Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Second Breeding for Some Migrating Birds....New Discovery!

Follow this link for the latest discovery that some migrating birds have been found to have a second breeding. http://is.gd/4CUFH

Very seldom can we say that there has been a new discovery in this natural world of ours. So, when there is...it is very interesting to learn about.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Laughing at Blue Jays

Happy Fall Day! I just love the coolness in the air these days. I don’t know about you and what you’ve been noticing in your yard lately, but for a while the birds seemed to have disappeared. I just read an article about how the birds currently have a wide variety of natural foods from plants and trees to eat from, that they are not at the feeders for spurts of time during the early Fall season because of this. They must be seizing the season, just like we do with the produce in our gardens or at the store!

I want to take this moment to share what I just spied this morning in my backyard. I have seen this in years past, but at that time didn’t have a large audience to share my bird observations with. I hope you don’t mind.

While at my kitchen sink this morning, I noticed the Blue Jays landing on the deck. When I see them, it reminds me to put out peanuts in the shell which makes a bunch of them come swooping down, while calling to all their friends. I just love the commotion it causes. It’s like my own “lumber party”!

So I put the peanuts out along the deck railing and one comes and picks up a peanut. It then flies down to the leaf littered lawn and attempts to “bury” it by picking up leaves and covering the peanut with them. It was so funny. Can you imagine? Like the leaves are going to stay there and keep the peanut safe for them to find another time? And as if there isn’t a squirrel watching from a tree branch and the minute that dumb Blue Jay flies away, it’s not going to steal it for it’s own cache?? It was just so amusing to see.

It’s that kind of backyard entertainment that enriches my life. Does it enrich yours, as well? If it does, do I have a deal for you.

For the next week I will give you a free 2# bag of peanuts in the shell to share with your backyard friends, just for stopping in the store and saying “Hi”.

I look forward to seeing you. Bring a friend and/or pass this offer on to another person. Let’s share the fun and the stories! It all enriches our lives….the sharing of birds, friends, and free food!

See you soon at......Go Wild With Birds, 192 Main St. Menasha, WI 54952 Phone: 920-751-3880 www.gowildwithbirds.com
Visit the website and check out our upcoming events, like Witches Night Out on October 15, "witch"happens to be the start of our Bye, Bye, Blackbird Sale!


P.S. If I’m not at the store, Krista, my assistant will be happy to serve up the peanuts!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Settled and Serene

Yes, I realize it is end of July and I haven't posted anything since May. But I'm back to say there is life after opening a shop. Whew. It's been like having a baby. Everything is new and different with much to learn. Your life schedule totally changes.

Now that life has settled in at the shop and routine has taken hold somewhat, I am breathing easier and the birds in my yard have wooed me once again. Here are a few photo highlights of what has been happening at my feeders and in my yard the past week or so.

I apologize for the fuzziness of some of the photos. I am not very good with my awesome camera, but sure enjoy capturing these beauties anyway. The more I do, the better photographer I hope to become.

I hope you enjoy looking at them, too. Feel free to stop in the shop and chat about them with me and also what you're seeing out your windows at home these beautiful summer days in the Fox Cities.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Hummingbirds Have Arrived in the Fox Cities!

I'm sorry, I tried to zoom in too close and my shakey excitement got the best of it, but it really is a Hummingbird at my feeder this evening around 8 p.m. Really, it is. I have had Orioles and Rose Breasted Grosbeaks at the feeders yesterday and today, too. THEY'RE HERE!!!! YIPPPEEE......my heart is lifted, my spirit high.

I was rewarded after getting home on Saturday from a full day's work at the shop with the Grand Opening and other nearby shops having special activities, too, making it a very busy, bustling, customer heaven day downtown....anyway, I digress.....I was rewarded after a busy day with a Rose Breasted Grosbeak at my window platform feeder on Saturday evening. It was a beautiful ending to a busy customer filled day at the store. So, these days the birds lighten my heart and lessen my burdens of busy-ness. They remind me of why I am in the business in the first place.....to help others experience the fascination and wonderment of birds in our home spaces. There's nothing like it....that constant reminder of the beautiful wonders of our world right in our own backyards.

They're here, and they're beautiful. My heart is singing with them, filled with happiness.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Grand Opening Celebration planned

Well I'm finally getting around to scheduling a Grand Opening. I initially thought that I could forego such an event since I can be prone toinitial fear and shyness, but as I got more confidence in my new job and environment, I thought I might be able to handle it and go forward with getting a mailing list together and start incubating my own customer base instead of relying totally on Sandi and her NEST customers.

