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.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Hummers, Bees, and Essential Oil of Marigold

What a fantastic country we live in! After exhibiting at the High Desert Arts Festival in Eagle Nest, NM, we headed to the Hummingbird Festival in Sedona, AZ, by way of Colorado and Utah! We visited the Great Sand Dunes National Park, Monument Valley, Canyon de Chelly, and all points in between! Fabulous scenery! Fabulous people!

Thanks to helpful neighbors, we returned home to find our hummers and orioles fat and sassy. Feeder activity really picks up this time of year as the Ruby-throated hummers begin to fatten up in preparation for the long migration south. Unfortunately, bees are also finding the feeders. We tried numerous remedies to try to keep the bees away, and at long last have found one that works. Soak a cotton pad (similar to a cotton ball only flat, available in the beauty needs section of your favorite store) with Essential Oil of Marigold and place close to the nectar opening.

With our bottle feeders, I punch a hole in the pad and slip it over the feeding tube, positioning it just behind the red tip. With the tube feeders, I place it between the tube and the copper coil that the tube sets in. Be sure to NOT put the oil anyplace that the hummers might get it on their wings or their feet. Hummers have no sense of smell, but the overwhelming concentrated marigold scent tells the bees to stay away. You can order Essential Oil of Marigold from http://www.scentit.com/. The scent fades away, so keep it fresh to keep sending the message to those pesky bees. Bee traps also help keep down the population. I use the traps that you bait with juice, sugar, and raw meat. Bees go in and can't get out. This is a video I took today at the back of the studio.

People ask us if the birds use our feeders. Well, DUH!!! The near window has one bottle feeder, the glass door has 7 of our Onesie's, and the far window has one bottle feeder and two Onesie's. Watch the fighting over positioning and listen to the chatter as they fuss at one another. What fun!

video

Next weekend we will be at Art in Bayfront Park in Duluth, MN. This will be our first time in that part of the country and we're excited about going!

Hummingbird fact for today: The hummingbird is more than just beautiful. Its physical capabilities put the toughest human being to shame.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Never a quiet moment


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Here's are two videos - random 30 seconds of both sides of the house/shop. Not sure if we have backyard birds and frontyard birds, or if they all go to all the feeders.

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Flock Has Increased

After a few relatively quiet weeks at the feeders, we now have much-increased activity. The most plausible explanation for this is that the first brood of hummers has come off the nests. So we've put out more feeders and we're making 2 gallons of nectar every couple of days. Our Baltimore and Orchard orioles are still around, but they are having to fight the darn sparrows for the jelly.

We'll be heading off to Eagle Nest, NM, and then Sedona, AZ, in just a couple of weeks. Both shows are inside (thank goodness) and provide an excellent road trip. The 2nd Annual Hummingbird Festival in Sedona will be the highlight of the trip. We had a great time last year in the company of so many hummingbird lovers!

Our summer has been relatively quiet, but the fall will keep us hopping for sure. We're ready to hit the road and see some more of this great country. Art in Bayfront Park in Duluth, MN, in mid-August will be new territory for us. And speaking of new territory, Ozarklake feeders can now be found at Wild Birds Unlimited in Hockessin, DE, and Tuscaloosa, AL.

Hummingbird fact for today: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/05/hummingbird-tongue-drinking/ It's VERY informative.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

We have a winner

We attended the very first Peculiar Arts Festival in Peculiar, MO, five years ago. We went back this year for their 5th annual event. This is a very well run show. We were honored with a Purchase Award from the arts festival committee.

We also very much enjoyed their music, including the Krazy Kats. The Kats have been together since 1957 and although they move a bit slower and have gray hair, their sound is still pretty darn good!

Activity at our hummingbird feeders has slowed down quite a bit. That is common this time of year as mom is sitting the eggs. Once hatched, mom will concentrate on a protein diet to feed the youngsters. We will have lots of activity at the oriole feeders. There are at least 3 male Baltimore's and 4 male orchard's that visit frequently. Plenty of females, too, but not sure which are Baltimore orioles and which are orchard orioles.

