About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Robins are gardeners’ cheerleaders

Photo from Wikimedia Commons
Spring is slowly creeping in to mid-Michigan. Hopefully we've seen the last of the snow and extreme cold for the season as warmer days and rain make the world turn green and flowers bloom.

Sunday when I worked in the garden, an American Robin cheered me on to turn over the soil. Until the soil warms to 36 degrees, earthworms (a favorite treat of robins) don't move around. I also saw other hidden insects for the robins to eat as I stirred the leaf litter.

The cold has delayed a lot of my early blooming native flowers and I was feeling desperate for color. I know it is too early, but I just had to pop in some bright yellow violas with smiling faces in the front garden at the East Lansing Wild Birds Unlimited store.

The Viola is a flowering plant in the violet family. The flowers are formed from five petals; four are fan-shaped petals with two per side, and there is one broad, lobed lower petal pointing downward. One quirk of some Viola is the elusive scent of their flowers desensitizes the receptors of the nose temporarily, and prevents any further scent being detected from the flower until the nerves recover.

Related Articles:
- How to garden for birds http://goo.gl/ypyRV
- Hummingbird Flowers http://goo.gl/XSy5V
- Monarda: Fireworks Flowers http://goo.gl/vFxDc
- Michigan Lily http://goo.gl/bSlff
- Wild plants that combine unique shape, fascinating folklore and practical uses. http://goo.gl/XEyWf

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