Feb 142014
 
Golden Crowned Sparrow in Tulip MagnoliaTwig Pile

Twisty Toad Tunnel is a hugelkultur wildlife habitat in our Northern California garden.  I severely pruned back a lichen-covered and overgrown tulip magnolia tree and stuffed the cut-down limbs, prunings, and cutting into The Bog — a hole in our garden where we make soil by winter and grow crops by summer.  Much of the magnolia cuttings are elegantly draped with lichens, surely a beneficial source of wildlife shelter and food for animals microscopic to crawling to larger.

The beginning of this post focuses on video installations of Twisty Toad Tunnel.

The last paragraph provides you with a link to learn more about Twisty Toad Tunnels’ rich lichen contribution to out wildlife habitat hugelkultur.

Installation of Twisty Toad Tunnel


Learn more about Twisty Toad Tunnels’ rich lichens

Today (the 14th) is my monthly blog post at Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens.  This month, my blog article discusses how lichens support wildlife habitat in our residential gardens.

Enjoy!  And please comment me under my NP & WG article if you have any comments or questions.

Tony

Jan 142014
 
Lizard Oak Tunnel and Cellar Wildlife Habitat Installation supplies
Lizard Oak Tunnel and Cellar Wildlife Habitat Installation supplies

Lizard Oak Tunnel and Cellar Wildlife Habitat Installation supplies.

What a lot of fun I had today, working with my daughter, and installing two habitats.

 

To see the blog post of these installations, go to my monthly blog post at Native Plant and Wildlife Gardens.

 

To see some video of the installations, click away!:

Lizard Oak Tunnel 1 of 5

Lizard Oak Tunnel 2 of 5

Lizard Oak Tunnel 3 of 5

Lizard Oak Tunnel 4 of 5

Lizard Oak Tunnel 5 of 5

Enjoy your wildlife habitat and food forest garden.

Tony

Dec 142013
 
Earthworm Box surounded by leaf pile

Earthworm Box surounded by leaf pile. The organic leaf pile will help keep the Earthworm Box a few degrees warmer during the winter months.

As I discuss in my monthly Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens blog article, “Over-Wintering Insects in Insulating Leaf Pile“, I wanted to insulate our earthworm boxes to take a little of this winter’s chill off the critters inside the boxes.  Surrounding the boxes with leaves accomplish 2 goals: 1) insulating the boxes to keep them warmer, and 2) provide more over-winter leaves to provide more wildlife habitat in our garden.   Here are 4 videos of the project.  Enjoy!

20131211 Earthworm Box Insulation Barricades 1 of 4

Tony McGuigan discusses his plan to keep outdoor earthworm boxes warmer by surrounding them with leaves and straw.  The organic fluff, (leaves and straw) will create an insulation barrier on the outside of the earthworm boxes.  Over-wintering insects will thrive in organic pile and move to the boxes, becoming food for the chickens when they are treated to the opened boxes.  Come warmer weather, the frame to hold the leaves/straw in place will be removed. ***Toast and Marmalade, Tony and Anita’s two Bard Rock hens, visit the earthworm boxes BEFORE construction.***

20131211 Earthworm Box Insulation Barricades 2 of 4

An in-process video of the construction project.  The frame is up; leaves are yet to be filled into the insulating spaces.

20131211 Earthworm Box Insulation Barricades 3 of 4

A pile of leaves is worked into the insulating spaces alongside the earthworm boxes.

20131211 Earthworm Box Insulation Barricades 4 of 4

***Toast and Marmalade, Tony and Anita’s two Bard Rock hens, visit the earthworm boxes AFTER construction.  Construction is approved by Toast and Marmie!***     Savouring the winter garden, enjoying anticipation of the coming spring’s wonder,

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