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.