YAY! You've found the online home of Sally Roth & Matt Bartmann! WELCOME! It's great to see you :)
Come & visit us on Facebook, too! Just CLICK HERE.
Meet Our Little “Sweetie”!
It's an adorable little hummingbird feeder you can hold right in your hand, so you can coax hummingbirds to perch on your fingers or hover just above it to drink :)
We're selling them in pairs, so that you can share the fun with family and friends. Each feeder holds just a bit of sugar water, but it's plenty for each fun feeding session.
Any hummers visiting your yard will soon come to investigate that irresistible red, just like they check out your red lipstick, red tee shirt, or anything else in that hummingbird-magnet color. And when they see the familiar yellow plastic flower marking the port—the same flower that's on regular-size feeders—they know it means "Food here!"
We designed our Sweeties so that the distance from the center drinking port to your fingers (when they're wrapped around it) is 1 1/2 inches—same as on a full-size feeder. That's the spacing a hummer needs in order to comfortably perch while feeding. Such a thrill to feel those tiny feet and to see one of the little birds so close!
P.S. Why no pics of hummers using Sweeties? Because we just started making them this spring, and our hummers aren't back yet :) We can't wait til they return, so we can take pictures! Arrival date here in the Rockies is 4/20 :)
SUPERFINE SUGAR IS FANTASTIC!
It's worth the hunt to find "superfine" sugar at your grocery store or online (we bought ours on Amazon.com). It may be in the baking aisle, or with cocktail mixers—it's often used to sweeten drinks.
Don't confuse superfine sugar with confectioner's sugar, also known as powdered sugar. That stuff contains cornstarch—NOT GOOD FOR HUMMER NECTAR!
Superfine is pure granulated sugar, but with very small crystals, and it dissolves almost instantly in cold water.
That means you can simply pour it directly into your Sweetie, to about halfway in the jar, add water to the brim, screw on the lid, cover the hole with your finger and shake it up. Instant nectar!
We even considered packaging it with your order of Sweeties, until we remembered white powdered substances aren't a smart thing to send in the mail ;) So you'll have to buy your own; it costs a few dollars per container.
We use it for filling our Sweeties but we also like to carry it along with us on road trips so we can make nectar in a flash to fill the hummingbird feeders we take along and hang at our campsite or set it on our picnic table.
Drilling just the right size of hole for the feeding port. Still no holes in Matt's knees, whew!
Two Sweeties, with enticing and familiar plastic flowers (attached by hand, by Matt), ready to package and ship so you can enjoy them, too!
We support ourselves by writing books about the things we love—birds, butterflies, hummingbirds, wildflowers, gardening, and all manner of other fun nature stuff.
Occasionally we sell autographed books. Right now, we're having an INVENTORY SALE on "An Eye on the Sparrow" for only $17.99, shipping included! Just click to get yours while quantities last!
Our books are always available on Amazon!
CLICK ON A BOOKCOVER TO READ MORE ABOUT THAT BOOK
Way too much cool nature stuff happening to cover it here, so c'mon over to Facebook and let's catch up there! We post fun nature stuff every day, and we love visiting with you :)
Sally's Facebook page is HERE.
Matt posts on our sister page, An Eye on the Sparrow, with his beautiful nature pics. Visit him, too, so he doesn't feel left out ;), at that Facebook page RIGHT HERE.
Merry Christmas, everybody!
What Does “Easy” Mean?
Buy a guidebook of “easy hikes,” and you’ll find walks that cover two miles or more. I don’t know about you, but when my knees are acting up, or Matt’s back is out of whack, even stepping over a rock can feel like climbing Everest.
I figure these books (usually titled something like “Easy Waterfall Hikes,” “Easy Tidepool Hikes,” uh huh, sure) must’ve been written by athletes who were gauging “easy” by their own physical prowess.
Yep, “easy” means something entirely different to those who’ve never had any problem getting around.
But with my creaky knees, I want flat paths with no obstacles. No logs to step over, no rocks to trip on, no long steep hills to huff and puff up, or try to brake my shaky legs against when I’m going down. A short walk, not a two-mile trek. And some days, I just want to stay in the car and look out the window, not climb the trail to the top of the mountain.
And that's why we wrote ACCESSIBLE NATURE.
In our travels, we've found lots and lots of great places, all over the country, where we've enjoyed great nature things.
And lots of those places are easy. Truly easy.
“Let’s Go for a Hike!”
Boy, it sure took me a long time to realize what the problem is with those “easy hikes” books: It’s not a hike we’re after.
Hiking means striding along, covering ground at a good pace to get to that view at the end of the trail, and lots of people do just that. We love hearing the pleasure in our friends’ voices when they say, “Hiked up Signal Mountain yesterday!”
Sure, they notice things along the way. But it’s the hiking itself that’s a big part of the joy. The physical exertion, the distance covered, the reward of a view or a waterfall at the end of the trail. The sense of accomplishment.
All those things are wonderful, for sure!
But Matt and I aren’t hikers. We’re strollers. Amblers. Mosey-ers. Stopper-a-lotters. Not hikers.
"Let's go for a walk," is what we say instead.
And whether we’re at home or on a road trip, our walks bear no resemblance to hiking, other than being outside. A bit of birdsong catches our ear. “Listen! Who’s that?” Waterdrops on a leaf glint with rainbows, a backlit puff of a fuzzy seedhead is too pretty not to take a picture of, and oh, look—here’s a yellow crab spider on this aster! And a wild turkey track! And a neat mushroom!
We would drive our hiking friends nuts.
How many miles did we cover? Not even one, but, boy, did we see cool things!
Right from the Car!
We do a lot of our exploring—and see wonderful wild things!—from the comfort of our own car. But it’s not comfort that makes us not want to leave the vehicle. It’s because we see a lot more cool nature stuff that way!
Why? Birds and wildlife are afraid of people.
Stay in the car, and you have a way better chance of watching, to your heart’s content, a foraging flock of sandill cranes, or a wild horse and her foal, or a pileated woodpecker working on an old stump, or any other of a zillion natural wonders.
Step out, and all you’ll see is the flock of cranes or those wild horses or that big Woody Woodpecker bird fleeing as fast as they can.
Your car is a “blind”—a hiding place where you, the scary human, can remain out of sight. Wildlife isn’t afraid of cars.
I’m embarrassed to admit how long it took me to realize this simple fact, that a car is a blind. But I have at least 10 years’ worth of snapshots (yep, long before digital cameras) of great blue herons and wood ducks flying away (“Oh, look! I got his leg in the picture!”), and of logs in ponds that held a row of turtles until I stepped out of the car.
On the other hand, butterflies and hummingbirds and insects don’t usually care about our presence at all, and a blind isn’t necessary. So when we want to see those sorts of things, we get out of the car. They’re not afraid, and they’re way easier to see and admire when they’re up close.
Yep, wildlife is what we all love to see. Animals and birds living their fascinating natural lives, even though we’re watching.
We’re not being “lazy” by staying in the car. We’re being smart.