is   backyard nature,  backyard wildlife,   and green business for consumers
backyard lawn and garden plants including mushrooms in forestry and urban natural areas

Animals: Pets & Wildlife
Home Improvement
Natural Housing
Conservation Tips

Green & Sustainable
Urban Agriculture & Farming
Organic Food
Energy Efficiency
Nature Tips
Eco & Nature Travel
California Nature
California Beach Communities
Hiking & Camping
Events Calendar
California Green Solutions
Bird Profiles
Buddy's Diner
Insects & Weird Critters
Plants & Green Stuff
Other Fun Stuff
Nature Education Center
California Scrapbook
Japan Scrapbook
Naturalists & Heroes
Backyard Blessings
Nature Education
Nature Art & Illustration
Nature Films & Video

"Every child should have mud pies, grasshoppers, waterbugs, tadpoles, frogs & turtles, elderberries, wild strawberries, acorns, hickory nuts, trees to climb, animals to pet, hayfields, pine cones, rocks to roll, sand, snakes, huckleberries and hornets – and any child who has been deprived of these has been deprived of the best part of his education." -Luther Burbank 1849 - 1926
Published by
Solutions For Green We also publish California Green Solutions and a series of blogs about healthy living solutions.

We don't share your information with anyone else. We ask that parents subscribe to the newsletter. We respect our community's children. We believe we are part of "our village" and need to care for one another.

california native plants are poppies for wildflowers and native plant ecosystem

For more sustainable business information, visit for Sustainable Workplace and Green Products, and ~ Movie Industry Marketing for Indie Filmmaking Tips Arkansas Pet Services ~ for Lifestyles ~ Home and Garden Habitat, Organics and Sustainability
organic foods, organic landscaping, organic farming and organic products for babies, kids and adults.

Cliff Swallows build nests of mud

One of the first signs of the rainy season is the arrival of Cliff Swallows.

It's January and we've had our first big rains of the rainy season here in Southern California. The flowers are beginning to burst forth in color and crispness. Trees are budding...

And I am watching for that first crocus of the new year...a personal ritual of many decades. But I'm not holding my breath because the crocus season here seems to be different than the East Coast...and the crocus just isn't as popular here as in the eastern half of the US.

However, I've discovered a different annual ritual of spring. Along with the winter rains come the natural flooding of the wetlands near. And with the flooding comes mud. And with the mud comes the spring antics of the Cliff Swallows.

This bird is hallowed as a harbinger of spring at San Juan Capistrano, CA, and lambasted as agricultural pest across most of the state, but last year I observed the industrious swallows building their nests by diving for mud in the Ballona Wetlands...and they took up residence in my heart.

If you would like to learn more about these industrious birds...and their cousins, the Barn Swallow, try this web page...

"Both sexes of the Cliff Swallow construct the nest, proceeding slowly to allow the mud to dry and harden. Depending on mud supply and weather, nest construction takes 1 to 2 weeks. Mud is collected at ponds, puddles, ditches, and other sites up to 1/2 mile away, with many birds using the same mud source. A typical nest contains 1,000 to 1,400 mud pellets, each representing one trip to and from the nest. Cliff swallows sometimes build two or three nests per season; not all nests are used, however..."

...and on and on, you will be fascinated at the antics and habits of these graceful swallows that are nature's bug collectors. Great prevention of mosquitos and beetles!

I hope you have a spring ritual that makes you grin as you anticipate the season of life bursting forth in its endless array of wonder. If not, maybe this is the year to observe carefully the little details of natural miracles that arise around you...and to choose one that can take up residence in your heart!

For more articles about BIRDS, BIRDS, BIRDS!

Bird Profiles for Young Natguralists
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Red Breasted Nuthatch
Carolina House Wren
White Breasted Nuthatch
Tufted Titmouse
Prothonotary Warbler
Hairy Woodpecker
Eastern Bluebirds
Downey Woodpecker
Purple Martin

For more articles about INSECTS

Lady Bug Invasion
Moths and Nightlights
Bees in the City
Insects are busy little critters
Earth's Most Successful Life Form
Keeping ants in nature