Her customers have provided me with some great contacts and buzz advertising. Plus whenever a customer enters Sandi's shop in the front, she never fails to tell them about "Marie's shop in the back, she has such wonderful stuff", and "isn't her shop cute?." ....when they come back to the front after visiting me. I am so very grateful for Sandi's support and flag waving for me and "Go Wild With Birds".

So anyway, here are the details of my Grand Opening Celebration. It's happening Saturday, May 2 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with refreshments and prize drawings throughout the day. I am offering 10% off all my store merchandise, and 20% off selected professional grade bird feeders on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of that weekend. My store is located at 192 Main St. in the lovely riverfront and historic downtown Menasha, Wisconsin. I need to let everyone know that on Sundays and any day NEST is not open, they must enter my store from the back of the building where the door enters directly into my shop. Hope to see many of you then!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

One Bird and Many Shop Photos

This novice birder thinks you are a Hermit Thrush. Picture isn't the best....but for me it's grand. Granted, I'm not a professional. But maybe someone can confirm?

This visitor arrived while I was relaxing at home after an afternoon at the shop. Just what I needed.

Here are some additional photos of the transition into Go Wild With Birds, 192 Main St., Menasha, WI

Finally Can Breathe

Ok, I know it's been a while, but I've been just a bit busy. I feel like I delivered a baby, and in a way I have.

The shop, Go Wild With Birds, is now done. Details are being completed. Shoppers are discovering us. The front window is finished for the time being. Hours are posted in the windows. I just need to work some more on the website. I'm updating my blog. But overall, I feel I can breathe a little easier these days. I miss seeing my birds at home at my feeders in the yard....but I'm assisting others in attracting them to their yards and that is good. With daylight savings time, I am able to watch my birds for a bit before I go to work while having breakfast, and after I get home when I really need to relax. And the birds are always there. I am grateful for that. Be good to nature and nature will be good to us.

Friday, March 13, 2009

New Shop, New Name

Here's a photo of the beginning of my office/shed. Things are coming together. I whitewashed the shed yesterday and painted the cedar trim. The old Habitat ReStore windows on the shed look great. I love them. Brian put the "shakes" on the roof. The shed looks awesome....what fun, what character! I'll take a photo of the windows so you can see them.

I'm off to pick up pickets and inside shed framing for the windows and door. Also need to figure out what color to paint the inside as well. Lots of details and lots of worry as the money just flies out the wallet. But then amidst all this stress and turmoil, I come back home and see the birds. It stops my mind and my body. I relax, smile, and remember why I'm doing this in the first place. Those beautiful beings calm me and remind me to slow down and enjoy my life. I want to help bring that to others and be able to share the experience with my customers and fellow birdwatchers.

And in the middle of all this process, I get a Certified Letter telling me that my business name is infringing on an already trademarked name. My heart sinks. The company with the Feathered Friend trademark is a Fortune 200 business. And because I had previously toyed with the idea of doing a name change for the business anyway, I decide this was the little push to go ahead and do it. The timing might be good and especially with the store being new, it is probably a good time to do it, anyway. So good-bye Feathered Friends Bird Feeding Service, LLC. Hello, Go Wild With Birds. A new shop, a new name, a new adventure.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Habitat ReStore Treasures

I love the Habitat for Humanity ReStore! My decorator Julie and I have decided on going with a "Potting Shed Shabby Chic" theme for the bird feeding store. And it is just too much fun! I told her today after our second trip to the store for more stuff and ideas, that it was like "hunting through a grandpa's shed" experience. You never know what cool old stuff you'll come upon and what you can use it for as character decorating. Our imagination was out of control. Hopefully, it will all go together and be spectacular, but if some of it doesn't work.....oh well, that's okay, it wasn't very expensive to try, and it sure was fun.

Here is a picture of some of the stuff we found on the first trip. Old wooden trim windows and screens. A round metal and stainless steel topped rolling table, some metal screen fencing. The cart is not part of the purchases. It just wanted it's picture taken, I guess.

