Welcome to EMSWCD’s Nature Notes series! Nature Notes shares small moments and interesting observations from our property, as well as related natural history tidbits, on a weekly to monthly basis.
December 2ndth, 2019
Leave the leaves!
As 2019 draws to a close, you can help birds and pollinators (and save yourself some yardwork!) with some simple actions.
In your yard:
Leave the leaves — and everything else! Beneficial insects (those that eat garden pests, pollinate flowers and vegetables, and feed birds) need shelter through the winter just like people do. They hide in the soil under leaf litter, between layers of bark and wood, in rock piles. Many pollinators also spend the winter in hollow standing stalks of woody shrubs. Birds depend on these insects for food through the winter and into the spring. Help them survive by leaving your garden natural this winter!
On your balcony, porch, or window:
Many people help winter birds with feeders, but did you know you can also ensure a good crop of wild fruit and seeds next season by raising mason bees? These efficient early spring pollinators are safe and easy to raise, and their shelters take up no more space than a bird house. This is the time of year to start — call your local nurseries and farm supply stores to see if they have mason bee cocoons and nest supplies in stock.