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Sep 5

Turning our backs on slaughter of wildlife by non-native cats

I get particularly distressed by cats that are allowed to roam - or cats that have been allowed to go wild (feral). They do not belong in our eco-system and the damage they do to our wildlife is extraordinary. I do make an exception for 'working' cats that are needed to keep rodents out of feed in agricultural situations. But those are only a tiny proportion of the implacable and efficient hunters that we have unleashed upon the landscape. 

Now, a new study in which scientists from University of Georgia and the National Geographic Society put small video cameras on cats has prompted the American Bird Conservancy and the Wildlife Society to conclude that cats are responsible for even more wildlife deaths than was previously thought - more than 4 billion animals a year, of which about 500 million are birds. 

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Aug 24

Pity the poor hornworm

I remember the absolute horror I felt when first confronted with hornworms – huge creatures perched on my tomato plants and chewing so fast you could watch the leaves disappearing. They get their name from the horn-like protuberance at the rear end.

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Aug 9

Perfect day for planting a fern bed

When is the best time to plant? We say spring or fall, and those are good times for a perennial, shrub or tree to make a transition from one growing environment to another. In spring, the plant is in good condition when you buy it from the garden centre, and it’s revving up to jump into the race for maximum growth over the summer. In fall, the plant can settle in for winter’s long rest, and be in place and ready for action the next year. 

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