Northern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
Bird Songs by Les Beletsky (Chronicle Books, 2006; $45) is more than a book, it has a built-in audio player so you can actually hear each bird sing its own tune. The book features North American birds, including water fowl, forest, woodland, and open-country birds. The illustrations of the various birds are glorious, and each new page is graced with a beautiful color plate.
Clever Gardening Technique
Make-It-Yourself Seed Tape
Seed tape is expensive to buy and easy to make, especially if you save your own seeds. To begin, tear newspaper into strips. Next, make a paste of one part water to one part flour, thin if necessary so that you can apply with a paintbrush. Mix well. Dab some paste onto the newspaper strips at the recommended planting distance for each variety of seed. For example; tomatoes - 6 to 8 inches apart. Next, label the newspaper with the type of seed and the date prepared. Allow to dry overnight, store in glass jars. When it's time to plant, simply lay the unrolled strips of prepared newspaper directly onto the surface of the soil and cover with a 1/2-inch layer of potting soil. All types of seed can be prepared as seed tape; beans, peas, flowers, you name it!