Friday, December 18, 2009
Know how boring it is to hang around the pharmacy waiting for your prescription to be filled? The HyVee Pharmacy in Parkway Center in Osage Beach, MO, has rectified that with a very nice shopping area. And in this gift shop you can now find Ozarklake Distinct Decor hummingbird feeders! Stop by and say hi to April.
Hummingbird fact for today: Life in "civilized" landscapes is not without risks for hummers. They encounter pesticides, free-roaming cats, air and water pollution, and continuing loss of habitat to urbanization.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
One last show before the holidays. We'll be in Hermann, MO, at the German shopping experience, Kristkindl Markt, at the Festhalle. We get to wear German costumes and generally have a very good time.
Hummingbird fact for today: A feeder holding 8 fluid ounces of sugar solution will fill the daily energy needs of 40 to 60 birds, a more than adequate supply under most circumstances.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
I was wrong. My creativity was to be challenged yet again. Last week we were contacted by a customer who wanted 14 identical but unique feeders. Because each is to be a gift for a family member, he wanted me to use the same bottle. My art is one-of-a-kind; I use no jigs or preconceived concepts of how a feeder will look. I think I met this challenge. Making identical unique feeders is challenging and fun for a while. But I much prefer just picking up a piece of glass and letting my creativity take me where it will.
Hummingbird fact for today: Feeding stations in warm areas, including the Gulf and Pacific Coasts and desert Southwest, may have a year-round hummingbird clientele, but in most parts of North America, hummingbird season is all too short.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Hummingbird fact for today: The hummers' migration is triggered by the length of the day. You cannot stop them from migrating by keeping your feeder out. Even you can't fight Mother Nature. The males are the first to leave, opening up the food sources for the females and juveniles. The females leave next. And finally this year's young leave. Hummers fly solo; they do not fly in flocks. Those young-un's head out with no one to show them where they are going. Amazing, isn't it?
Thursday, September 3, 2009
This past weekend we did the same thing. But on Monday, we had fewer hummers. And noticeably absent are the red-gorgeted males. It appears that the migration back to the homeland has started. The males leave first. The females will follow over the next few weeks. This year's juveniles will be the last to depart. They fly individually and no one shows them where to go. What an incredible journey!
About two weeks ago we also lost our male orioles. Only females were eating the grape jelly. And now this week, nothing is eating the grape jelly. It appears that they, too, feel the forces of nature.
Woe is me!
Hummingbird fact for today: Feathers lost accidentally within a few weeks, while those damaged but not lost are replaced during the next normal molt.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
After the ruby-throateds returned to our area in the spring, we had about 4 or 5 little birds at the feeders on the front porch. Suddenly about 4 weeks ago the activity picked up - by about a dozen more birds! It has to be that the juveniles came off the nest, and it was certainly a successful breeding season. This video is indicative of the activity, from dawn until dusk, daily. Even the people who walk the neighborhood point as they go by. We're refilling the feeders several times a day. Terrie has lived here longer than I have and she says she has never seen anything like this. It's fantastic! As you can see, they don't care which style of feeder and they even share! We have seen instances of two birds, one hovering over the other, feeding from the same feeding tube simultaneously. Luckily I have a supply of feeders, so I just keep adding more. We'll have to put out bigger ones now that we will be going to weekend art shows again.
Hummingbird fact for today: When nectar is plentiful, a hummingbird's daily urine output may exceed 80 percent of its body weight.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
From there we drove on up to North Dakota, just because we could, staying off the interstates as much as possible. There is so much America out there, and so many wonderful people. I get disgusted listening to the bags of wind in Washington, DC. None of them have any idea what is outside the Beltway.
We then decided to visit one of our wholesale customers. The Abode Gallery is in Stockholm, Wisconsin. This is a little town of under 100 people on the shore of Lake Pepin that has re-invented itself. Art abounds. Everyone should visit Stockholm. Alan and Steve at Abode were friendly and welcoming. And the pie at the shop next door was melt-in-your-mouth wonderful.
Now we're working on creating artful inventory in preparation for the upcoming shows. The grass is about a foot deep with all the rain that has fallen. As if our schedule isn't grueling enough, Terrie is going back to school for her BA. Her classes start in less than a month. Our items will soon be in a new location. Look for Ozarklake art at Silver Star Gallery in Chelan, Washington.
