Capture and Store Energy

This month we encourage you to focus your attention and efforts to collecting energy.  During the Naperville Earth Fair we helped people make feeders for our nature friends as a place for them to capture some energy.  We constructed five different types of feeders and want to share the simple instructions with everyone so that we can support our birds, butterflies, and nature friends everywhere.  ENJOY!

Fun for the whole family!
HUMMINGBIRD FEEDER: 

1)      Use hammer and nail on wood block to puncture 4-6 holes in lid of container; trim sharp edges of holes off with trimmers

2)      Trace Washer in center of lid; Puncture center by hammering a hole with nail

3)      Cut out center circle with trimmers so that bottle neck fits through (tightly)

4)      On wood block, use nail to hammer 3 holes in bottle cap. (Put top of cap face down flat on wood block to hammer)

5)      Use screw to puncture two holes on opposite sides of bottom (which will be the top when finished) of bottle for hanger ends.

6)      Bend ends of one hanger to make a hook.

7)      Decorate bottle & container lid

8)      Insert bottle neck through hole in container lid, screw on bottle top, attach container, insert hanger hooks on each side & VOILA!

9)      Filling:  Only make 1-2 cups of food at a time because it goes bad fairly quickly.  Pour about ½-1 cup in bottle then attach container and invert to hang.

FOOD:

·          Mix 1 part sugar with 4 parts water (for example, 1/4 cup of sugar with 1 cups of water), and bring to a boil to dissolve.

·         Cool and fill feeder.

·         Extra sugar water may be stored in a refrigerator.

·         Red dye should not be added.

http://www.howtoenjoyhummingbirds.com/blog/hummingbird-feeders/diy-hummingbird-feeder-2

Teamwork with fantastic North Central College Students helping out!
SEED FEEDER:

1)      Using screw, puncture two holes on opposite sides near bottom of bottle.

2)      Using screw, puncture opposite sides of the bottle about 1/3 of the way down from the neck of the bottle.

3)      Use trimmers to cut out larger feeding holes on each side of the bottle.

4)      Using screw, puncture two holes on opposite sides near neck, but still on main body of bottle.

5)      Enlarge slightly with trimmers, just enough to insert chopstick

6)      Insert chopstick through lower holes.

7)      Attach cap

8)      Invert & Insert hanger ends through holes at top

9)      Fill with seed through feeder opening.

10)   VOILA!

http://www.bird-feeder-plans.org/category/wild-bird-feeders/bird-seed-feeders/soda-bottle-bird-feeders/

DuPage Forest Preserve President, Daniel Hebreard and family joining in the fun!
 BUTTERFLY FEEDER:

1)      Insert screws through three evenly spaced holes in rim of container.

2)      Attach nuts.

3)      Tie string around screws

4)      Connect strings at top and knot

5)      VOILA!

6)      FEED:  Hang feeder in a sunny spot and place sliced fruit into dish.

http://www.pbs.org/parents/crafts-for-kids/butterfly-feeder/; http://www.readingconfetti.com/2013/07/easy-butterfly-feeder.html

Building is always better with a friend!
 BUTTERFLY SALT LICK:

1)       Use screw to puncture four holes on top edge of container

2)      Attach pipe cleaner by inserting through holes and twisting

3)      Add additional pipe cleaner for hanging between two that are attached to container.

4)      VOILA!

5)      USING:  Fill with sand and a couple of rocks, partially fill with water to moisten.   Hang in sunny spot.

https://threepsandq.com/2012/07/08/peculiarities-butterfly-salt-lick/

Peanut butter for the birds AND our four-legged friends
 PEANUT BUTTER PINECONE

1)      Bend wire around pine cone for hanging

2)      Fill cone with peanut butter

3)      Coat with bird seed

4)      VOILA!

Hang in tree and watch the feast

What to Start Growing When You Can’t Wait for Spring

Gardeners often have a hard time waiting through the last stretch at the end of winter for spring to arrive so they can get their hands in the soil and start planting. Did you know you can scatter seeds for your favorite native plants already, right now, in February? In nature, the seeds would not be stored inside for winter and then planted when the ground warms up in the spring. The seeds would fall from the plants or be scattered on the breeze or

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Living Seasonally, Observing, and Interacting With Our Yards and Gardens in Winter

January this year seemed to be having a bit of an identity crisis. We had the usual cold, snowy January days, then some extremely cold days, and then, bam! Spring! I was SO excited for spring to be here so soon! I’ve never been a big fan of winter and I usually view it as something I just need to get through. I hunker down and wait it out. I go into my own version of hibernation that involves a lot of hot tea, homemade soup, hoodies or sweaters, fires in the fireplace, and leaving the house as little as possible. I was overjoyed that my winter wait was over! The sun was shining, birds were chirping, and temperatures were in the fifties! I was ready to go hiking or go outside to work in my garden! I was all jump-up-and-down excited inside when I first thought of my garden, but then mild anxiety struck. My garden! I was so behind!

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Build Resilience through Nature Connection

Observe and Interact

The primary intention of The Resiliency Institute is building resilience at the individual and community level through nature connection.  Permaculture design is based on the functions of natural systems and by developing a deep understanding of these functions one can create resilient systems.  Resilience is your “bounce back factor” (Brene Brown) – it is your ability to cope with and recover from stress and adversity.  One well-researched way to build resilience at the individual level is through mindfulness. 

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The Secret Life of Fungi: How Symbiotic Fungi Work with Roots to Support Plant Health and Build Soil Fertility

fungi-chelsea-green-the-resiliency-institute

Originally posted by Chelsea Green on April 18, 2018. Reposted with permission.

Did you know that our collective future could well pivot on people coming to understand that soil fungi matter? Or that there’s such a thing as fungal consciousness?

Mycorrhizal-Planet-Michael-Phillips-Chelsea-GreenFungi have intricate lives, behaviors, and uses most people are unaware of. Mychorrizal fungi form symbiotic relationships with the root systems of other plants. The crucial, symbiotic role that fungi play in everything from healthy plants to healthy soils to a healthy planet.

Beyond farmers and gardeners, Mycorrhizal Planet will resonate with anyone who is fascinated with the unseen workings of nature and concerned about maintaining and restoring the health of our soils, our climate, and the quality of life on Earth for generations to come.

The following is an excerpt from Mycorrhizal Planet: How Symbiotic Fungi Work with Roots to Support Plant Health and Build Soil Fertility that has been adapted for the web.

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