Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A Case For Meal Worms

"Darling, the wildlife just has it's way with you."
He is right. They were here first.

As we remove turf and plant bushes and shrubs and herbs and crops I keep in mind all the different critters that call this spot home too.

We must leave some clover for the rabbits.
If I have clover they stay away from the baby lettuce and spinach.
If I plant enough strawberries than there is enough for us and the birds and the squirrels. Yet sometimes I have to supplement the wildlife's diet with store bought seed and corn. I can not grow enough.
If I want to have tulips I have to trick the squirrels. I plant the tulips inside a ring of daffodils. They dislike daffodils and love tulips.
I also have to discourage the deer not to eat the wheat. I live on a rather busy street, across from a cemetery. It is not safe for the deer. Too many have been hit by cars as they jump the fence. So I put a ring of bone meal around tender wheat sprouts.
Sometimes I will entice a bird to come visit. I love the song birds. All of them!
So I bought a Baltimore Oriole feeder. I filled it with sweet orange nectar and was so thrilled when a female Oriole found it!

The blue bird sighting last week sent me over the rainbow! She just flew in and perched for a moment at the feeding station to see what goodies I had out.
No meal worms, so off she flew. Wish I had the camera on the ready!

I need meal worms and a meal worm feeder. Buying worms could put the husband over the edge. An easy, gentle approach was needed. Presentation is 9o% of a favorable outcome. Blue birds eat all sorts of unwanted bugs! They are garden helpers. They do not eat beneficial bugs like lady bugs and praying mantis. So I did my research and planned the presentation. One of the concerns would be where will the meal worms reside when they were not in the feeder. This is simple, the refrigerator.
He is used to sharing half of the refrigerator with flower bulbs. I did 800 forced bulbs last winter for the house. They were stored in the refrigerator. The produce drawers were filled with non-edibles. He is used to not poking around for snacks. Our children are grown-up and live in their own houses. No worry there that a meal worm would find it's way in their mouths. My friends know that in my kitchen often I have un-safe for human consumption, strange looking food stuffs. I think I am safe to bring in meal worms. He agrees.

Than the concern. "What if the meal worm feeder somehow spills?" More research. He does not want me bringing in some sort of larva that will produce huge plant eating bugs. These are little worms. That is it. Just small worms that like meal and will stay dormant if kept cool. In case of a spill a robin would find a treat. Or the worms would die. I am ready to go get meal worms and a feeder.

Now I wait for the blue bird to fly over and see the meal worms.
More research on Blue Bird habitat.

We will need to do more water features.
That will be fun and so pretty.

While shopping for the meal worms I saw another Oriole feeder that holds a fresh orange and grape jelly. The Orioles like grape jelly. Will need to get some grape jelly! It also has a place for sweet orange nector.

The feeding station is almost full!
I will need to add a branch if I add another feeder.
I wonder what the Indigo Bunting likes?


Q said...

Ah, I like you too!

I have seven different water spots for birds and small critters, and four small glass flower water holders (for butterflies). Two of these water spots are ponds,(one pond does have water lillies), one tall bird bath, a fountain and the rest are what I refer to as, "puddlers", shallow large bowls. I am thinking of ways to put some sort of water feature in each of the flower beds. It will be one of those "finds" I expect. Will keep you posted on this.

It is easy to care for the plants and birds as they are the delights.
Thank you for your kind words.

Q said...

I so enjoy you! I bet your gardens are brimming with joy. Geodes filled with water is so lovely!
I decorate the gardens with all sorts of things! Just recently found a pair of carved quail. These I put on the deck. They will end up in Fall decorations but for now I have them outside.
As I find things I like I try and keep in mind the needs of all the bugs, birds and small critters. Places some seed could go or water.

Q said...

Sometimes I do rest. Sometimes I will relax and see what has been accomplished rather than what still needs to be done! As we develop the gardens we always have work to do!
I do not know what water features I will add yet. They will come. I would like to have solar pumps if I am doing any more fountains. I am looking for more bird baths. My idea is to put out, wide shallow bowls to make into baths and puddlers. I am looking at thrift stores, garage sales and swap and shop for bowls.
Did find a large brass bird for my front pond last week at the antique store. I tuck things in here and there as I find them.
Having a place to sit outside with all the critters is very nice. So glad you have a spot that is enjoyable. I also was watching the cresent moon last night. She was in the west as evening came in.
I thought of you as I was watching the fireflies and the as the dusk turned to nightfall.
Sharing this way, on the web, is different. It feels nice to know I am connected to anyone and every one.
Thank you, Sprite, for coming over and sharing. I look forward to your comments. Sharing is nice.
I can imagine your secret garden and feel one with you as we gaze at the stars.