TimJFowler's blog

I'm a Homewrecker

Thermometer Shield with and without bird nest

It's a hard realization, but if you can't be honest with yourself...
I recently built a simple thermometer shield to protect an outdoor thermometer from direct sunlight and reflected heat. I reused a section of white PVC pipe to provide additional cover for the outdoor sensor. A pair of nesting birds found the pipe and decided to move in.

Radio, It's Harder than it Sounds

Talk Radio

I have a new-found respect for the folks who work in live radio. I recently appeared on 'The Journey Home', a local radio show, for 'Sustainable Tuesday'. I can only use the well-worn metaphor comparing radio to a verbal high-wire act. Fortunately, the host - Diego Mulligan, was friendly and helped move the conversation along. I had fun and enjoyed the chance to introduce EcoDaddyo.com to the world of radio. Click here to listen to 'The Journey Home' with EcoDaddyo.com.

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Eco Resolutions and Results

Times Square New Year's Eve Ball

Like many folks, I made a New Year's Resolution last January. "That's my plan for 2010, make one dozen changes to burn less fossil fuel and eat more locally." According to Psychology Today, "setting specific goals, sharing our resolutions with others, and focusing on the benefits of achieving the resolution" are simple strategies towards sticking to resolutions. I hoped my goal was ambitious yet achievable and I shared it with EcoDaddyo readers. Now let's see how well I kept my resolutions.

2010 Resolution Results

Hatches, Battened

Storm Warning flag

There's nothing like the threat of winter and an onrushing storm to motivate me to finish a slew of projects. Summer seemed to stretch on forever and our fall was mild until recently. But we've woken to a few dustings of snow lately so I overcame my inertia to finish a few more projects. I've replaced and re-weatherstripped the back door and covered a gaping hole in the wall behind a bathroom vanity. Wow, why did those projects take me so long to finish?

Why I Garden #18

French Tarragon, drying

We had the first hard freeze of the season last week. There were no light frosts, the low temps went solidly below zero (Celsius) in one night. The local meteorologist gave us ample warning so we pulled up tomato plants, harvested squash and chile and tender herbs. It was an exciting end to a full year of watering, weeding and tending. Tomatoes and tomatillos are slowly ripening, herbs are hanging to dry in the kitchen and apples are being sauced or fermented.

Why I Garden #17

New Mexico Hops

I planted New Mexico Hops (Humulus lupulus L. var. neomexicanus) in the backyard several years ago and they have flowered prolifically this year. Each year these perennial vines spread further and are close to covering the fence they grow over. Hop flowers aren't likely to win a beauty contest but they are wonderfully fragrant in a way that few IPA lovers can resist. Now it's time to visit the local home brewing store and find a beer recipe to go with wild hops!

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Behold, the Majestic Plastic Bag

A little Monday humor, especially if you've watched a few too many nature documentaries like I have.

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Why I Garden #16

Squash Blossoms and Honey Bee after the rain

The monsoon rains have been coming pretty regularly and everything in the garden is growing with vim and vigor. I expect that the various squash and other vining plants will soon break out of their beds and overwhelm any slow moving bystanders. Of course that includes the weeds, but the fruit and veggies are keeping pace. My only worry is that I might miss pulling any of the insidious Siberian Elm (aka Chinese Elm) seedlings that are sprouting from any and everywhere.

Why I Garden #15

Wild Plum in bloom with snow

I love gardening, but to paraphrase the old saying - it's not all a bed of roses. Case in point, the apple, almond and plum trees are in bloom and the apricot trees are just past bloom. The problem: the weather last night - snow and a low of 29.5°F and the forecast for tonight is below freezing again.

Why I Garden #14

Winter sown greens sprouting

Gardening last year was pretty frustrating. Weeks of hot and dry weather stunted growth in most gardens in the area. A scorching summer was followed by ravenous grasshoppers that ravaged our fall greens. But, Spring is all about renewal and promise. The very same garden bed that was mowed flat by grasshoppers in the fall is now coated with surprise greens.

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