Friday, December 18, 2009

Hummingbirds and Christmas Trees

I've been creating my garden art for 7 years. I estimate that I've made well over a thousand hummingbird feeders utilizing repurposed glass. A lot of those feeders have been made from fancy liquor decanters. A lot of those decanters came with fancy glass stoppers, which I've just thrown into a box because I had no idea what I could do with them. Then I had a Duh! moment. A lot of the glass stoppers are hollow with an opening, just like their larger counterparts. Wrapped in copper and decorated with leaves and red beads, with a copper "feeding" tube, these stoppers are just the right size for non-functioning ornaments in the same style and motif as my feeders. I had a glass hummingbird bead on hand (imagine that), so I made this ornament, complete with bird, for Terrie. It is now part of her collection of everything hummingbird.

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

My Latest Creative Challenge

A customer came to me with a special request. She had some old insulators that she had saved from the old family farm and wanted them made into something special for her sister. She wanted it fairly plain and simple. Well, I've never tried to make anything that doesn't hang, so the first challenge was engineering "feet" so it would hold all the glass pieces and sit level enough for her to add tealights. I used one long piece of heavy wire to make the basic frame, wrapping around the base of each insulator and dropping down into coils to make the three feet. I'm rather pleased with the end result and we'll find out tomorrow if the customer is pleased. Her request to keep it simple allows it to be used as a centerpiece that can easily be decorated for most any occassion or season.

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

They're Not Hummers But They're Cute

It's been nearly a year since Izzy came into our home and it's nice to see that she and Ozzie are now best buds. Izzy is the first female cat we've had and she's definitely more lap-kitty than 7-year old Ozzie. It's great to go away to do a show and come home several days later and have the cats look like, "Well, gee, why are you here?"

Big show in Columbia, MO, this coming weekend. If you're out and about, stop by the Missouri Theatre in downtown Columbia and see all the fantastic art at the Beaux Arts Bizarre.

Hummingbird fact for today: Though their intelligence makes hummingbirds more challenging to trap than most other birds, it also seems to minimize the stress they feel during capture and data collection.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Identical but Unique - The Great Challenge

A few months ago a new customer requested 8 feeders, all made utilizing the same inverted globe that used to be a citronella candle in a previous life. We have several of these candles in two color schemes and he wanted 4 in one color and 4 in another color. I thought I had reached my creativity level when I managed to make 8 of these feeders, idential but unique.
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

Where Did The Summer Go?

I "moved in" to Silver Dollar City in September. It was still summer. The wife was in shorts. The hummers were still hitting the feeders. Then autumn swept in! We came home once and the hummers were gone. So sad to take down our feeders. We'll miss those little guys and all the entertainment they provided.

Six weeks as craftsman-in-residence at Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO, were a blast. Sort of. When it didn't rain. And some days it rained buckets! One day there was 10 inches of rain recorded in the area. Meeting the visitors, talking to them, showing them how a bottle becomes a decorator feeder was fun. There's just no other word for it. I love what I'm doing!

The weather has cooled off and everyone we talked to said their hummers had moved south. Actually they depend on the length of the day and not temperature. But they are now at home in the tropics and we'll see them again in the spring. It gives us something to look forward to.

We still have pre-Christmas shows we're doing, so be sure to come by and see us if you're in Columbia or Hermann.

Hummingbird fact for today: Hummers in fresh plumage often show pale, fringelike feather edges. These edges are broader and more comspicuous in young birds and wear away over time.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Two Little Hangers-On

We still have two little birds hitting the feeders. How sad we'll be when they head south, too. Hope they are still here when we return from the Chautauqua in Madison, Indiana, this coming weekend.

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

Arrivederci. Adiós. Au Revoir. Auf Wiedersehen

Two weekends ago when we left for a show, we took down the tube feeders and replaced them with several bottle feeders. We had so many hummers zipping around, they were emptying all the tubes several times a day, so we wanted to make sure they would find enough food to hang around until we got home. Sure enough, on Monday we had our standard feeding frenzy and swarm of hummers.

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

A Successful Breeding Season Brings More Hummers

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.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Feeding Frenzy

There is a feeding frenzy happening on our front porch. Apparently the juveniles are now flying to the feeders. We've seen two adult males and five juveniles and/or females at the same time, so we know we have at least seven hummers close by. Juveniles don't develop the red gorget until the second season, so it's difficult to distinguish them from the females right now. Since we see 3 and sometimes 4 birds sharing the same feeder, we assume they are juveniles and have not yet learned that they are supposed to be territorial and chasing the other hummers away from the food. There are 3 hummers at the tubes in this picture. We have a total of 11 tubes and one vacuum feeder out. We're currently refilling everything every day.

