No plans for next week for you and your dog? Look no further, the 75th National Dog Week barks of this week running Sept. 19 through Sept. 25. This year’s theme is “Man’s Best Friend”, which is a great description of our relationship with dogs. It is a chance to get back on track and show how much you truly appreciate your dog this week.
2014 Top Dog of Cape Cod finalist ‘Race’ – Judy Hamer
2014 Top Dog of Cape Cod Finalist – Jennifer Kane
National Dog Week was founded in 1928 by Captain Will Judy, a former publisher of Dog World Magazine and a dog judge. He created National Dog Week to educate all dog owners in their responsibilities to their pets and to their communities. The origin of “man’s best friend” is alleged to have come from a closing argument given by Sen. George Graham Vest. Vest was representing a man whose dog was shot and killed by a neighbor.
In his closing statement, Vest gave what has become the famous “Tribute to the American Dog.” The speech was so powerful that it won the case. Here is an excerpt from this famous speech that truly shows how much a dog means to his owner, “The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog.” Definitely take the time out this week to give your dog the treatment that they deserve.
Here are some ways to help your dog enjoy the week!
2014 Top Dog of Cape Cod finalist – Jill Junda
• An easy way is to take 5 mins. off of your dog to play with them.
• Take them to the vet for a check-up. Make sure your
dog is up to date with their shots.
• Pamper them with some new toys or treats.
• Take some new photos for the photo album with
your dog and family.
• Host a party for all the dogs on the block or your friends’ dogs.
• Donate money or food.
• Invite local veterinarians and groomers to give
lectures on proper care.
• Organize informal dog shows at the local dog park.
Alvin, Simon and Theodore are great when they sing Christmas songs in harmony or star in movies, but their real-life versions can be pretty pestering when they are constantly near your birdfeeder and eating all the goods that you intended for the birds. Here are some strategies to keep chipmunks and their “brother from another mother” squirrels away from your birdfeeder.
Squirrels can jump anywhere from eight to 10 feet so the first line of defense is to try to keep your feeder outside of that jumping radius from stationary objects like trees, posts, etc.
Most of the attraction for the birdfeeders comes when the seed is on the ground, making it easy to access. Making the feeder out of range won’t do much good if the rodents just have to run up to the seed. Making some sort of a catch under the feeder and cleaning up the seed with more frequency will help alleviate that problem.
Probably the best, and sometimes funniest, solution is the squirrel baffle. Basically a squirrel baffle is a plastic globe with a hollow bottom that you can affix over your feeder. Often times, squirrels with land on the chain above your feeder but once they get to your baffle they tend to slide right off. This isn’t always fool-proof though. Sometimes the squirrels will manage to find a way in.
If you enjoy all of your furry friends from the forest but just don’t want them mooching off the birds, try installing a squirrel feeder as well. It might just distract them long enough for the birds to get their food first.
Autumn is a beautiful season to be outdoors, and there are many backyard birding opportunities to take advantage of when temperatures drop and leaves change color – for birders who are ready for them. With just a few easy steps, you can prepare your backyard for fall birds and invite both residents and migrants to visit.
When Is Autumn?
The exact timing of autumn depends on many factors, but the calendar dates for the season are generally accepted as September 22 to December 20 in the Northern Hemisphere and March 1 to May 31 in the Southern Hemisphere. The further from the equator a birder’s backyard is located, however, the earlier autumn will set in, and higher elevations also experience the change of seasons more quickly. Watching for clues such as ripening harvests, changing foliage, shortening days and dropping temperatures can signal that autumn has arrived, and with it, fall migration and the opportunity to enjoy many autumn backyard birds.
Fall Preparations for Backyard Birds
Birds seek safe refuges in all seasons, and autumn birds are looking for good food sources, fresh water and secure shelter that can sustain them during an unpredictable season. By meeting birds’ basic needs not only with supplemental feeders, baths and houses but also with bird-friendly landscaping, backyard birders can provide an autumn sanctuary many bird species will appreciate.
