Sow: owl water

Besides the 3G Network, many animals inhabit the Urban Farm at some point during the day or night. We have squirrels, birds from hummingbirds to grackles, and the occasional possum (though I think since George moved in they’ve been few and far between).

Our two bird baths are important to all of the animals, though I prefer that George and Guinness not drink out of them since they have their own bucket bowl outside (Godiva is too petite for bird bath drinking). Squirrels are especially funny to see at the bird baths — they’re either hanging off the magnolia tree or hanging on to the bird bath’s edge for fear of falling in.

Of course, all types of birds use them from the tiny hummingbirds, all the way to blue jays, cardinals, and the noisy big black grackles. We had to get two because of the volume of birds we get once the weather gets hot (and the blue jays wanted their own), but the birds use them in all weather. On those rare super-cold days, I flip the ice crust of the bird baths before I head off to work in the morning.

While we’re certainly far from a backyard urban wildlife sanctuary thanks to the 3G Network’s natural instincts to chase anything that lands or walks into their yard, I’d like to think we’re making the world a slightly better place for the critters of Dallas.

My favorite animals that enjoy the free drinks are the owls. Owl happy hour is that unexpected and somewhat hard to predict time between dusk and dark. I go out to water the Urban Farm (more about that in a sec) and I make sure the owls have clean water each night. These owls are the size of a baseball glove, by the way. They’ve given me several glimpses and even a chance to get fairly close, but it is never light enough to get a photo. And oddly enough, they are not bothered by the Gs and the Gs do not bother them, though truthfully George and Godiva are usually too busy wrestling or chasing each other to notice the birds.

Other than watering the owls, I also put on my trusty headlamp to have a look at the plants and see what the 85°F temperatures (not a typo, it was summer here today, but will be 32°F tomorrow night) did for the Urban Farm. And it looks like a lot happened.

I’m pleased to report:

-the tomato plants all seem to be adjusting well to their new home

-the striped chioggia beets are finally sprouting and I’m already dreaming of roast beet, goat cheese and mesclun salads

Chioggia beet image from Baker Creek Heirloom seeds (I am using their seeds)

Chioggia beet image courtesy of Baker Creek Heirloom seeds (I am using their seeds)

-the snow peas have 4 sprouts

-the red velvet lettuce has little sprouts dotting its bed

-the bok choi finally sprouted

-the mesclun is going nuts

-the radish sprouts are multiplying

-maybe the brussels sprouts will finally be ready by the weekend

It’s a beautiful night, slightly windy. Hopefully it’s just how the owls and the tomatoes like it.