While a lot of snow can certainly have negative impacts on your wildlife garden, an ice storm can really wreak havoc–for the garden, for the gardener, and for the birds and other wildlife.
As the Polar Vortex continues, frigid temperatures and snowstorms have become the norm, from Texas to Georgia and up the east coast. Even small amounts of snow has created dangerous conditions in Atlanta and Houston.
But a wise person once said “Respect the snow, but FEAR the ice!”
Our team member Ursula Vernon talked about caring for her birds in her North Carolina wildlife garden during an ice storm.
And our team member Janet Harrison talked about the severe ice storm experienced by the residents of Toronto.
And today it’s my turn for an ice storm here in Philadelphia. We got over 9 inches of wet, heavy snow on Monday, which the City of Philadelphia couldn’t be bothered to plow off our streets. So overnight as the freezing rain began to fall, my street is now about 6″ thick with solid ice.
But instead of dwelling on the faults of my city, I’ll instead focus on the beauty of this day (and hope that none of the falling branches I’m hearing wipe out my power) during this ice storm.
My bird houses provide winter shelter
For birds to get out of the cold and freezing rain
Cutleaf Coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata) seed heads encased in ice
My new Redbud has (so far) not lost any branches during the ice storm
The Holly looks beautiful in its coat of ice
And the Coral Honeysuckle that I planted on my deck to screen the neighbor’s yard from view is providing a haven for all of the Dark-eyed Juncos in the yard today during the ice storm.
This morning during the freezing rain of this ice storm we filled the bird feeders and spread some stale Pepitas on the table and railings of the deck. Amazingly, the Juncos are forgoing the feeders and gobbling up the Pepitas as the ice storm continues.
What’s happening in your winter wildlife garden? Did you get blessed with an ice storm too?
Carole Sevilla Brown lives in Philadelphia, PA, and she travels the country speaking about Ecosystem Gardening for Wildlife. Check out her new free online course Ecosystem Gardening Essentials, 15 free lessons delivered to your inbox every week.
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