Gardening for You Peffley: Flickers are in town



a woman wearing glasses and smiling at the camera: Peffley


Peffley

What a thrill to look out onto a cold, brown, winter landscape and catch a glimpse of red flit by the window. Grabbing a copy of “The Audubon Society’s Field Guide to North American Birds, Western Region,” the dazzling bird was identified as a Red-Shafted Flicker.

It is a treat to host these intricately patterned birds when they pause on the high plains as they journey south to Mexico for the winter. The Red-shafted Flicker is one of the few North American woodpeckers that is migratory, reaching its highest winter numbers in the northern Panhandle as it travels south to its wintering areas (txtbba.tamu.edu).

The Red-shafted Flicker (Colaptes cafer) is one of two subspecies of Northern Flickers; the other subspecies is the Yellow-shafted Flicker (C. auratus). The usual range of the Red-shafted Flicker is the western United States, while the range of the Yellow-shafted is the eastern U.S.

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Northern Flickers are large, brown woodpeckers with gentle expressions. Eye-catching plumage has bold, black, scallop necklace under the nape, and numerous small scallops dotting breast and back plumage.

The two species are easily identified by distinguishing features. In flight, the Yellow-shafted has yellow edged wing feathers, while wing feathers

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Gardening for You Peffley: Gardeners are optimists



a woman wearing glasses and smiling at the camera: Peffley


Peffley

Gardeners are resilient optimists. We are confident 2021 is going to be a good year.

As a nation, 42 million people were gardening before last year but by the end of 2020, there were 63 millions of us! Most of the new 21 million gardeners will likely return as 80{ac967ad544075fb2f6bcea1234f8d91da186cac15e616dc329e302b7c7326b8c} said they want to do even more gardening because they had such a great experience (Mike Sutterer CEO Bonnie Plants). Shuttering was not going to keep us down.

Plant nurseries and garden centers were rightly considered “essential” businesses and remained open during the great shuttering. Absolutely, plants are essential to our physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Working with plants gives gardeners physical activity, relief from stress, and the satisfaction of growing edibles as a personal food source.



a close up of a flower: Swiss chard seedlings planted in January will soon be ready to transplant to the spring garden. One mature Swiss chard plant can produce multiple harvests of succulent greens over several months.


© Provided by Ellen Peffley
Swiss chard seedlings planted in January will soon be ready to transplant to the spring garden. One mature Swiss chard plant can produce multiple harvests of succulent greens over several months.

Going to the garden meant escaping from electronics. The sensory experience of hands busy with soil, seeding, watering, weeding and watching plants grow was therapeutic; nurturing something living as we gardened gave a sense of having

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