We had a meeting at the shop this morning to discuss the layout plan. I'll need Brian, the carpenter-husband-of-Sandi-who-I-lease-from, to build me an office structure for my bookeeping and supply ordering work, and then we need a checkout table and some task work areas. I also need an area to dispense bulk seed from for customers, so we went back and forth about two different areas for that. Overall it caused me to become excited about it all over again. Julie, too, oozed with excitement.

I shared with Julie that yesterday I had met with my marketing team who is working on designing me some tags for my custom bird feed. The tag colors Nina had chosen correllated very closely to colors Julie had picked out for the store. It was almost spooky scary how these kinds of things are happening throughout this new adventure. Because not only were the colors similar, but there were exactly the same NUMBER of colors chosen in these two separate areas of the project. Julie and "marketing team, Janice" both said out loud what I was thinking, that "you just know something is right when things like that happen". I told Julie that I feel like I'm in a dream and all of these things are all falling into place effortlessly, like it's happening TO ME, instead of me making it happen. Hmmm.....but then again, I am living my dream.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Watch the Transformation

Hi All. I know, it's been quite a while since I posted anything. Let me tell you what's going on with me and my business.

Once upon a time a bird feeding business woman (that's me) decided to peddle her wares to a Downtown Menasha store in hopes they would be willing to purchase for sale her darling items. During the visit to the store's manager, he tells the friendly bird lady that if her wares don't fare well in favor with the upper management of his establishmentl, that he knows of another business woman who will be leasing a different space just down the block that might very well wish to talk to me about sub-leasing space to display my bird feeding merchandise.

The nice "bird wares lady" thanks the kind gentleman for his time, and referral tip, and heads across town to see the other business lady this fine man talked to her about. The business lady, who has a shop called "Nest" is very intrigued by the bird lady's particular wares she is showing her. Upon further discussion it is mentioned that the business lady has already offered the space to another acquaintance who has a dream of opening a bird feeding store and is thinking about the very space she has available to sub-lease. This particular bird lady, me, almost faints with fear that someone else just may open a bird feeding store right beneath her beak! Her heart (and stomach) continues to flutter until a day later she hears that the acquaintance is not in any current position to realistically open a shop at this time and so the space is mine to sub-lease if I would like it!

This was just the type of scenario I had thought could happen to me, that is, someone would open a bird feeding store right in my hometown area, and I would be sick with regret. So back in December, when I thought of that possibility, is when I determined that I would need to go into retail with my existing bird feeding service business sometime in the near future.

So it was during the time of me looking into commercial real estate and rentals that I thought I'd just see if this particular store, the original one I went to first, would be interested in selling my feed and cute container. The night before I walked into that store, I had torn out a newspaper ad announcing the moving of another store, and I tore the ad out because I thought if the first shop wasn't interested I would go to the one advertising it's move. It seemed like the kind of shop that my product may complement.

I had that advertisement in my car when I talked to the nice gentleman at the first store. As it turns out the woman he was referring me to is the very one who owns the store that had the advertisement about moving right down the street from him. Coincidence or Fate? You be the judge. I know what I believe.

So here, dear readers, is a photo of my new retail space in Downtown Menasha, Wisconsin. I offer you the opportunity to watch the transformation occur. I will post some ongoing photos so you can see the progress. I hope you enjoy the ride vicariously, as I enjoy the switch myself from home business to onsite retail.

Wish me well. I welcome your support.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Redpoll Vacuums

Feeder discussion will just have to wait due to the arrival of these darling new yard vacuums!! The Redpolls arrival are just too fascinating to not share with you. Their chestnut colored caps are adorable. I'm in the process of learning to identify the two varieties - Common and Hoary.

I'm debating whether the close up is a Hoary Redpoll. I think it has too much striping on the breast area however, even though it is more white than the others. I have invited some of the Wisbird Network readers to aid in my education and give me comments on the identification.

And just above the Redpoll, is that a Pine Siskin? I'm going to go back to my trusty guide and learn about the markings of that bird now, too. Bird watching can be so much fun!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Redpoll Rejuvenation

Good Day All. Was chastising myself for getting in a blog fog and not posting lately. I knew that I had promised to post some discussion on pros and cons of various wild bird feeders but couldn't kick myself hard enough to get going with it. Then something softer gets my attention.

