Feb 192014
 
Great White Egret

From my YouTube channel:

20140217 Kayaking on the Laguna de Santa Rosa with the Laguna Foundation

David Bannister, the Laguna Foundation’s Executive Director, leads this kayak trip on the Laguna. Great birding! Peaceful to be out on the water during high-water season.
http://www.lagunafoundation.org/
https://www.facebook.com/LagunadeSantaRosaFoundation

https://www.facebook.com/tony.mcguigan.92
http://www.facebook.com/sporelore
https://www.facebook.com/HabitatItAndTheyWillCome
http://nativeplantwildlifegarden.com/author/tonymc/
https://twitter.com/sporelore
http://pinterest.com/habitatit/

Enjoy the wildlife habitat in YOUR community.

Tony

Nov 192013
 
Habitat installation at Carrie Busey Elementary in Savoy, Illinois.  Under the landscaping boulders is an underground cavity filled with rocks and pieces of terra cotta flowerpot.  The boulders and cavity are covered with layers of compost leaves and wood chip mulch to attract wildlife to this Habitat Garden's habitat installation.
Habitat Garden at Carrie Busey Elementary School

Habitat Garden at Carrie Busey Elementary School in Savoy, Illinois. Tony McGuigan designed and supervised the installation of this ground-breaking project with Elizabeth Slifer’s 4th grade class. Learn outdoors!

 

I so miss my time on the prairie.  I was there ten days ago and already want to return.  Speaking at the Champaign County Audubon Society’s monthly meeting brought me out to Champaign, Illinois.  Creating a Habitat Garden at Carrie Busey Elementary School in Savoy, Illinois will bring me back.  “How tall is the oak tree?, Have the insectary shrubs filled out?, Are birds using the dead wood spire as a perch?” and so many more questions that will gnaw at me over the years.  I miss my children (the trees, shrubs, wildflowers, and animal habitats) in Savoy.

 

Here is my Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens post.  If nothing else, I hope you get what a pleasure meeting and working with those Illinoisans involved was.

 

http://nativeplantwildlifegarden.com/school-habitat-garden-in-illinois-prairie-country/

 

And if you like the buffeting sound of a windy day, then here are two videos of my Habitat Garden installation at Carrie Busey Elementary School in Savoy, Illinois:

 

The Before — Habitat Garden

The After — Habitat Garden

Any school out there looking for a Habitat Garden?  Give me a buzz — I’ll give you a flower.   Enjoy your precious time on our glorious Planet Earth.  And when in doubt, Habitat It!

Tony

Sep 122013
 
Come to the Ludwigia Cleanout Party, Lower Stone Farm, Fri., Sept. 13th, 8AM.

The Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation of Santa Rosa, California fosters education of the Laguna wetlands and watershed.  The Foundation’s “Learning Laguna” program provides classroom activities and field trips to 2nd-4th grade classrooms.  One of the field trip sites is Lower Stone Farm, a City of Santa Rosa property alongside the Laguna.  The invasive, alien, bad-bad-bad! plant ludwigia has overgrown much of the Luguna, especially at Lower Stone Farm.  Friday, September 13th, 2013, a team of volunteers will remove some of the ludwigia at one of Learning Lugana’s field stations for Learning Laguna.  Bad, bad ludwigia!  Good, good volunteers!

http://www.lagunadesantarosa.org/

Disclaimer: This video is a call to action created by Tony McGuigan.  This video is not a product of the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation.

Promise: If you walk into the Laguna, your feet will get wet.  Enjoy!

 

See this 4 minute video of Lower Stone Farm BEFORE the September 13th cleanup:

 

Enjoy the Laguna de Santa Rosa and watersheds throughout!

Tony

Dec 052012
 
The drilling has begun!

First a video  re “Bucket Watering Can DIY 1 of 4”,  then some  pics of the project (below the video):

Bucket Watering Can DIY 1 of 4 (video):

From the project (pics):

Setting up project space for converting a 5 gallon bucket into a dishwater watering can.

Setting up project space for converting a 5 gallon bucket (left foreground) into a dishwater watering can.  Note our kitchen sink wash bucket (back of table) patiently waiting to be emptied into the new watering can.

 

The drill bit used to create a row of holes for the watering can.  The drill bit used to create a row of holes for the watering can.  The drill bit has a central spike and 2 cutting edges on the side, like an auger (without the screw).

 

Marking the center spout hole -- the drilling has begun! Marking the center spout hole — the drilling has begun!   The new holes will be fairly close to the bucket lid so that most of the water can drain out when the bucket is tipped.

