April is Ohio Native Plant Month. It is also the best time to witness the annual reawakening of nature in the northern hemisphere. We can observe new growth sprouting from the soil, tree buds leafing out, and spring flowers blooming; not to mention all the wildlife procreating in our back yards. What better time to revel in Mother Nature?
This Wednesday, April 22, the planet will celebrate Earth Day. It was created 50 years ago by a group of individuals wanting to bring global awareness, and the much-needed restoration of our planet. I remember the hopes generated by the first Earth Day, and every Earth Day since then. There are countless ways to celebrate this week, and every week. We can find a quiet spot in our backyard, check out the new life around you, take a deep breath of fresh air, and really savor it; reports say it is the best air quality our planet has experienced in a very long time, so, enjoy. For Mother Earth, we can plant more trees (we can never have too many), create habitats and food sources for pollinators; think twice before using certain pesticides, and herbicides; learn to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Never litter.
The Overfield vegetable garden has been quiet; the Barsotti girls, Erin, Luciana, Zinnia, and Vera have been making weekly visits, working in the beds, weeding, and planting hardy, early seeds in March. Most of their seeds have sprouted, eager to join the perennial strawberry, rhubarb, asparagus, spearmint, chives, blueberry plants. Mushroom compost is arriving from Andy’s garden center this week, and will be spread across our waiting garden beds. As soon as we have a warm day, I will slip into my bee suit,
and see what is happening inside our bee hives. Our honeybees have been spotted hanging out in the gardens, and Overfield grounds. I have hiked through the bird hide area, and I am happy to report, the trees we planted last fall, have survived the winter. More of the invasive honeysuckle has recently been removed, and space is now space available for new plants and trees suitable for our wild life friends.
Take photos, draw, or paint, a habitat in your own backyard; create a Nature Journal or add to your existing one.
Now is a good time to find a tiny tree seedling in your yard, or woodlands. Carefully transplant the seedling, (make sure you have all of the tap root) into your yard and watch it grow. I have hundreds of buckeye trees and seedlings sprouting all over my property. It is still to early to plant summer flowers, and many vegetable plants, but a perfect time to find and prepare a special place for your warm weather seeds and plants.
The Cornell Labs have live bird cams available, and wonderful websites for birders of all ages. I recommend you check them out.
Do not forget to celebrate Earth Day this Wednesday. Remember, no matter how long we have social distancing, trees are always huggable.
Sending cyber hugs and signing off from home, Deb – Overfield Naturalist