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.