We will be at the Wild Birds Unlimited trade conference later this month in Indianapolis. This will be a first - both with WBU and a large trade show. With over 250 franchise store owners in North America, we are hoping to make in-roads with many of them.

Our next "big" gig will be High Country Arts Festival in Eagle Nest, NM, followed by the Hummingbird Festival in Sedona, AZ. September and October will be kind of crazy, with shows nearly every weekend. Keeping busy with the feeders keeps us out of trouble and the plus is that we get to see a lot of our great country.

Hummingbird fact for today: Hummingbirds reject flower types that produce nectar that is less than 10% sugar.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Human Hummingbird Feeder

Anyone who knows Terrie knows how nuts she is about hummingbirds. We are fortunate this year because it seems that all the hummers that were here before their migration have returned. The cold snaps we keep having are contributing to their need to feed. The activity around our feeders is just crazy, especially at dusk as they pack in the calories for their nightly torpor state. Armed with three tubes of nectar, Terrie became a human hummingbird feeder this week. Yes, hummingbird lovers, they will come THAT close to you.

The orioles have returned as well. There are plenty of male orchard orioles as well as at least three male Baltimore orioles. So this summer we'll be buying a lot of oranges and grape jelly!

Birdfest Texoma was a lot of fun. It's very rewarding to spend time with people who appreciate our feathered friends. Next weekend we'll be at Springfield Old Capitol Art Fair in Springfield, IL. A reporter from the State Journal-Register called this week and our items will be featured in an article to be published on Thursday. Gotta love free publicity!

Hummingbird fact for today: Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are so lightweight that you could mail 8 of them for the price of a first-class postage stamp.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

BirdFest Texoma

Friends of Hagerman are hosting BirdFest Texoma May 3-5 near Sherman, TX. Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge offers  an 11,000 acre-plus home for wildlife - water, marsh, prairie and woods, with over 300 bird species sighted since the Refuge was established. Noted birder, painter, and author David Sibley is the keynote speaker. Jonathan Wood, master falconer and wildlife rehabilitator, has assembled a collection of feathered predators that is unrivalled in scope and size. Thirty-six birds will be presented in the Raptor Project show at BirdFest Texoma! Three full days of birding, wildlife and nature activities will make for a great weekend. We plan to be there!


If you find yourself in Hardy, Arkansas, stop and see Marc and Linda Herring at Ozark Classic Crafts Mall on Main Street. In addition to Ozarklake hummingbird feeders, you will find all kinds of wonderful handcrafted items.

Hummingbird fact for today: Feeders hung at the window attract as many hummers as feeders placed further from structures.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

And now Orioles are returning!

Had a pair of Orchard Orioles at the hummingbird feeder yesterday. So now we have our grape jelly and orange half feeder out. This morning we saw a male Baltimore Oriole. Even though it is only in the 30's this morning, Spring is here!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Hummmingbird season at Lake of the Ozarks!

We now have two males. Females should start showing up in 10-14 days. Woo-hoo!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

I'm a neglectful blogger....

Well, seems like just yesterday it was February *lol*

In March we traveled to Gulf Breeze, FL, and to Fairhope, AL. At Gulf Breeze Celebrates the Arts we were awarded a Purchase Award and saw Suzette Nesbitt-Walker, also a BOMH Juried Artist, of Rowdy Blonde Studio in Reed Spring, MO, receive a First Place award for her outstanding Jewelry. At the Eastern Shore Art Center Festival in Fairhope we spent some quality time with Janet Weilbrenner and Stacy Benesh, BOMH Juried Artists from West Plains, MO, who make Copper Turtles. So we're not the only crazy Missourians who traipse around the country to art festivals!

Cold Mil Fleet in Orange Beach, AL, has THE BEST dolphin cruise! They take out two boats and when dolphins are spotted, they run the boats full tilt side by side which causes the dolphins to jump and frolic and cavort in the big wake between the boats. What a thrill! The best $15 you will ever spend (that doesn't involve hummingbirds). Of course we had "to do" the aviation museums in Pensacola, FL, and Warner-Robbins, GA. We also found the Uncle Remus Museum and ate fried green tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe. Towanda!

