Saturday, September 2, 2017

Wildlife and Plant Listings

The wildlife and plant listings on this site are for animals and plants known to be living in the state of Pennsylvania. The bird listings also have associated sound files that play when accessed. All are connected to Wikipedia for more detailed information. Wikipedia is on of the top ten accessed web sites in the world and is a not for profit online encyclopedia. Our intent is not to duplicate already available information, but to make information about nature in Pennsylvania easier to locate from one site.



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Isla San Lucas Costa Rica Tour Adventure and History

The Isla San Lucas Costa Rica Tour is one of the most famous tours to the old prision island of Costa Rica, the island caught lot of attention due the popular book of Jose Leon Sanchez, La isla de los hombres solos ( the island of the lonely men), book that he wrote when he was an inmate in the island for stealing the image of the Virgen de Los Angeles (the holiest catholic image in Costa Rica)

We offer to your clients the Isla San Lucas Costa Rica Tour, a great adventure, real costa rican history, a great guided tour with experts of the marine life you are going to encounter during the boat trip, also our tour guides will tell you the story of the island, show you the old barracks and the main “circle” , that is the whole that the guards used as the solitary room.

The island itself have lots of biodiversity life as well, so after the prision’s tour, we are going to walk through the forest, an a beach at the other side of the island is waiting for the group with lots of tropical fresh fruits and water.



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The Best Selection of Flowers and Plants

The ceremonies of life, such as weddings and funerals, are usually accompanied by traditional floral arrangements. But flowers don’t have to be used only for special occasions. In fact, flowers can make any occasion special. Nature’s Best Flowers & Greenhouse carries a variety of fresh and silk arrangements as well as plants and dish gardens. In addition to flowers and plants, we also feature small gifts and cards. Everything you need to brighten up someone’s day–including your own–can be found in our shop!

Our products include:

  • Fresh & silk flowers
  • Plants & dish gardens
  • Plush animals
  • Candles
  • Candies
  • Gift baskets
  • Gift cards
  • Home decor

If you’re in the midst of making plans for a wedding or some other special event, you can now cross a few other things off your list. In addition to everything mentioned above, we also proved rental items for event decorating. Just ask us about the items available. Our friendly staff is on hand to answer any questions you may have about flowers, plants, and gifts. If you are already familiar with our shop but haven’t visited us in a while, you need to come see what’s on display because our selection changes all the time. Nature’s Best Flowers & Greenhouse is full of everything you need to brighten up any day.



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Friday, September 1, 2017

Favorite Flowers of Hummingbirds

Now is the time to start planning what you want to put in your summer garden and or planters. If you are a hummingbird lover like I am, you might consider adding some plants that will attract hummingbirds to your containers. Here is a list of some flowers you might want to consider in your planning.

Superbells, bright red cuphea, weigela, verbena, fushia, supertunia, honeysuckle, columbine and jasmine. This list is a suggestion and by no means exhaustive of the flowers you can use to attract hummingbirds and butterflies to your garden.

Be creative with the colors you choose so the planter is pleasing to your eye as well. Keep in mind that hummers like colorful flowers, especially reds and deep pinks.



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Making Your Backyard a Bird Sanctuary

There’s nothing quite as exciting for bird watchers as witnessing firsthand the caring for and development of baby birds. From the egg to the nest to that first tentative flight, this can be an exciting and truly amazing process to witness. And if you want to be a part of it, make sure that you put up your bird houses now. This will give the birds a few solid months to acclimate to and trust your bird houses.

Once the birds are confident that your houses are safe and secure, they are all the more likely to build their nests inside the bird houses in your back yard. So if you want to make sure that you can enjoy the baby wrens next spring and summer, make sure to put out your wren houses now. Birds are migratory creatures. If you provide them with a desirable place to eat, rest, and roost, they’ll return to you. But it’s best to start now to reap the benefits next year!



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Recapping the Past Month

I’ve been pretty busy lately and haven’t been able to update my blog as much as I have wanted to, so I will recap some of the highlights of the past month.

A lot has happened in the last few weeks from wild weather – a foot of snow one week, 80 degrees the next -to some exciting bird activity.