We're often asked if the hummers prefer one type of feeder over another. With this picture you can see that the answer is obviously, "No". These two little guys have no preferance. As long as it is food, they really don't care about the nectar container.

The frenzy seems to be widespread. We heard this week from a customer in the Kansas City area who was absolutely delighted with the activity at his two feeders. "Our feeling is that everyone who walks into your craft display should buy one of your feeders. The entertainment is phenomenal. With the activity tonight I was able to stand right by the window and watch them feed. They were oblivious to my presence." He got a great close up of a hummer feeding. Thanks to Cam Schutte for sharing with us. We've said for years that the entertainment far surpasses anything you can find on television!

The feeding frenzy isn't limited to hummers. We also have orioles sharing the grape jelly and it, too, is going faster. We're refilling the jelly every day as well. Utilizing my bird handbook, I believe this is a male orchard oriole and a female sharing.
Early morning and late evening provide the most activity and entertainment at the feeders.
Hummingbird fact for today: A hummingbird’s daily nectar requirements depends on a variety of factors, including activity level, air temperature, quality of available resources, and time of year.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Seeing More of the Country

We just returned from another road trip. First we went to the Omaha Summer Arts Festival. We had an absolutely fantastic show. This event is extremely well-run and publicized. The people of Omaha and surrounding communities are very supportive. Thank you, Omaha.

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

Where Are My Hummers?

It's the time of year that we hear this often, "My hummers were here but now they are gone." They are not gone, but there is less activity at the feeders. Mom is now on the nest and she's eating mostly a protein diet. When the eggs hatch, she will feed the babies a protein diet. When the young are ready to leave the nest, they will be in search of nectar. So this time of year, about all you will see at the feeder are the males in the area. And since females generally outnumber males in an area, you might feel that your feeder has been abandoned. Do not dispair. Keep the nectar in your feeder fresh. About 3-4 days in the heat of the summer is the maximum time limit for nectar to be out. It's just sugar water. Dump it out and fill it again. Be patient. You will again see lots of activity at your feeder.

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

Supplies for Birds and Blooms Article

My article for Birds and Blooms was somewhat edited, which is the magazine's perogative and I have no complaints with that. I am, however, sorely disappointed that my by-line was omitted from the printed version. I received a call here at home this week from a reader in Michigan who had somehow tracked me down from my by-line on the electronic article. She was unable to locate a rubber stopper/feeding tube assembly for her project. My supply source was one of the sections that was edited. So although they are probably available from a number of sources, here is the one I am most familiar with:

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

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

What's Up With the Weather?

We were in Hermann last weekend for Maifest and we couldn't set up on Friday night because of storms. We're supposed to be in St. Louis on Monday. Our first time trying Gypsy Caravan. And they're calling for storms and rain, both on Sunday (set up day) and Monday (sales day). It rained on us in Springfield. This is getting old. How is a person supposed to make a living if it's raining? People don't come out shopping; you're worried about your tent blowing away; your products get wet. Give me indoor shows!!!!

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

Birds and Blooms Magazine

Hummingbird lovers everywhere know about Birds and Blooms magazine. Check out the June/July special hummingbird issue:
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

Flashes of Orange and Yellow

In addition to hummingbird feeders, I make fruit dishes for orioles and other fruit-eating birds. Our baltimore oriole from last year has returned! His coloring and sounds make him stand out from the crowd. And he doesn't seem to like sharing "his" orange and grape jelly with the orchard orioles and the finches. The fruit eaters are much more skittish than the hummers. Pictures have to be taken through the window. The hummers don't care if you're by their feeders with a camera. They just chatter at you and go back to eating.

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.

Artsfest on Walnut Street is this weekend in Springfield. The forecast is calling for tons of rain and thunderstorms all weekend. Last year we had a really good show. This year we'll be waterlogged.

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

Finally! Yay!

Spotted a male Ruby-throated hummingbird at the feeder on the front porch this afternoon. YAY! Females generally arrive about two weeks after the males.

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

Where Are They??????

Have heard that hummers are back at the Lake of the Ozarks. Several people have them in their yards and at their feeders. We have yet to spot one here at our house :-(

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

It's Hummer Time!

For those of us who don't see hummers through the fall and winter months, NOW is the time to get your feeders from storage, clean them, fill them, and hang them outside. Add a few fluttery red ribbons around the feeders so that migrating hummingbirds will come investigate. Once they find food, they might just decide to stay in your yard!

