Political Commentary

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

From the Gardens Registrar: The Weather; Birds in Our Gardens; Garden Netting; Are You Going Away with No Word of Farewell?; Reminder – Workday at Eagle Heights, Thursday, August 23

Hello Gardeners,

THE WEATHER - Two days after the record-breaking rain we experienced on Monday, there is still standing water in several plots in the 600 row. Many of the plots in both gardens are soggy, and gravel roads were damaged. High winds also knocked over tall plants. If you are not a native Wisconsinite, please let me reassure you – this is not normal weather. Is it global climate change? Hmm, could be…Unfortunately, more rain is forecast for Friday. Our soil is heavy in clay, and plots will continue to be soggy for some time, especially if it keeps raining and storming.

FALL BIRD MIGRATION – Eagle Heights Gardens are part of the UW Lakeshore Nature Preserve, which is home to as many as 255 bird species. Many of these birds can be found nesting in our gardens in the summer (sometimes in the middle of a gardener’s prize vegetables.) Among the bigger birds, we have a family of red-tailed hawks that raises young every year, a sandhill crane family which has two colts (that is, chicks) this year, and of course, numerous turkeys.  Although it’s still summer, several bird species are already starting their fall migration, and starting to head south. Hummingbirds are some of the first to leave.  By late August, the warblers will be heading south, and many of them will stop in the gardens on their way. So keep an eye out. https://lakeshorepreserve.wisc.edu/birds-of-the-lakeshore-nature-preserve/

GARDEN NETTING – A few weeks ago, one of our sandhill cranes was injured when it got tangled up in some garden netting. Two brave gardeners helped to free it, and it seems to have recovered from its injuries. A lot of gardeners use netting for growing climbing vegetables, such as beans, peas, and cucumbers. If you have netting in your plot, and you have plants climbing it, that’s fine. But if you have netting just sitting empty in your plot, please take it down until you’re actually going to use it again. Although it’s unlikely that there will be another such incident, we can minimize the risk to our birds.

ARE YOU LEAVING US? – If your time in Madison has come to an end and you are leaving town for your next adventure, please let me know that you are through with your garden. I can assign it to a new gardener. Or even if you’re not going away, if you’re no longer interested in gardening, let me know. If you have a friend who wants to take over your garden, I can transfer your plot to them. But please let me know. Thank you. And good luck with whatever you’re going to do next.

REMINDER: Workday tomorrow, Thursday, August 23, at Eagle Heights – 4:30 – 7:30. The main task will be clearing plots. Here’s the link to sign up: https://doodle.com/poll/qx38n95k76hs3iiw

Happy Gardening,

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