Monday, August 13, 2018

Vancouver International Bird Festival

Eco-Conscious Event 

 Vancouver International Bird Festival 

August 19 – 26

* The Nature Trust is pleased to be sponsoring the website for this festival in 2018.

Mark your calendars so you can participate in the Vancouver International Bird Festival (VIBF) next year from August 19 to 26. 

The festival offers bird-related workshops, walks, talks, exhibitions, and lectures across Vancouver.

**Best of all... Most events will be free!!

Friday, August 10, 2018

Product Review

Product Review

Last year our neighbourhood was improved with the Shannon’s purchasing a house and bringing all their fur-kids along. Karen immediately started up her “Rent A Daughter” services and Glenn had an enviable workshop built in his backyard where he plays with re-claimed wood and produces unique creations. They are a semi-retired couple who have already shown such creativity with the improvements to their new home. We became fast friends so easily, of course, because our dogs all just loved each other instantly. Who could fight that?  

One day Glenn had Dave over to see his workshop and we just totally fell in love with his birdhouses.  In a subsequent visit, we learned he also makes bat houses… so you know we had to have one of those as well. 

As you can see from the pictures… these are not your average birdhouse creations. Some have swooping roof-lines like those in Whoville (you know: Horton Hears a Who); others resemble a Smurf hat. Exterior walls are stained and/or decorated with polished stones, or wood art that Glen made by hand – carefully carving windowsills, doors, decorations, furniture… all out of re-claimed wood.

Some of the "works in progress" from Glenn's workshop

Glenn has a real passion for making something out of what others see as waste. He gets wood from all sorts of places – sometimes gleaning from unwanted pallets, construction piles (like the one we had) or hardware store waste-wood bins and occasionally purchasing wood from yard sales or buy/sell groups.

These houses are carefully made with precision – notice the quality wood joins. They feel lightweight yet you can also tell they are of solid construction. Glenn is very thoughtful at every stage, creating just the right size entrance and building a removable clean-out door. 

From the three pictures below, you can see that our birdhouse is coincidentally stained just the right tone to go with the ambiance of our yard… that, and the swooping roofline and the tiny carved furniture were what captured our attention. We just had to have it!!! 


Dave installed it with the back to the rising sun on the far edge of the grape arbor, which is located between two of our three bird-friendly water features. It looks stunning there with the grape vines behind it. We thought that because this location is also between two houses, it would experience more protection from the elements and weather extremes. The grape arbor is 10 feet tall and that places the birdhouse well above our heads, allowing the critters some sense of security and privacy.

This pic is taken from over the deck railing - to give some perspective of the birdhouse placement 

The bat-house (yet to be installed; the pics below were taken in the music studio) is made entirely of unstained rough cedar. We intend to leave it untreated, rather than staining it to match everything else. I looked it up on line and it says that here in BC, Canada the bat-house should be painted or stained a dark colour and placed so that it will receive the maximum amount of sun each day ***except in the “particularly hot regions of the Okanagan, Fraser-Thompson or Kootenay regions of BC… Well, we are in the Kootenays.... So reading on I learned that if you live in hot regions consider leaving the wood natural or paint a light colour. 

Like birdhouses, they should be placed near good foraging and water sources. Bats like to be up really high – a tall pole or on the side of a building. People who opt for the pole often choose to have two bat-houses placed back to back, sandwiching the pole between them. Using a tree is out – usually – because bats like a clear path to fly in and out, and the branches present obstacles. The only option for you, if you must mount the house in a tree, is to clear some branches away. 

Just like birds, bats tend to take up residence in the spring however you may find some taking refuge in the house at other times of the year, so go ahead and install it whenever you can.

Prices, styles, shapes and sizes vary - so be sure to connect with Glenn's facebook page so that you can reach out and find what's currently available:

Learn more about the product review policy; queries welcome :)


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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day


“Don’t live worried, frustrated or upset 

because of what somebody did or what didn’t work out. 

Come back to a place of peace. 

It’s not going to work against you; 

it’s going to work for you.” 

~ Joel Osteen


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Monday, August 6, 2018

Common Myths About Wild Bats

Common Myths About Wild Bats

* Written By: Sarahbeth Kluzinski

Bats have had a bad reputation for a long time. Old tales, books, movies, television, and publicity have caused people to develop misconstrued notions about bats. The truth is, bats are incredibly important to our surrounding eco-system. 

Do you like mosquitos? Bats do! And they eat all of them so that mosquitos aren't eating you at your backyard cookout party. Aside from insect control, bats play a major role in our environment. It is important to always respect bats, and understand that they are innocent mammals that only want to survive.

For this reason, it is important that you never harm, trap, or kill wild bats. In fact, it is illegal in most states without the proper licenses and permits. If you are scared of bats, or have a misguided perception of them, continue reading to learn some common myths and perhaps change your mind about bats once and for all!


  • Bats Consume Blood

All bat species but one are either insectivores or fruit eaters. There is only one bat species that consume the blood of other animals, and to no surprise, this bat species is called the Vampire Bat, or Desmodus rotundus. But do not be mistaken; Vampire bats do not kill their host, they simply consume enough blood for a meal. It does not harm or hurt the host at all (although sometimes their bites can get infected and cause problems with the host), which normally include livestock animals like cows, horses, and goats.

  • Bats Will Attack You

Bats are more scared of you than you are of them. They are not likely to attack humans and animals, despite what some movies have shown you. The only time a bat will attack is if it is rabid with the Rabies virus, or if is it provoked. 

Provocation will especially cause mother bats to defend their young. This is why pets are common victims of such attacks. They are curious and just want to take a whiff of a mother bat, but she is in no mood. This is one reason why pet vaccinations are so important. If you find one, do not touch it or try to move it with something. Keep your distance and call a wildlife removal company!

  • Bats Are Blind

They are not blind at all. In fact, Megachiroptera (tropical fruit bats) have pretty good eye sight because they have a pronounced visual cortex. Although Microchiroptera have smaller eyes, they can still see just fine. They do not use echolocation solely to navigate. They mostly use it to hunt for insects.


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