Hummingbird fact for today: Nothing in commercial feeder mixes justifies the cost, which is five to eight times that of a homemade sugar solution. Mix your own solution using four parts water to one part white table sugar.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
We are also hearing about more and more oriole sightings. I have read that oriole behavior is similar to hummer behavior in that females will not visit the feeders as much while they are on the nest. I know that is true at our house. Other birds, however, are enjoying the grape jelly and oranges that we have out. It seems that the fruit eating birds are the colorful ones. We have some gorgeous red-headed woodpeckers that visit daily.
Hummingbird fact for today: Not all hummingbirds pollinate the flowers from which they feed. Some short-billed species routinely bypass the pollination mechanism by inserting their bills between the bases of the petals or through holes created by insects or other birds.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
She also had some problems locating the right gauge copper wire. She finally un-stranded some stranded wire, which was an excellent solution. I'm flattered that she was determined to complete her project and tracked me down. I hope this link helps others. And in case you missed the article, it's http://www.birdsandblooms.com/Glass-Hummingbird-Feeder/detail.aspx.
Sure enough, it rained in St. Louis last weekend. And it rained here at the Lake of the Ozarks, too. Quite a bit of Missouri has seen quite enough rain for a while! The forecast for this weekend is excellent and will hopefully bring lots of visitors to the Missouri Artisan Festival on Saturday at Les Bourgeois Vineyards and Winery in Rocheport.
Hummingbird fact for today: Despite the predominance of certain hues in hummingbird-pollinated flowers, color is far less important in determining a bird’s “favorite” nectar source than the quantity and quality of the nectar.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Terrie is finally trying to get the painting done. This needs to be done as a result of the new ceilings that were put in, that were a result of the trees falling on the house almost a year ago. She's changing the color scheme. I guess it's a good time to do that. She says nothing has been painted since they moved in years and years ago. But now she's years and years older (sh, don't tell her I said that) and she's not as nimble on the ladder as she once was. As long as she's careful and doesn't get hurt, she can take as much time as she needs to get the job done. I'd help, but she said no - it's HER project.
We're still enjoying our Baltimore and orchard orioles. They sure go through the grape jelly! And the hummers are almost constant visitors at their feeders.
Went to see Star Trek yesterday. It was a fun movie. Probably won't win any Academy Awards or anything, but still fun.
Hummingbird fact for today: Digestion of nectar is amazingly rapid and efficient. The liquid passes entirely through the digestive system in less than 20 minutes, during which time the gut can extract virtually all of the sugars.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Yep, that's THIS Bill Merritt - in a widely-circulated magazine. I'm honored that they asked me to do that.
Art devotees don't let a little wet weather keep them away from Artsfest on Walnut Street. We had a great weekend - as did most everyone we talked with. It's off to Wichita this weekend, followed by Maifest in Hermann, MO, the next weekend.
When in Sheridan, Wyoming, look for Ozarklake feeders at the Foothills Gallery on Main Street.
Hummingbird fact for today: North American hummingbirds have adapted to a wide variety of environments, including desert scrub, shady forest edges, coastal chaparral, and alpine meadows.
Friday, May 1, 2009
The bright orange guy is the male baltimore oriole. The female has been around too - just not today. The yellow bird is one of the finches. The brownish bird is one of the orchard orioles. The blur in the second pic of the baltimore is a hummer going by to his feeder.
Hummingbird fact for today: Their relationships with flowering plants have shaped virtually every part of hummingbirds’ lives, from their size, shape, and hovering flight to mating habits and migration.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Hummingbird fact for today: The 17 species of hummingbirds that have bred in the United States and Canada represent approximately 5 percent of the world’s hummingbird species.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Hummingbird fact for today: As migratory birds, hummers are part of the Earth’s circulatory system, transporting energy and other resources between tropical and temperate ecosystems thousands of miles apart.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Areas to the north of Missouri will also start to see hummers soon.
We had a great time in St. Louis last weekend at the Art Fair at Queeny Park, presented by the Greater St. Louis Art Association. We will be at Art in the Garden at Wenwood Farm Winery on April 18. Then the first weekend in May we head off to Artsfest on Walnut Street in Springfield, MO. We've also picked up a few new wholesale orders. Unfortunately, with Spring comes yard work as well. And we've not had time yet to completely finish all the repairs from the trees falling on the house last spring! There's just not enough hours in a day.........................
