Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Benefits of Attracting Birds!

It can be a lot of work to attract backyard birds, but doing so can offer many benefits beyond just enjoying these colorful visitors.

Benefits of Campsite Birds

The birds of Pinecrest are part of the local ecosystem, and attracting them to your site means planting bird-friendly landscaping, adding fresh, clean water to the somewhere nearby and choosing the best bird feeders and bird houses. If you do these things, you will discover benefits such as:
  • Pest Control: Many birds eat a variety of insects, including aphids, mosquitoes, spiders and other bugs that may not be welcome in your neck of the woods. Attracting birds encourages them to take advantage of this natural food source, eliminating the need for harsh chemical insecticides.

  • Flower Pollination: Hummingbirds, orioles and other birds that sip nectar are efficient pollinators of garden flowers. This can give flowerbeds an added color boost from extra blooms, which will in turn attract even more birds.

  • Weed Control: Finches, towhees and sparrows consume great quantities of weed seeds, making them effective landscapers to help control unwanted plants. Planting seed-bearing flowers for birds can also give them a natural food source to enjoy without needing frequent feeder refills. 

  • Education: Observing birds is a unique opportunity to study local wildlife, and attracting birds all year round gives birders the chance to see seasonal plumage changes, migration, courtship behavior and nesting. This is also a great way to introduce children to wildlife enjoyment and appreciation, spreading birding across generations.

  • Wildlife Conservation: As more habitats become threatened through development, attracting backyard birds provides a critical oasis for bird and wildlife conservation, both for local species and migrating birds. This helps preserve birds both at Pinecrest and in the larger local environment.

  • Stress Relief: Watching birds, interacting with them, listening to their songs and taking the time to work outdoors improving their habitat can help relieve stress and promote well-being. Time outdoors can also ensure Pinecrest-birders have an adequate supply of vitamin D and detoxify the body through fresh air.  
For many birders, the best benefit of attracting birds is simply being able to enjoy them, but attracting them with proper landscaping and attentive care can lead to a range of other benefits that make enjoying the birds even more exciting and productive.


Monday, April 22, 2013

Time to Ponder

I had a discussion with a great master in Japan... and we were talking about the various people who are working to translate the Zen books into English, and he said, "That's a waste of time. If you really understand Zen... you can use any book. You could use the Bible. You could use Alice in Wonderland. You could use the dictionary, because... the sound of the rain needs no translation."
-Alan Watts (1915 - 1973)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Pinecrest GROWS: Mountain Chickadee Farm

Jill Spevacek, (left) pictured here with here friend Brooke at work on the farm.
The Pinecrest community will be pleased to learn that fresh local produce will be available this summer. And I mean local! Jill Spevacek, daughter of Pinecrest owners, Franks & Kathy, is currently in the process of building and planting the new Mountain Chickadee Farm on the west hillside of Pinecrest.  According to the Mountain Chickadee Farm facebook page, "Mountain Chickadee Farm is located in Julian, CA. We provide the San Diego area with high quality all natural produce."
Jill's interest in food began as a senior in Julian High School’s culinary class and continued during college at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Last year, she further developed her skills with an internship on a 15-acre farm outside of Nevada City. Mountain Chickadee Farm will grow mainly vegetables, and plans for further development of a berry patch. 
Although not yet "certified organic", the farm will use only non-harmful, whole earth practices. Jill" goal is to provide Julian (and Pinecrest) with fresh, locally grown produce. Mountain Chickadee Farm-stand will be located at Pinecrest and plans to be open twice a week.
This year's seeds have been germinated and so far include turnips, radishes, and bok choy. Jill is super excited about the project and will begin transplanting some of my starts this week. She says, "Hopefully we will have produce for sale come May!"
Jill is looking forward to interacting with the Pinecrest community, as well as the community at large, by participating in the farmer's market and at the Club House where the fruits of her labor may be featured in the form of fresh produce, pies and jams. 
Community comes together to help set up

Mountain Chickadee Farm

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Introducing: The Paradise Lounge!

Here's the kind of cocktail napkin one used to find at classy dinner lounges from days gone by. Funny, quirky, and full of mischief! Just like the new-retro lounge that has been un-earthed at Pinecrest. The PARADISE LOUNGE, located in the refurbished Pinecrest Clubhouse, will be open and ready for guests beginning Memorial Day Weekend. The fabulous new space features, cozy indoor seating areas, a little lending library(take a book, leave a book), an incredible Saturday Night Fever pinball machine, a classic stereo-record player and enough open space to swing a wild pig or do a funky jig!

The PARADISE LOUNGE will be open to members to access thru out the day, and will be the new gathering place for special events, group meetings and workshops. Be prepared though! If you should get wind of a cocktail party happening at the PARADISE LOUNGE you would be well advised to arrive in the appropriate Wacky Plaid Smoking Jacket or Funky Vintage Cocktail Dress! (so start shopping today at thrift stores and retro shops for the right gear).

The time are a-changing at Pinecrest! Be the change!