess for the birds is just like being a hostess for a Superbowl Party. Do as much as you can ahead of time. Lay out the snacks and enjoy the show!

Top photo is an honorable mention from last year or Broad-billed Hummingbird by Lynne Marsho if Arizona.

Back in the 1990's the City of Diamond Bar was one of the cities slapped by the courts with how it ran its Redevelopment Agency. Our definition of blight was held to be too broad. It isn't enough that the vacancy rate is high and the properties are not generating the income to be properly maintained. For government nerds- the type of person who would consider their backyard as a redevelopment area- you can check out the concerns about vague definition, virtual permanence, improper diversion of resources and eminent domain- you can check out the Nov 17, 2005 preliminary agenda for Senate Local Government Committee
Senate Transportation & Housing Committee
Assembly Housing & Community Development Committee
Assembly Local Government Committee
Assembly Judiciary Committee

The document can be read in its entirety at


  1. I like the new birdhouse. I have hummers too. Lots of them during the Spring and Fall migrations. We have Rufous Hummingbirds that stay here year round. It's odd, because we get such danged cold weather and I used to put the feeders in for the winter but a story in the local paper about these hearty little guys educated a bunch of us. Feeders stay out. I also have scads of Yellow Finches and House Finches, Pileated Woodpeckers, Flickers, and loads of Jays ... Scrub and Steller's. I just LOVE watching them all.
    xo Oregon Sue

  2. There are actually three new housing structures in the birdie subdivision. Two are ready for habitation. The lookie-loos are already inspecting them. The layout of "restaurant row" has been reconfigured. Dont' know if implementation of this phase of project will happen before Super Bowl. Go Cardinals!

  3. What a gorgeous hummingbird, Lydia !

    I geta lot of them around the lavendar bushes and the fountain. It makes me feel like the garden is blessed :)

    Can you believe this heat ? 50 in the morning and 80 in the afternoon - weird.

  4. Your garden is blessed- it has someone who appreciates the beauty it has to offer.

    Keep up the great photos on your blog. Sometimes I mimic the presentation of a particular dish- and just having the food look better makes it taste better.

  5. Oh I love how you are getting soooo ready for all the Birdies, my dear...If I could get around better, I would do some stuff here...But....
    It does occur to me I could have my Gardener carry out what I would like to do...!
    We'll see.....There isn't a lot of time left. I look forward to seeing any pictures you take of all the various "visitors"....!


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