This has been a tough year for weather. Here in Texas we are experiencing the worst drought in the state’s history. In the coastal bend of Texas the temperatures have routinely been in the high 90′s and in other places of the state the temperatures have topped 100 for many, many days. With weather like that everyone and everything suffers. Today it is hot enough that I feel like I could bake cookies on the sidewalk. I have no desire to play outside on days like this.

There are things that you can do to keep in touch with nature when you can’t go out.

Make use of windows

It is common practice these days to keep all the windows blinded. In part this can help conserve energy on hot days. The side effect is that it keeps us isolated from our neighborhood and our neighbors, human and non-human alike. In order to conserve energy and still have the ability to connect with outside open the blinds during the early morning and evening hours when the sun is low and won’t shine inside to heat up the house. During the hot weather this is when most animals are most active anyway. Another alternative is to plant trees or shrubs in such a way that they will shade the windows from the hottest times of sun. I have a large mesquite tree that provides shade to my window so I leave the blinds up all day.

To take advantage of my window, I have set up a shepherds crook feeder pole with a seed feeder hanging from it. In addition, I have a humming bird feeder hanging from a hook under the eave where I can see it from nearly everywhere in my room. So, as I sit and type my reports I can watch the hummingbirds come to feed.

Set up watering station near a window

The primary need of all living things is water. During a hard drought like this one water is a major attractant. Because I like watching birds I set up a 4 tiered birdbath outside the window where I work. Each level is designed to attract a different size and behavior bird. The big bowl is popular with the large birds like the grackles and the white wing doves. The smaller bowl on the top is favored by sparrows and other small birds. The shallow low bowl near the ground is favored by the local squirrels and I sometimes see a toad near it.

Read the rest here at my blog.

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