 

Using a utility razor knife to cut the fill hole.Using a utility razor knife to cut the fill hole.  Not so easy as I thought the cut would be but the recessed plug ring helped guide the knife.

 

Happy DIY projects for your Habitat Food Forest.  See you tomorrow.

Tony

 

Nov 142012
 
Food For Thought, Sonoma County Aids Food Bank, Forestville, California

Day 4 in this 3-day series of videos (BONUS video!!!) depicting amaranth seed collecting.  Today’s video is a field trip to Food For Thought, the Sonoma County Aids Food Bank, in Forestville, California.

First a video  re “Amaranth Plants at Food For Thought”,  then some amaranth pics (below the video):

Amaranth Plants at Food For Thought:

 


 

Amaranth in Food For Thought’s Garden (pics):

 

Amaranth (red and green) along a fence.

Amaranth (red and green) along a fence. 8 feet high!

 

Close-up view of red and green amaranth varieties.

Close-up view of red and green amaranth varieties. Swayin’ in the wind, waiting for harvest.

 

Elephant head amaranth (Amaranthus gangeticus).

Elephant head amaranth (Amaranthus gangeticus). This species grows 2-3 feet.

 

Close-up of elephant head amaranth.

Close-up of elephant head amaranth in the Food For Thought garden.

 

Massive red amaranth with green stalk.

Massive red amaranth with green stalk leans over. A shrub! Note the stalk's ridges which give it girder-like support. Also note the small offshoots that display the red flowers.

 

Amaranth with golden stalk and flowers.

Amaranth with golden stalk and flowers.

 

Garden at Food For Thought

Relaxing, restoring, rejoicing with amaranth, sunflower, and garden love.

 

 

Food For Thought, Sonoma County Aids Food Bank, Forestville, California

Food For Thought, Sonoma County Aids Food Bank, Forestville, California. Food bank for the community, with a lush food-rich and critter-happy garden. http://fftfoodbank.org/

 

 

 

 

Want to learn about Food For Thought?  Go to:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy amaranth and see you tomorrow.

Tony

 

Nov 242010
 

Chapter 5 (by Anita Smith)

Resources for You, Your Neighborhood, and Beyond

One need not sit very long nowadays with unanswered questions about the garden, the environs surrounding it, anything, really.  There is so much information available.  In fact, the real challenge might not be finding information on a subject, but rather acting, doing, or creating.  Regarding your garden, eventually you will want to take a leap, and what better place than in the garden.

-Tony McGuigan

Introduction

Has Tony’s passion or sense of humor infected you yet?  What Tony’s doing in the garden and offering the world through his writing, I believe, is unique.  Watch out, his perspective and playful approach is contagious!  By this point in the book I bet that you’ve at least smiled and giggled some.  I hope you’ve felt your heart expand and warm, and your childlike excitement and curiosity about the natural world reignite.  I hope you’ve also been touched by hope; a sense of hope about the possibilities for a more healthy, equitable, and sustainable way of living.  There are countless things we can do—no matter who we are or where we live—to make the world a better place for everyone and all life on this precious blue orb.  The resources in this chapter are intended to help further tantalize and support you on your journey.

There are a few things I want to mention before jumping into this offering of resources for You, Your Neighborhood, and Beyond.  First, I’m operating on several assumptions here.  One is that biodiversity is a good thing.  The more biodiversity on the planet—on our continents, in our watersheds, and around our homes—the better.  It’s like having a well-stocked toolkit for keeping things running smoothly and fixing things when they break.  There are, of course, some ecosystems that naturally have lower biodiversity than others and have evolved unique and intricately balanced dynamics.  As a dominant species though, we’ve done WAY too good a job of messing with those dynamics nearly everywhere on the planet, and we have significantly and alarmingly reduced Earth’s biodiversity in the process.  If everything is indeed connected—as nature shows us it surely is and many wise people have intoned—then that diminishment of biodiversity is bound to plague us.  We would be wise to proactively address this rather than ignore it or wish it away.  Recent advances in the study of human ecology, specifically reconciliation ecology, are part of the resource toolkit we can draw upon to help inform our proactive response.  Reconciliation ecology is the science of inventing, establishing, and maintaining new habitats to conserve species diversity in places where people live, work or play.

For more of Anita’s chapter,  Resources for You, Your Neighborhood, and Beyond, see Tony’s book, Habitat It And They Will Come .

Cheers.

Tony