So with that excitement behind us, we're gearing up for the spring and summer art shows and birding festivals. The Stillwater (OK) Arts Festival is next weekend and that is always a good time (but always windy). The people of Stillwater really support this event. In May we're off to BirdFest Texoma and then the Springfield Old Capitol Art Fair. After Art in the Park in Columbia, MO, June (our favorite show), we'll attend the Wild Birds Unlimited annual conference. Wild Birds Unlimited is the original and largest franchise system of backyard bird feeding and nature specialty stores with more than 275 locations throughout the United States and Canada. Wild Birds Unlimited specializes in bringing people and nature together with bird feeding and nature products, expert advice and educational events and this will be the first conference we have attended since being approved as a vendor to WBU franchise stores.

But the REALLY BIG NEWS here is that we spotted the first Ruby-throated hummer of the season this morning at the feeder!!!!! We've been waiting and waiting and waiting. Yay!

Hummingbird fact for today: You can see the "first sightings" as the Ruby-throateds return to the US on this site http://www.hummingbirds.net/map.html.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Another Success Story

We LOVE to hear from customers, especially when they and their hummers are enjoying our feeders. We got a really neat note from a customer yesterday. He bought this feeder in 2009 at the Omaha Summer Arts Festival. He was writing to request new tubes. But he also shared a story about this feeder.

He wrote, "We bought a feeder from you two at a show in Omaha a few years ago and I got some replacement tubes from you I think maybe year before last. We have it down here in Arizona now. The hummers love it, though they don't share well. A little story on the feeder, its popular with the birds and also with guests who remark on its' individuality. A few years ago during our first winter down here we attracted a little female Anna's Hummingbird whom we called Anna (aren't we creative) No other bird has been attached to this feeder like her so I still call it Anna's feeder. She sat on top of a bush maybe 4 feet away from it for the entire winter...I mean everyday, most of the day!! She was so stingy with it, others learned to feed when she was driving some interloper away. Sometimes if the tubes needed refilling she would come to us as we came out of the house and hover about six inches from our faces. Kinda frightening at first but we got used to it and it seemed she wanted fresh food because if I refilled the tubes she would drink while I'll was doing it. We spent the summer in Nebraska that year, returned in the fall, hung the feeder and she was back within a few hours!"

He included a picture of the feeder and amazingly enough, we remember this feeder and we remember meeting them in Omaha. It is so satisfying to know that he has been using this feeder since he purchased it in 2009 and it is still feeding hummingbirds in 2013 and he is still enjoying owning it. That's a darn good return on investment! Thanks, Jeff, for allowing us to share your story.

Hummingbird fact for today: The female hummer will build her nest before she looks for a suitable male mate for breeding.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Wonderful Vacation

We travel a lot but usually we are in the van and toting inventory, the tent, weights, etc. So we decided it was time for a trip with no selling involved. We drove to Ft. Lauderdale and boarded a cruise ship headed south. We stopped in Aruba, Curacao, Panama, and Costa Rico. The highlight of the trip was our transit of the Panama Canal, from the Atlantic side to the Pacific side. I highly recommend Tours by Locals if you want to see a new location through the eyes of someone who lives there and not just the touted tourist attractions.

Our new season will begin in March, with stops in Florida, Alabama, and Georgia. All we have to do is wait out the coldest part of the year here in Missouri. And take care of all those niggling appointments with doctors, eye doctors, dentists, etc.

The Hummingbird Society will host another Hummingbird Festival in August which we will again attend, with a stop at the High Desert Arts Festival in Eagle Nest, NM, along the way. We're still waiting to hear where we will be for the rest of the show season.

Hummingbird fact for today: Sightings of vagrant Rufous hummingbirds are increasingly being reported throughout the southeastern US in winter with hummingbird banders capturing dozens of birds each winter.