Our Amazing Feathered Friends
If they didn't spend all winter here, many of our feathered friends have returned to their nesting grounds to lay eggs and raise their young. In my painting, Home for Warblers, I bring attention to the great distances many birds travel from their wintering grounds to their summer homes. Worm-eating warblers live half the year in lush tropical forests like those found in Belize and they summer in places such as southern Ohio's dense deciduous forests. (Click on image to view the full painting.)
Spring and summer seem to be such happy times for birds! Their joyful songs in the morning bring a big smile to start our day. I remember years ago when I worked for The Nature Conservancy, we hosted a team of ornithologists from Cornell who visited a preserve in the Adirondacks to record birdsong. I asked one of the scientists if he thought another reason birds sing is simply because they're happy and enjoying life! He replied yes, it's a definite possibility!
A friend from my days in the Adirondacks has written a book about his birding adventures in Maine where he now lives with his family. Rich MacDonald is a talented birder, naturalist, and writer. He blends science, keen observation, and fun into his "work". And wonderful work it is! The book, Little Big Year: Chasing Acadia's Birds, is a recount of Rich's year-long study of the amazing birds found along the coast and in the forests of Maine. Here's a link to this engaging, inspiring read!
Rich and his wife, Natalie founded The Natural History Center to help visitors explore nature in the Acadia region through personalized, guided experiences. They create unique programs and tours to share their knowledge and connect people with the natural world. Are you ready for an awesome summer adventure? Click on the link above and give Rich and Natalie a call!
So in the spirit of happy birdsong, sharing our passion for nature, and getting out to explore our wondrous natural world, happy summer to you!
"The earth has music for those who listen."
~ George Santayana, American philosopher & poet
New Home for Spring Magic
I'm delighted to announce the winner of this year's Annual Earth Day Drawing! Erin from Saranac Lake loves to spend time outside with her family, and she has a gorgeous place to do just that! The Adirondack Mountains in northern New York are home to more than 2,800 lakes and ponds, and 30,000 miles of rivers, brooks, and streams. With over 6 million acres of boreal forest, it's the largest protected natural area in the lower 48 states!
Do you know what's best to feed hummingbirds? According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the All About Birds website, it's okay to buy hummer food at a reputable garden or wild bird store as long as it's a high-quality commercial mix and there's NO artificial coloring added.
You can also make your own hummer food from cane sugar preferably. Beet sugar is acceptable, too. It's very important not to use any other type of sugar or honey or artificial sweeteners. Also as noted above for commercial mixes, do NOT add any food coloring to your home-made hummer food. The bright red on hummingbird feeders is enough color to attract these little jewels. For more info and sage advice, click on these links for The Hummingbird Society and All About Birds. And enjoy your magical little hummer friends!
Beauty Day at Beaver Brook
Wishing you a beautiful summer, dear nature lovers!
With love for the natural world, I'm inspired to share how species are connected to each other, to their ecosystem homes, and to people around the world. An eternal optimist, I bring into visual form the concept of biological diversity, the unity of all life, and how we're all connected. In our connection lies hope.