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Keep Your Eyes On The Leaf
    It is early in the mourning, sun-up or a little after, and from the top of a loblolly bay tree you hear a cardinals slurred whistle.  In the oak tree, there's the musical queedle, queedle of the blue jay and from the telephone line, the menacing bark of a playful squirrel. When they finish all this stretching of chirps and chatter they'll settle in for breakfast. And, whether you have acres of land or a small garden area, you can play host.
    If you have some common greenery in your yard, you may be an unwitting host and just never bothered to notice your clientele.  Or, if you can't seem to attract many customers with what you have planted the National Wildlife Federation provides thousands of people with basic guidelines for making their landscape better habitats for wildlife.
    If you've wanted to turn your garden into a wildlife habitat, take heart, you needn't be an ecologist to create one - and have a certificate to prove it!
    It's easy to create a place in your yard where the welcome mat is always out.  There are only four basic requirements: food, water, protective cover and a place for the wildlife to raise their young.
    Whether you live on a large forested acreage or a small city lot, you'll be proud to be someone who's providing spaces for wildlife and beautifying your home at the same time.
    The first step in planning a Backyard Wildlife Habitat is to assess your property or garden space as it is right now, identifying the habitat elements that already exist for wildlife. Plants that provide food (seeds, fruit, nectar, and insects) are important to birds and small mammals.  Dense shrubbery, a stand of evergreens, or a brush pile will provide cover for many animals and protection from wind and predators.  Left undisturbed, a wooded patch of ground sprouts up in the smoresgasbord of wildlife-pleasing plants.
    Having your habitat certified, as an official Backyard Wildlife Habitat is easy, once you've developed your plan. It's true. For more information about the program, you can call the National Wildlife Federation 1-800/822-9919 to order a Wildlife Habitat information packet and certification form. You may want to check out these web sites: and - Greta
Clearwater Landscapes, Inc.
The American Rose Society
National Wildflower Research Center
(Mostly Armchair) Water Gardening
"Treat the Earth Well
It was not given to you by your parents,
It was loaned to you by your children.
We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors,
We borrow it from our children."