We spent most of the weekend assessing the yard and going out and buying and planting a bunch of plants for the yard, in all the places that really needed the help. A couple of junipers, two pine trees, a grass, and five honeybrush bushes with red violet (just like the Crayola crayon!) flowers that immediately attracted the bees! Very cool.
A spooky thing, though, is that there are no birds anymore. None of the little starlings, chickadees, crows, or even the bold magpies. We found a dead pigeon on the grounds. Whenever I see something fluttering by it's a butterfly or grasshopper. No hawks lazily circling in the late summer heat. When I hear chirping, it's a cricket or the cicidas. No starlings in the twilight. No strings of birds on the power lines. They say that West Nile has hit the human population around us pretty hard, but no newspaper or broadcast has made a big deal of how it's completely wiping out the native bird populations. The Mosquito Magnet's net bag is filled with mosquitos every dawn.
Closer to Longmont, there's actual avian life, again. Out here in Erie, though, it's... well.. eerie. They're going to spray here, soon, which may be good for the human population, but it's too late for the birds, I think. I just hope that the spray won't kill of the bees and butterflies, too. They're the only signs of life, now.