Early This Morning

Bird in Wini's Hand

We woke up extra early this morning, 5:30 a.m. to be precise.  We got dressed, tucked our pants into our socks, hopped in the car and drove 7 km south.  We arrived at a 450 acres reserve that has been donated by a local family to be used for research.  This area is not open to the public, but we were allowed to enter under the guise of volunteers.

The Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory has set up a bird banding station on the reserve, and hired a guest bird bander to conduct the research.  Lucky for us, their guest bander has been staying at our bed and breakfast for the last month.  There hasn’t been much banding going on due to the cold and rainy weather, but now that the sun is out, the banding has begun!

We were the only volunteers this morning so we had a close up view.  There were 5 foot high bird nets set up amongst the trees, that looped at the bottom.  When a bird flew into the net it would fall into the bottom of the net.  It doesn’t hurt the birds, it’s more like a wee bird hammock.  The nets get checked every 20 minutes.  Lucky for us, there was an adorable Chipping Sparrow caught in the net on our first net check.  I tend to categorize all small, brown and black birds as chickadees.  It falls in line with my lifelong belief that all dogs are male and all cats are female.  Even though their junk may look different, I am still convinced that both species are monosex.

We gathered up our little Sparrow and brought it to the makeshift banding station.  His wings were measured, weight documented, age determined, and leg banded.  There is such a large variety of birds out there and therefore a wide assortment of sizes for bird bands to accommodate all leg sizes.  The most adorable bands are those for hummingbirds.  They have the tiniest legs, hence the smallest bands.  They are so small that they need to be carried on a diaper pin.

Bird Bands

After our sparrow, whom we named Cairo, did his part for research, he was placed on Wini’s hand.  He so generously paused for a photo opportunity, and then flew away.

We all fell in love a little bit this morning, with Cairo, the early morning light, and with the hidden life of birds.  We all agreed our trek was worth our shorter sleep.  Our guest bander says she had heard 47 different bird songs on our property, and has made me a list on her chalk board in her room.  We better start paying attention to our feathered friends.  Spring banding is coming to a close, but there will be more to do late summer and early fall.  And we’ll be there.

Bird in Band

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Mother’s Day Special

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Mother’s Day is coming up this Sunday!  How best to express you appreciation for the mother in your life than with a trip to Prince Edward County!  Because we think mothers deserve the best for all their hard work, we are having a Mother’s Day Special this weekend!  We have reduced our rates for this weekend in celebration of all the wonderful mothers out there.

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On Saturday,  Picton is hosting Terroir at the beautiful Crystal Palace.  There will be over twenty vineyards from Prince Edward County showcasing their newly released wines, and pairing their wines with local food from the County.  Winemakers will be telling their unique stories about how they started their vineyards, their passion for their vines and how they make their wine.  We have 50% off tickets for you at South in Milford to enjoy this fine event.

Now we are not suggesting that the mother in your life will love you more if you take her to Prince Edward County, shower her in comfort, excellent food, and great wine but we do know that she’ll appreciate it, and she most likely deserves it!

So go and do a good deed and book now!  You can find all you need at South in Milford.

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A Few Spots Left

OLD SCHOOL BGC POSTER 2017 UPDATE

We are very excited about our 3rd annual Old School Bluegrass Camp!  Only 55 days until our first day of camp 2017.  As per usual, we have an amazing lineup of instructors this year.  The whole cast of the Foggy Hogtown Boys will be here, in addition to the awesome Adam Shier and the fabulous Kristine Schmitt.

Although Kristine has been with us each and every year, this year she is our vocals instructor.  Our campers have been asking for more vocals training, and we just had to listen to them.  Kristine is a power house on stage and comes with a wealth of knowledge about singing bluegrass and training your voice.  Last year she organized our bluegrass choir and private vocal lessons at camp.  We also had a singing parade around our school.  I can’t wait for what she has in store for us this year.

If you are thinking about joining us for our Old School Bluegrass Camp, don’t hesitate! We are already 80% full.  There are spots left in each instrument category but not many.

Sign up here, and see for yourself what all the fun is about!  It really will be one of the best weeks of your 2017!