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

Friday, March 27, 2009

What an Amazing Trip

Terrie and I never cease to be amazed at our wondrous country! The shows we did in Henderson, NV, Litchfield Park, AZ, and Tucson, AZ, weren't that great, but driving across our great nation was astonishing! Oh, we met wonderful people, both customers and artists, and sold feeders and other items, but seeing what is in our great country overpowers any and all shows.

Highlights were the Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson where we sat in the hummingbird aviary for about 3 hours. We saw two different species on nests and several species of hummers flitting about and were just in total awe!
On the way home we drove through the White Sands National Monument and were again in awe. We had a chuckle in Roswell, NM. We absorbed the history in Dodge City, KS. Seeing the ocean off the California coast reminds us that there IS a greater being. Being with family reminds us of our ties to the past and to the future. The United States of America is a fabulous country and the people who "fly over" miss so damn much! From ocean to mountains to desert - from grasses to sauguaro cacti to scrub to wilderness and timberland - think of how our ancestors felt when seeing these things on their treks across the land in their wagons. It boggles the mind!

Now we're back in Missouri and gearing up for spring and summer shows. Needless to say, we found glass in our wanderings that is just waiting to be turned into functional garden art. And we're ready to create! After we catch up with 4 weeks of mail...........

Hummingbird fact for today: Using pesticides on your garden is NOT a good idea when you have hummers.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

On The Road

What fun we are having! Headed out to Ventura, CA, first. On the way we stood on the corner in Winslow, AZ (yes, there really is a corner). Then we spent a week with my son the Naval Flight Officer and his wife. It was great to get to know Kate better and marvel at what a wonderful man my son has become. From there we headed to a show in Henderson, NV. Turned out that it was an extremely small show with only about 1,000 people coming through in the two days. We met a marvelous lady who has led a fascinating life. Additionally, she liked my work and bought several pieces!

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

Hurry Up and Wait

This is probably the toughest part of the year in an artist's life. The spring and summer shows set their deadlines for applications between Nov. and Mar. So we hurry up and complete applications, take pictures, resize pictures for each application's requirements, write checks for jury and booth fees, and put them in the mail. Then we sit and wait. And wait. And wait. Some of the shows provide a "notification by" date, but then they don't adhere to that date. It is totally exasperating not being able to plan our time and (hopefully) income.
We did learn that we will once again be at Silver Dollar City, this year in October, with the Best of Missouri Hands. That was really a fun gig. I had to create every day, out in the open in front of people. At first it was a bit intimidating. But people are so open and asked wonderful questions and we had a great time with the interaction. We're looking forward to October!

Little Izzy misrepresented herself. At first she was all snuggly and cuddly. Now that she's familiar with her new home, she's acting more like a cat - independent and rather haughty. She and Ozzie are becoming friends and playmates, so I guess she just doesn't need her humans as much as she did when she first arrived.

We're just about ready to head west. We've got tons of garden art packed and I'm still working on creating new pieces. Looking forward to seeing my son's home in Ventura and visiting Terrie's mom. I think Terrie's son might be a bit upset. Grandson #3 will be born (via c-section) while we are gone. It can't be helped though. As I stated before, we have to submit applications to shows and then sit and wait to see if we get in or not. We happened to get accepted to three shows on three consecutive weekends that happen to be in March. Terrie is a "hands off" mom/in-law/and grandparent though. She doesn't believe she should intrude in their lives and if they need something, they will let her know. I think her son is secretly glad that his mom is busy with this new art life - because if she was bored, she could be a real pain. She's disappointed she has to wait to meet grandson #3, but she's also excited about this trip we're taking.
We're "teaching" a community education class on hummingbirds next week at the local high school. That should be a fun evening!

Hummingbird fact for today: The hummingbird has the largest brain, relative to size, of all birds, at 4.2 percent of total body weight.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Winter Doldrums

It had to happen. A major winter ice/snow storm is forecast for this week. Temperature won't be above freezing for several days. It's bad enough feeling "trapped" because the roads are bad, but we also live in constant dread of the electricity going off. Since most everyone at the Lake has a well, this means no water in addition to no heat or light. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the forecasters are way off the mark.

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

New Addition and Major Pain

Terrie really mourned George's loss. I must admit, I was rather attached to the little guy, too. So on New Year's Eve Day we went out to the local rescue shelter and this little 8-month old female cat adopted us. So far she's a perfect cat - she likes to snuggle and sit in our laps, she follows her people around, she likes to torment Ozzie. The shelter had named her Izzy, so it seemed to be fate that we found her to join our 6-year old Ozzie. So that has been the bright spot.

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.