Written by an area Landscape Architect and birdwatcher with over 30 years of experience with landscaping in north Texas: what works and what doesn't. Emphasis on attracting birds to north Texas yards, and reducing required yard maintenance. Tips, trivia and proven advice for a natural, low-cost approach for this unique and sensitive part of the country.
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Sunday, October 13, 2013
Avoiding those pesky hot-air balloon injuries!
Rabies incidents from bats; not as much. During the past 50 years, only 48 U.S. residents,
according to open records, contracted rabies from bats; that’s less than one
per year. That’s less than the number of hot-air balloon injuries in the
entire country during the same time period! (for comparison: in 2001 alone, 15,989
people contracted TB).
Nationally, less than half of one percent of bats have
rabies. Bats aren’t rabies vectors anyway (which is an animal that can transmit
the disease without contracting it), and almost always die from it before
Xeriscaping is not just rocks and cactusIn an effort to be ecological, some homeowners have replaced lawns with
large patches of gravel.All this does
is create even more heat, which we don’t need in Texas. Good intent, but WRONG. Gravel and rocks tend to
heat up the area including the soil. In turn, this actually increases water and
energy use since water now evaporates faster, and the well-intentioned owner
uses air conditioners more.
The increased heat activates dormant weed seeds beneath the gravel. It
quickly becomes riddled with weeds and spotty grass clumps (which break through
to the sunlight), becoming a big maintenance problem.
Most species of cacti don’t do well in north Texas, anyway.Ground covers and tall, prairie grasses are
far better Xeriscaping tools, and are much more ecological. They’re better for
birds too. I have a list of good “birdscape” plants (that grow here with
minimal effort), I’d be glad to share with you.
YOST, in addition to being a blogger, is a licensed Landscape Architect emeritus
who has lived and worked in north Texas for over 30 years. He is a member of
the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), International Federation
of Landscape Architects, National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society.
His office is at Yost87@charter.net in Denton.