The Cure For Spring Fever

I can hardly wait. After a long cold, possibly dreary winter I have to get outside and DO something besides shovel snow, hack away ice and uncover buried feeders.
Early spring in the back yard has to be one of my favorite seasons. Enough of the comfy reading and dreaming in a warm house, I’m ready for some backyard action! Springtime yard activities around here start with cutting back perennials that I’ve left standing through the winter to provide protective cover. I go through each garden section and trim them down to the new growth peeking through. Wow! Things look bare now! Then comes the raking. I use both a small – about a foot wide – and regular soft yard rake to reach in and around plants and rocks cleaning out leaves and other debris. None of this has been touched since the last fall mow-in mulching. The only things I do for winter maintenance is to toss large fallen branches on the brush piles, and occasional winter watering. This could take a day or two so I try to pace myself. A quality my husband teases me about. Reaching every nook and cranny I rake up any yard trash, leaves and branches that are strewn about, which will be headed for our recycling center.The next thing I like to do, as long as the temperatures are warm enough is give my birdbaths and ponds a good thorough scrubbing and cleaning. I pull the heaters (and pumps if they have one) and go to it. The dish bath is relatively easy as it gets cleaned and replaced by a summer dish. The bird pond is another matter. I scoop all the gravel I use at the bottom into a 5-gallon bucket and flush and swish and rinse until the gravel is good and clean.Now that the gravel, pump and heater are out I scrub and flush out the bottom of the pond. This is not too difficult though a bit time consuming, and if I need every last drop out I stick the pump back in and pump the dirty water out into the yard. After replacing the pump, I cover it with screen and carefully replace the gravel, sloping it gently toward the edges giving the birds a variety of depths to bath in.
(A little note here; since I’ve added gravel to the bottom of my baths and ponds several years ago many more birds actually bathe in them. Even the tiny American Goldfinches, Pine Siskins, and Chickadees enjoy the bath now, and in summer even a Wilson’s or Yellow Warbler!)What are some of the spring cleaning chores you do around your yard?
Next: Feeders

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One Response to The Cure For Spring Fever

  1. dAwN says:

    Nice work..I didnt realize you had to clean out the ponds and flush them.
    I think it wonderful you have created this backyard sanctuary for the birds.

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