Graphic from Metro Creative
EXPLORING NATURE: TIDBITS
Let us consider some interesting tidbits from the fascinating world of nature.
We’ll start with a rabbit. The white-tailed jackrabbit is an accomplished high jumper with powerful legs and big hind feet. It can hop up to 20 feet and is also quite fast, easily outrunning such predators as foxes, snakes and coyotes. Its big ears help this rabbit detect threats and also help it regulate body temperature.
And then there are tidbits about bird nests. The monk parakeet enjoys living in a large communal nest that is multi-level and multi-entry. Comprised of thorny twigs, it is a marvel of avian architecture. At the other extreme, the whitewinged dove constructs a very haphazard nest comprised of flimsy piles of twigs. These fragile nests are often located in all sorts of questionable places, including window ledges, carport corners and empty terracotta pots.
Here are tidbits about our state bird, the northern mockingbird. It is very well named and can imitate over 150 different songs. Quite aggressive, it has been known to dive-bomb people who venture too close to its nest, especially when baby birds are in residence. Like crows, mockingbirds can recognize individual humans and will single out those who have disturbed their nests in the past. Also, it often sings at night, thereby avoiding competition from other singers.
One final tidbit: If you are wondering what to plant in our area in these sweltering summers, the correct answer is probably nothing right now – wait until fall to plant, when hopefully things will have cooled down. But once you do plant, bear in mind that many Texans enjoy native oak trees and crape myrtles in their landscapes. Also worthy of consideration are valentine bush and green cloud Texas sage. Contact a local garden center or your local extension service to find plants ideally suited to your growing conditions.
And do keep in mind, if the plant is not deer-resistant, you’ll need to invest in fencing.