Hummingbird fact for today: Lanny Chambers, who tracks the progress of the spring migration of Ruby-throated hummingbirds, reports a sighting on March 26 in Forsyth, Missouri. You can watch the migration progress at http://www.hummingbirds.net/map.html
Friday, March 27, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Then we went to visit Terrie's mom and husband in Yucca Valley, CA. This, too, was a great week. Left there for a show in Litchfield Park, AZ, a suburb of Phoenix. We met some wonderful artists, sold some feeders, and enjoyed the great weather. Terrie managed to hook up with one of her girlfriends from high school (Lexington, MO, class of 1970). From Phoenix we hit the back roads heading to Tucson. Again, Terrie tracked down another high school chum and I was enlightened (to say the least) about some of my wife's dubious activities when she was younger. We had a great visit and then headed on down to Tombstone. Terrie indulged my passion for airplanes and we spent a day at the Pima Air and Space Museum. I plan to indulge her (and my) passion for hummingbirds and visit the Sonora Desert Museum. Then we will get ready for the 4th Avenue Spring Fair in Tucson this coming weekend.
Road trips are great! As Terrie has observed, it seems that 90% of America's population is concentrated in about 10% of the space. There's a whole lot of nothing out there in this great country of ours and we all need to take the time to see it.
Grandson #3 was born this past Friday. Terrie says it is only fitting that her son have 3 sons spaced just two years apart because paybacks can be hell. It also reminds us of the fact that God gives babies to young people because we old folks have lost our patience.
Hummingbird fact for today: Over 340 species of hummers exist in the Western Hemisphere, with about 20 species visiting North America at some point in the year.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Terrie got rid of that pesky tooth last week. She's still hurting some and her jaw is still swollen a little. She doesn't handle annoyances well, and this annoyance is getting very tiresome for her.
On the bright side, things fell into place this week for a trip to California in March to see my son and Terrie's mom. We were accepted into three shows along the route. We're really looking forward to this extended road trip. And we think we'll do pretty well at the shows. A new wholesale account opened up this week. Oak Creek Canyon in Scottsdale, AZ, will soon have Ozarklake hummingbird feeders in their two stores. So although the weather is depressing, we have something to look forward to and have a reason to be busy creating.
Hummingbird fact for today: Though the smallest of all North American hummingbirds, the Calliope hummingbird migrates over the immense distance between Mexico and western Canada each year.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
The Jeff Dunham performance was everything I hoped it would be. We had a great time. Unbeknownst to me, Terrie was hurting. She developed a toothache and was popping Alleve. She hoped to "ward it off" as she said. And it did go away for a couple of days - until it came back with a vengence.
After a week of hurting she finally sucked it up and called for a dental appointment. I have to add here that Terrie is the world's biggest dentist-phobe. When she was a kid, some jerk who should have had his license pulled, totally ruined dental visits for her. She breaks out into a cold sweat just dialing the phone. And the news wasn't good. Her back bottom molar is abcessed. She apparently ran into another jerk who put this huge filling in that tooth, rather than just crowning it, and now the decay is down into the root pulp. So her choices are a root canal followed by a crown, or an extraction. With her phobia, there is no way she could physically sit through a root canal on a back molar. She takes medication for high blood pressure as it is. And she's never had a tooth pulled. So in order to get the "happy" drugs for the extraction, she has to see an oral surgeon. That's not for another two weeks. Finally today it seems that the antibiotic may be knocking down the infection because she's not in as much pain. She's like me in that she absolutely hates having to admit there's anything wrong with her. And I know the pain of toothaches - it wears you down. So I hope this gets better, the "happy" pills help her get through the extraction, and she gets back to normal.
Despite the pain she's been in, she's been busy on the internet locating garden shops and botanical gardens with gift shops. As a result of her efforts, we have a new wholesale account. Ozarklake feeders will soon be in the gift shop at Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden in Claremont, CA.
She's also been busy completing applications for 2009 shows. Each application is different. Each application requires different pictures, in different formats, with different information. It's time-consuming. And it's very discouraging when you don't get accepted for a show. She deserves all the credit in the world for plugging away like she does.
Hummingbird fact for today: The adult male Ruby-throat has an emerald green back with an iridescent red gorget. The gorget feathers are not actually red and may appear to be black in some lighting situations. The male may sometimes display by raising the feathers around the gorget and shaking his head to show it off to the best advantage.