Smell Like Dirt

In Spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” Margaret Atwood

Archive for January, 2009

The R’s

Back in the day, it used to be there were just Three R’s—Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. And then they started adding more: Repurpose, Repair, Refuse, etc. Not sure how many we are up to now, but let’s pause at repurpose for just a second. Don’t you just love taking something that was intended for one thing and totally rethinking it and using it for something else? It doesn’t have to be a big thing, even. Take toilet paper rolls for example. Little bitty things I used to put in the recycling bin if the dogs didn’t eat them first. Well, here’s another use for them that will help make your life a little better, I hope. Enjoy the second installment of SLD’s Down and Dirty Quick Tip. Special appearance by Buddy Foster—Debbie’s bird.

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Rufous Hummingbird

Last week I had the rare privilege of observing the banding of a Rufous Hummingbird, in the dead of winter, here in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. Although still rare here, I had heard of sightings of this type of hummingbird in past wiinters. They breed in Southern Alaska, Western Canada and Western US, and overwinter in Mexico, but recently, they have shown up in the mid-Atlantic region. So when I saw him in my yard, I knew what it meant and called Bill Hilton, Jr. Executive Director, Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History and Operation Ruby Throat to invite him to come and band him  Bill has banded over 5,000 hummingbirds but this was my first time watching the process and it was a great experience.  If you ever have a chance to participate in one, I encourage you to do so.   It was hard condensing 90 minutes of tape down to less than 6 without leaving out a lot of the “good parts”, but I hope you enjoy it.

Ruby Crowned Kinglet

We had so many comments on the Ruby Crowned Kinglet footage that we used in the “Window Feeder” video we decided to post a longer clip of the RCK! Hope you enjoy this view of the rarely seen crown.

How much is that birdie in the window?

Great, now you’ll be humming that song all day, right?

Smell Like Dirt announces a new feature for the New Year! Down & Dirty Quick Tips! We will be doing a series of short videos (hopefully a minute or less) highlighting something you can do in your garden, home, workplace, etc to help wildlife, the environment, or just make life a little easier. We are launching this new feature with this short video on how to get a closer look at the birds in your backyard. During the filming we were able to capture a Ruby Crowned Kinglet showing off for its reflection in the window and couldn’t wait to share it. If you’ve ever seen RCK’s in the field, you know how difficult it is to watch these birds because they flit around so much. Its hard to get a good look at them and even harder to see the crown which is rarely seen. This video shows why…..it is not even visible unless the bird “flexes” its feathers. I hope you enjoy the video and keep checking back for more Smell Like Dirt “Down and Dirty” tips.