Do you see them? Do you see those beautiful brown caps? Yes, Redpolls! Now I'm not the best at identifying juveniles and females of the bird species, but boy I sure can zone in on the men. So, if the birds along side the brown capped gentlemen are not female or juvenile Redpolls, would some of you please comment and let me know? Now, I was struggling with ID'ing some other birds that at the same time had been descending on the finch feeders with abandon. Those may have been pine siskins, and I'm hearing about those on the Wisconsin Bird Network, as well, these days. So I had gotten my trusty bird guide out and was studying that when these cute guys showed up. Now if that doesn't put a fire in a blog poster's posterior, at least this one's, I don't know what else will. So here you have it.....a blog post at last. Pushed by feathers.

I wish you plenty of surprise visitors in your yard to help your winter case of the drearies disappear! Ok, now time to bundle up and fill up...the feeders.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sorry For Lapse in Postings

Hi Friends. I must apologize for no recent postings. Upon my return from vacation I jumped right back into work with both feet! I've been working diligently on shopping for some attractive packaging for my bird feed mixes that I hope to peddle to some local stores. I've gone back and forth about using and not wanting to use plastic bags. I am committed to finding recyclable and reuseable packaging for a product that feeds wild birds. I think I've come up with some good options for my finished product.

So anyway, I'm back to share more thoughts and ideas with you, my patient pals.

I hope, in the next few postings, to start a discussion on bird feeders. I plan to take pictures of some of the feeders I've used and am using, with the pros and cons I have personally found in using them. Today I went out to my snow filled backyard to refill my feeders. I don't get to them as often as I compulsively did in years past, now that I actually have my own business and work long hours from home.

I fill my feeders with my own tested and loved mix, but I recently filled my under deck space and ground feeder with plain sunflower. Today when filling my feeders, I was thankful that I did start that practice because even though the feeders I usually put my beloved mix in were empty, the under deck and ground feeder still had black oil sunflower in that the birds were using as a "last resort". So, they are still getting fed, just not the caviar they seem to prefer.

So let me leave you with that idea today. That is, allow yourself to experiment and try different feeds or seeds in different feeders. Those of you that are also compulsive and collect feeders like I have, will have plenty of options to experiment with. And if you do experiment, please feel free to leave your findings or thoughts here and we can discuss them.

So until my next posting, I hope some wild birds find a well filled feeder out your window!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Bye, Bye, 'Bama

The time has come for me to pack and prepare to leave this lovely scene behind. Tomorrow I will be back on the road again toward snow, ice, and cold temperatures. It has been a very relaxing and enjoyable time away from the normal routine and work tasks. Now, back to familiar. I do long to be back to familiar. This isn't home. It was a vacation. I have a longing to get back to what I'm familiar with....own bed, own space, own surroundings like rooms and furniture as well as stores, streets, and buildings.

It has to be good to get away and see new sights, though. It is refreshing to see new things and people. Yes, the people. I am definitely a people watcher, but one thing I discovered on this trip is that I am intrigued with people who live elsewhere. Do they like similar things as I? When I read local menus I can see they may offer some regional favorites that are foreign to me. Grits...I tried them at breakfast one morning. To me they were like Malt-O-Meal....a kind of oatmeal type dish. But I supposed people grow up with these regional favorites and it's like home and family. They have a certain meaning and comfort, I suppose.

I also learned about my own family. Where I come from. I had the pleasure of sharing this trip not only with my mother, but with two of her sisters. I haven't seen them very often for the past 30 years. This trip was a rare opportunity to spend time with them and see their unique personalities and understand that my own mother shares a life and history with them.

And I learned about myself. Will I be like them when I get older? What will I do for a vacation when I am retired? Is my body destined to look like their's? Can I fight it, or do genes have too much control?

Have any of you entertained any of these thoughts? What have you learned on your vacations or with your extended family? I would love to hear it.

Friday, January 2, 2009

MIA, Found in Alabama

Hi Friends. I need to apologize for leaving without notice. I had so much to take care of with my bird feeding business before I left for my vacation, I didn't really take time to tell you I was leaving. Yep, it was my duty to bring my mother to her annual Snowbird trek down South. I was able to make my Internet connection from the condo finally, so I am here to tell you to call back the dogs, I am no longer missing.

I will be here at Gulf Shores, AL until next Friday when I will take the two day return trip back to Wisconsin. It is low 70's here currently with mostly cloudy skies. I understand back home it is single digit degrees. So, I guess I'm glad I had to do my duty and take care of my mom. I will be taking some time, not the usual amount though with the Gulf calling my name, to check in with all of you once again.