Being a good steward of all that I have been given is an important part of the gratitude I express for Thanksgiving. Simple acts like making sure all the peels and trimmings from fruit and vegetables find their way to the compost have been a part of the day for as long as I can remember. This year I am going to make sure that Thanksgiving is truly for the birds!
Thanksgiving is a great time to think about the birds and wildlife in our gardens. Filling the bird feeder in the colder months is a common practice, but many don't realize their Thanksgiving dinner is a bounty for the birds.
For several months now I have kept a lidded cat litter container on the enclosed porch into which the "special seeds" have gone once they were dry. Papaya, watermelon, even apple seeds have made their way there. But Thanksgiving is the motherload of bird buffet bounty.
Seeds from the butternut squash and pumpkin are scattered on a baking sheet and allowed to dry. If some of the dried flesh is there its no big deal, but most of the fibrous pulp should be removed. Egg shells from pies are allowed to dry on the sheet as well. They'll be smashed up and mixed in with the seeds. Egg shells provide necessary grit to help birds digest their food, plus the calcium is a neccessary nutrient that helps with shell formation later in spring. I collect seeds and shells from the kitchen year round and them mix them with store-bought seed blends. Usually I keep the kitchen seeds separate from the others, saving the "special" seeds for Christmas or days of extreme cold or heavy snow. The birds may not realize how special those seeds are, but going the extra mile for creation helps keep me focused on how much I have encroached on the space they was given to them
For Thanksgiving day itself a buffet is put out on a flat feeding platform that consists of some of those less than perfect cranberries, bruised berries, apple cores, and bread trimmings. At the end of the day anything that wasn't eaten from the platform gets dumped into the compost where it will break down and form that black gold that will enrich the garden next spring.
The Portfolio Travel Blog The Informed Choice For The Independent Traveler
One of the best things about traveling to new destinations is when your holiday has been to a place most of your friends and family would have never imagined : someplace off the beaten path (or at least the path beaten by your friends), someplace that you were able to experience outside the limits of some "if it's Tuesday it must be Museum Day" package. It's travel to these undiscovered places we most envy!
The Portfolio Collection Travel Blog is THE PLACE to tell the entire world about your Southern Africa experiences in South Africa, Swaziland, and Lesotho. Letting your friends know about your trip is one thing, having it publishes on a major travel site is a whole other cup of tea. Of course as travelers share their experiences here, those planning to travel can find all sorts of places and adventures they did not know existed.
One of the slogans of the Portfolio Collection Blog is “local is lekker*." In addition to the vast number of contributions from international travelers, many of the regular contributors are South Africans whose love of their country grows each day. It's not uncommon to find entries about local events, favourite coffee shops and cafes, or even my favourite, a recipe for Malva Pudding!
Of course even before you book your flight, start wandering through the blog to read about bistros tucked away and known only by locals, or bookshops featuring up and coming South African authors, or the best places to go penguin viewing on Boulder Beach. Of course there is the wine, South African wines have vineyard owners in California quaking in their boots, er, I mean flip flops - and the writers at Portfolio Collection can lead you to some of the most scenic wineries the world over! (and the wine is pretty fantastic too!) Making holiday plans here will allow you to discover places that were missed by the guidebooks.
With Delta Airlines offering non-stop service to Johannesburg, and one stop service to Cape Town from the US, now is the time to start dreaming about your South Africa holiday.
*lekker = really, really nice, cool and awesome.
(South Africa has a diverse history, one being its masala of languages. Lekker is one of the fantastic borrowed words that make 'South African English' special)
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