Wednesday, March 14, 2012

“The Big Year” shows why birders love Texas coast

The High Island water tower and bird-crazy travelers are depicted in a movie with top-shelf actors. I’ve been waiting to catch “The Big Year” on DVD, because I heard it mentioned the famous bird “fall out” experienced on our Texas coast. The scene, though featuring digital birds, was great. Owen Wilson, Steve Margin and Jack Black played birders obsessed with sighting the most varieties of birds on their big year count. They were highly competitive, but this regular spectacle of exhausted migrating birds falling from the sky as they spot land did not disappoint. There are enough birds for everyone.

A movie still shows Owen Wilson at kiosk of the Audubons High Island refuge. When the movie appeared on the big screen in 2011, an expert anticipated it would inspire viewers to “get their Audubon on.” We have a local society and I’ve been fortunate to join them at a Tyrrell Park meeting. They are as passionate as expected.

Berry good reads

Have you collected a bunch of tiny hotel soaps? Put them to work keeping deer away from your berries. Drill a hole in them and twist tie them to garden stakes. Or, spread little bags of human hair around Stella Otto calls this “tankage” in “The Backyard Berry Book.” She cautions that trailing or semi-erect blackberry roots must be kept in the dark before planting, even on cloudy days, to keep yields high. But she sheds light on bramble production that will keep you in cobbler. You’ll love her easy trellis designs.

Ott’s book “The Backyard Orchardist” taught me some pruning tips and how to spread branches with toothpicks or clothespins so a fruit tree can spread out for better bearing. She goes with the thought that life without cherries is the pits, and shares how to grow them along with apples, pears, etc. She makes it sound so easy, but I caution that patience is required as one awaits succulent bounty on the branches.

More leopard for me

My crafty aunt showed me a roll of duct tape that made my eyes pop. It was leopard print, from the Duck Tape line of patterns. Spring is home improvement season, so make your mark with tape that comes with images of fire, skeletons and even longhorns on orange.

No comments:

Post a Comment