Tuesday, March 11, 2014

First Day of Spring (Break) + How to Make Bird Feeders Out of Magnolia Pods

Wow, yesterday was so busy and fun! I'm really enjoying being with the kids, as this is the first spring break I can remember that I have been able to stay home with them! So exciting and wonderful. ^_^

Yesterday was in the 70's outside, so we played and worked outside almost the entire day. We planted some plants, did some raking, picked up sticks, and cleaned up our yard a bit. But as for Miss G's very favorite of the things we did yesterday, we made gazillions and gazillions (or it seemed like it) of bird feeders and also created a "Birdland" in our backyard (and a mini one in our front yard).  We had soooo much fun. 
We found a "wormy" while planting our new blueberry plant!

Colorful yarn we put out for the birds to make nests

Getting ready to start seeds to grow food!

Our new Himalayan plant for our outdoor table

Fancy bird food - hangers and a cake to welcome spring
For the first batch of bird feeders, we used two cookie cutters, a fancy schmancy jello mold, and this recipe: Darling Little Birdseed Cakes. The recipe uses unflavored gelatin, boiling water (thanks, electric kettle), and bird food, mixed until it is a good consistency. We filled the cookie cutters up half way, tied a piece of twine together, and placed the twine loop inside of the bird food with the knot inside. Then, while one of us held the twine in place, we filled it up the rest of the way. These sat out on the counter for the rest of the day and had set by the evening. We are going to put these out today!

For the hanging bird feeders that we made a bunch of, I improvised. I know a lot of people cover pine cones in peanut butter and then roll them in bird seed. Well we don't have any pine cones, but we do have a ton of magnolia pods all over the ground under our big magnolia tree. They are pine cone-ish, so why not. We tied twine and yarn to one, covered it in peanut butter, and then rolled it in bird seed. It worked! So we made, as I mentioned, "a gazillion" of them. 
Magnolia pods lined up to get string, peanut butter, and bird seed.

"Birds like bright colors, Mom, so mine are going to have this yarn." - Miss G

Rolling in the birdseed

Then Miss G, who was extremely, EXTREMELY excited about feeding the birds, had the idea that we make a bird sanctuary in our backyard. By this time we had already hung a bunch of these feeders in the trees in our front yard and on our porch, but the backyard was really going to be the big spot for birds. So we strung a line in a corner of our yard and hung a bunch of the feeders on it. Let me tell you; the squirrels love it. ;)
Yes, we need to continue raking our yard.
"Birdland" with makeshift birdbath

Our bird home decorating basket
The girls made signs telling the birds that there is bird food for eating and water for their baths and drinking, and placed them in Birdland. We are going to check everything we did and see if anything has been eaten.

We ended the day with this amazing recipe for dinner (Tex Mex Spaghetti Squash with Black Bean Guacamole), which Eryn recommended, and I can't thank her enough! Sooooo good.

Later on, Husband and I were sitting on the porch swing enjoying a beer and the nice weather, and a crazed rabbit came bounding through our yard, stopped in front of us and snorted loudly (sneezed?), and took off down the way. Unreal!

All in all, a wonderful day! ^_^
Signs of spring!

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