Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hummers Have Returned!!!

You can almost set your clock by the annual return of the hummers around here - April 15. And this year is no exception. Real light activity at the feeders right now, but it WILL increase!

Our three Gulf shows were a disappointment. We were ankle deep in mud at the Oak Alley Plantation Spring Crafts Show. It was so bad, in fact, that the Plantation has cancelled all future shows. They want to keep their grounds looking nice (and who can blame them?) so after 23 years, they have called it quits on the outdoor shows. Art in the Pass in Pass Christian, MS, was a little better. It was just sort of rainy on Saturday, but the forecast for Sunday was for severe storms, so Sunday was cancelled. Of course, the storms didn't develop. Finished out at Festival de les Fleurs in Lafayette, LA. This show was indoors, so it was MUCH better. However, crowds were extremely sparse on Sunday. On the upside, Stokes Garden Center in Lafayette now carries Ozarklake feeders.

Still, we had a good time. We have now seen most all of southern Louisiana, driven out into the ocean to visit Grand Isle, learned about the persecution and exile of the Acadians as well as the cypress and Spanish moss industries, and discovered that Cajun food is VERY good. We've seen Pierre Part and Pecan Island, and have a better understanding of the lives of the Swamp People.We even visited Duck Commander in West Monroe.

We are completing some wholesale orders and getting ready for upcoming shows in Bloomington, IL; Indianapolis, IN; and The Biggest Week in American Birding in Ohio.

And best of all, the hummers have returned to the Lake of the Ozarks!

Hummingbird fact for today: A hummingbird's brain is 4.2% of its body weight, the largest proportion in the bird kingdom.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

So Close and Yet So Far

It seems as though it has been forever since the hummers headed south. We're both getting really anxious! And it seems that the northward migration may have begun at long last. The migration map that we like to follow is showing some late February sightings along the gulf coast. Check it out at http://www.hummingbirds.net/map.html.

We'll be heading off for Mississippi and Louisiana in a few weeks. We're both ready! We're going stir-crazy here in Missouri. And the polar vortex is headed our way --- again. Spring can't come soon enough!

Terrie has had a project for me to do in her head for a long, long time. And it seems that the procrastination has come to an end. She's gotten all the parts for it and now I'll actually have to build it. Pictures will be posted in the near future (assuming that I actually get to work on it).

Hummingbird fact for today: Unlike most other vertebrates, hummingbirds can see ultraviolet light which may help them find flowers with ultraviolet patterns.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A New Toy for Christmas


A big Thank You to my son Sean and his family for the amazing Christmas present. He sent us a BirdCam since I guess it is rather obvious that we're "into" birds. With no hummers or orioles around this time of year, I put it out to get pictures of my woodpeckers and cardinals. It takes amazing pictures (when it is not pointed into the sun)!!! By the time the hummers get back I intend to have a wifi SD card so we can download pictures and videos without moving the camera. Sooooo excited!

We're ready to escape the winter weather of Missouri and head off to Florida for next week's Spacecoast Birding and Wildlife Festival. This will be a new venue for us. We've been pretty well accepted at the other birding festivals we have done and hope this new adventure turns out as well as the others. At least it's Florida in January - MUCH better than Missouri in January :-)

We'll be at several new venues this year. We plan to try more birding and nature festivals as well as a few garden expos along with some art shows. Watch the "accepted" list; we'll add the venues as we are approved by them. If you are in the Lake of the Ozarks area, plan to attend our March 4 presentation on Hummingbirds at Lake Career and Technical Center in Camdenton, MO.

Hummingbird fact for today: Male hummingbirds are the tiniest warm-blooded animals on the planet. Females need to be a tiny bit bigger to be able to produce eggs, to afford to share their body heat with the eggs while incubating, and to be able to share their food when feeding nestlings.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

It's Been a Busy Fall

We've heard about it for years and we finally were able to attend the HummerBird Festival in Rockport, TX, this year. Rockport is on the flyway for hummingbirds heading back home. Parks in town have feeders and hummers are everywhere. This little guy was right by the gazebo in the park.

And of course, doing what we do (finding the strange), we hopped over to Corpus Christi and toured the Dr. Pepper Museum in Waco on the way home.

In October we were fortunate to be invited to participate in the Best of Missouri Market at the Botanical Gardens in St. Louis. Then on to the Pink Palace Crafts Fair in Memphis, TN.

This month we've seen even MORE of Texas. We attended the Texas Butterfly Festival in Mission and then the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival in Harlingen. In between we popped over into Mexico for a little sight-seeing.

We are pleased to report that Ozarklake feeders can now be purchased at the gift shop in the Harlingen Arts and Heritage Museum!

All that's left for this year is Fall Into Art in Columbia, MO, and then the Holiday Showcase in Little Rock, AR. We WILL find warmer weather, however, when we attend the Spacecoast Birding Festival in January in Florida :-)

Hummmingbird fact for today: A hummingbird's wings are articulated only at the shoulder and are anatomically closer to those of an insect than to those of any other bird.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Thursday, August 22, 2013

So Sad

It seems that our summer visitors have begun to leave us. There are fewer males, both hummers and orioles. Those still here are feeding like crazy though. The hummers try to double their body weight before they head south - that's a l-o-n-g journey for such tiny little birds!

The hummers seem to have a heightened need to guard their food source. This little bully guards from the front, from the rear, and seemed to win this particular battle!

Art in Bayfront Park in Duluth, MN, was a very nice show. The "breeze" coming off Lake Superior was a bit much at times, but the setting is beautiful. On our never-ending quest to find the odd and unique on our travels, we stopped at the Spam Museum in Austin, MN, and Deke Slayton and Bicycle Museum in Sparta, WI.

Our next show will be at Cedarhurst Center for the Arts in Mount Vernon, IL. We haven't been to this show in several years and hope to see old friends while making new ones. Then we'll head off to the HummerBird Celebration in Rockport, TX. Rockport is on the flyway for the ruby-throated hummingbirds as they head south, so it should be quite fun. We'll miss our fellow artists at Silver Dollar City this fall, but we have new places to see!

Hummingbird fact for today: Leaving your feeder up does not prevent the migration of the hummingbirds. They migrate according to the change in light.