Providing nutritious food in every season is essential for attracting backyard birds, but birds’ feeding preferences change seasonally.
To prepare your feeders for fall birds…
Thoroughly clean bird feeders and inspect them for damage after a busy breeding season. Make repairs as necessary.
Switch to larger capacity feeders such as the 2-In-1 Triple Tube Feeder or add more feeders to accommodate hungry migrating flocks.
Take steps to winterize bird houses, such as adding a layer of wood shavings or switching convertible houses to a winter configuration.
Add bird roost boxes or other snug shelters to the backyard for overwintering birds to take advantage of.
The natural food, water and shelter in a well-planned landscape can be the best way to attract birds in autumn, but a little maintenance is necessary to be sure the yard is as useful to birds as possible.
To make your fall landscaping even more bird-friendly…
An autumn-ready yard will not only help meet birds’ basic needs, but it will easily attract even more fall migrants, turning an already bountiful season into a very birdy one for every backyard birder.
Home Landscaping Tips for Building the Perfect Garden
by Andrea Davis
The landscaping around your home is more important than you may think. Properly done landscaping helps to protect your home from the dangers of excess water runoff, and well-done landscaping can increase the value of your home. There are some elements of your landscaping that you can do on your own, and then there are those tasks that are best left to professionals. There are also seasonal landscaping activities that can become traditions in your family that will go on for many years. The more effort and resources you put into landscaping your home and developing your garden, the more you will get out of it.
Your garden has to be placed in the right part of your yard if you want to get the best possible results. You cannot put your garden in an area that will be shaded from the sun for most of the day because that will inhibit the growth of your plants. You can always block the sunlight with a covering if you need to, but you cannot create sunlight where it is blocked by a building or a tree. Your garden should be in an area exposed to the sun and in a place that is easy to access with your water hose and sprinkler. Some people get very elaborate with their garden designs and add a multitude of colorful flowers. If you want to bring in a variety of flowers to your garden, then it is best to keep the garden away from your house, as some flowers tend to attract large insects.
To protect your garden, you can put up a fence that will keep out smaller animals. If you have problems with animals burrowing into your garden, then install your fence at least one foot below ground level to prevent burrowing animals from getting in. To keep out smaller birds that may try to feed on your plants, you can put reflective tape around your garden fence to help confuse and deter plant-eating birds. If you are having major issues with smaller birds dive-bombing your garden, then put up large owl boxes and other homes to attract predators that will keep the smaller birds away from your garden. The larger predators will not be interested in your plants, and the boxes may add some color and interest to your garden as well.
Your landscaping needs to be sloped away from your home to make sure that all runoff water goes away from your foundation. It is best to bring in a professional contractor to look over your landscaping and make sure that it is graded properly to protect your home. You can facilitate proper water runoff by mowing your lawn regularly to create pathways for the water to travel through. Mowing your lawn regularly will also help it to stay healthy and keep weeds and crabgrass from growing as well. A mowed lawn also enhances the look of your landscaping and gives more curb appeal to your home.
Landscaping lights powered by solar energy will enhance your lawn without adding to your monthly energy bill. You can also add small touches such as mulch and low fencing around the trees and shrubs on your lawn as well. The mulch will absorb and retain moisture that will keep your shrubs and trees healthy. Remember to have a professional tree-trimming company take care of your trees at least once a year to prevent the branches from growing too close to your home. Healthy shrubs and trees can also accommodate holiday decorations that add color and fun to your home during the holiday season. If you do notice that one of your trees is no longer growing leaves, then that tree should be removed immediately to prevent damage to your home and the possible spread of pests.
Your landscaping and garden are the first home elements people see when they visit you. When you take care of your landscaping and work hard to create the perfect garden, you will have a lawn that is worth bragging about. A professionally designed landscape can protect your home’s foundation from damage while keeping your trees and shrubs healthy at the same time. The regular maintenance you do to your garden and lawn are well worth it when you step back and take a look at the results you get.
Here are some resources that will give you a great start on the perfect garden and the ideal landscape for your home.