The goldfinch have been regular visitors to the finch feeder that I put up about a month ago. There are two types of goldfinch that have been visiting the feeder: American Goldfinch and Lesser Goldfinch.

In an update to a previous post regarding the Starling problem I was having…as you recall, I had affixed a popscicle stick over the hole of the Flicker nestbox I had put up. This worked for a couple of weeks and the persistence of the Starlings was too much. A Starling had begun filling the box with nesting material ranging from bark to grass to feathers to sticks. As of today, it appears that a pair of Flickers have taken over the box. The male Flicker was removing the grass and feathers while the female looked on from the side of the tree. This was a great sight to see. However, it wasn’t without a nice effort by the male Flicker to try to fit into the Chickadee box I had put up. Fortunately, the hole of that nestbox is ringed by a thin piece of slate to prevent other birds from creating a larger hole.

On a sad note, the pair of doves that were regular visitors are a pair no more. One was snatched up by a Cooper’s Hawk. I watched as it flung feathers everywhere in the snow. It was very interesting to see the circle of life in full swing, but after awhile I could no longer watch so I threw a snowball at the fence and it flew off with its catch. The lone dove is still a visitor and hopefully will not be the next victim.

Its beginning to finally look like Spring here in Denver. The grass is green, I’ve even mowed it once and the trees are starting to leaf out and flower.

That pretty much covers the past month of activity. I will promise to make a more concerted effort to keep updated.



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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Easy Press for Dried Plants and Flowers

My friend and mentor Annie Nashold taught me to make these easy flower presses when I volunteered with her as a children’s educator at Duke Gardens.  They are super simple and cheap and can be used again and again.  Any type of flower or plant, as long as it’s relatively flat, can be pressed and dried.   The petals of large flowers like zinnias can be removed and dried separately and then be used to create other shapes and designs.

All you need is cardboard, paper and rubber bands, it’s that simple.  And a good sharp cutter and straight edge are helpful too.  Lay your cardboard flat on a surface you can cut against, I use my sewing mat.  It’s easier if you cut the rectangles the same size as a half sheet of copy paper, so 4.25 x 5.5 inches.  You can make a press using two pieces of cardboard and two pieces of white paper, or 3 pieces of cardboard and 4 pieces of white paper will give you two layers for drying.  The goal is to have a sandwich of cardboard and paper, with the flowers and plants as the filling.

dried plants

A piece of cardboard is the bottom layer with one half-sheet of white paper on top, (copy paper is fine, or heavier if you are feeling fancy). Lay out the plants in a single layer.  Top with another half-sheet of paper and a layer of cardboard.  If you are doing a double-decker, put another half sheet of white paper, more flowers, more paper and a final piece of cardboard.

Use 2-3 rubber bands to hold the layers in place.  Then the kids can add their names and draw or decorate on the outside of the press.  Stack the presses on a shelf for a couple of weeks to dry. If you like you can add something heavy to the top, but it isn’t necessary.

When the press is opened, the flowers will be flat and dried and can then be used to make other crafts and designs.  The kids at Spanish for Fun made cards for mothers day by pasting the dried flowers to card stock and covering with a decoupage sort of clear glue.  Clear laminate or contact paper can also be used to seal the dried objects into bookmarks or other items.

The cardboard press can be used again and again, just put fresh paper inside if it gets stained over time.  I’ve also seen old telephone books, or other heavy books used for pressing flowers.

I found these white boards at The Scrap Exchange in Durham.  They were a steal at 25 cents each.  If you are anywhere near Durham it’s worth the trip. The place is a treasure trove of recycled objects of all kinds and great for craft supplies.  These “slates” are ideal for clipboards with an alligator clip to hold the paper in place and to have a flat surface for outdoor activities like making leaf rubbings or doing scavenger hunts.  And because the non-whiteboard side is some kind of particle board, they make excellent flower presses for me as they are slightly absorbent and a bit heavy when all in a tall pile.

Try pressing plants and flowers the next time you are looking for an activity.  You can also use it as a teaching opportunity to talk about the parts of plants, the parts of flowers and more.



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