BIRDS IN PARTICULAR
The days are growing shorter while the sun is hiding out, not my favorite weather combo. I have always dreamed of leaving Minnesota for most of November; returning just for that Thursday holiday with turkey and wild rice dressing.
Tuesday, November 1st, we will move one hour further toward the dark. The sun will set at 4:57 pm that day!!! (On the evening I wrote this, the sunset was at 6:20pm, so that will mean 143 more minutes of dark.) This is thanks to the ‘Uniform Time Act’ of 1966: states that used daylight savings time, were required to move the clocks one hour ahead in the spring and one hour behind in the autumn. The dates have been subject to change over the years.
The next day, Monday, November 2nd, the solar noon starts messing with the clock noon. It’s all about when the sun reaches highest point each day. Solar noon and clock noon play tag until December 24, 2020, then they are in sync reaching the highest point together. It’s fun science and may be a good project to investigate. Why are solar noon and clock noon doing a sundial dance? And just how long is each day and each night in November anyway?
The day after that is Tuesday, Nov. 3, Election Day, your last chance in Minnesota to vote in person (or by mail if you already have your ballot and can get it postmarked that day). Go Vote!
As all the tomatoes and leafy greens are gone from our gardens and farms now, I was reminiscing about this loss with one of my great-nieces, who is seven. That spurred a joke from her. You know who she is, Cookie? Here’s the young one’s joke. “Why did the tomato blush?” Great-Auntie says “why” with curiosity, of course! “Because she saw the salad dressing?” Ha, hahaha. This child makes me laugh out loud. Every time I see her, she shares a joke with me. In Covid-19 what could be any better than that!
November is a great month to start to feed the resident birds. Most of their food sources are disappearing. Plus, our winter migrants are arriving from the North for their winter stay here in Minnesota. The dark-eyed juncos have already showed up, just in time for the snow. This year with the pandemic, backyard birds may be a way to stay connected to the earth and fuel us with a little joy and some comic relief.
A fun project this month, would be making food for the birds. You can find tons of recipes for bird food on Pinterest. It might be more fun to make a banana split for the birds, although the banana may freeze, it is more of a summertime recipe. How about a raw apple crisp instead? All you need are sliced apples (seeds, skin and all), cornmeal, thistle, millet and broken sunflower seeds, with a bit of suet and grape jelly to bind it. My favorite bird cookbook is Cooking For the Birds by Adele Porter.
Notice the birds this November. Feed them if you can, they will not forget you.