Thursday, August 4, 2005

Take precautions in high temperatures

The Marshall County Humane Society’s 564-2900 number was nothing but a busy signal for a few days last week. During one of those really loud thunderstorms lightning hit the phone line and, since there was a busy signal, it took a while to realize something was wrong.

Poor Dot was wondering why no one was calling. All is mended now and Dot’s ready to help anyway she can. Call her for information on adopting any of our little animals, becoming a foster parent or on our Humane Society in general.

We’ve had a lovely respite from the heat but the temperature is warming up again. Cats will nap in a cool spot during the heat and come out to cavort during the cool of the evening.

Dogs, on the other hand, need some help to keep from getting overheated. Think how you would feel running around here in August in a fur coat. Make sure there’s plenty of shade. (A fan wouldn’t hurt.) Plenty of fresh, cool water is a must. Be especially careful with obese and pug--nosed dogs.

For an appointment at the Humane Society’s low-cost Spay/Neuter Clinic call 662-252-6196.


Hummingbird celebration Sept. 9-11

Adults and children alike from across the South once again have the opportunity to be enchanted by their beloved hummingbirds at the sixth annual Hummingbird Migration Celebration, taking place September 9-11 at the Strawberry Plains Audubon Center, 285 Plains Road, in Holly Springs.

The event, one of the largest Audubon-sponsored nature festivals in the country, coincides with the peak of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird’s southward migration.

The staff at Strawberry Plains maintains extensive hummingbird gardens and numerous feeding stations to attract large numbers of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds as they migrate from eastern North America to Mexico and Central America. During the festival, and with the gardens in bloom, literally hundreds of hummingbirds can be seen feeding at the stations to fuel up for their migratory flight. While the Ruby-throated Hummingbird may be lightweight, weighing about as much as a U.S. penny (approximately .1 ounce), during migration these tiny wonders manage to fly non-stop over the Gulf of Mexico - a distance of some 500 miles.

The Hummingbird Migration Celebration has proven to be an immensely popular event that has continued to gain momentum and delight all who attend. Last year, a record 6,500 visitors were a part of the festivities.

A huge draw for festival goers are the bird-banding sessions with renowned hummingbird experts Bob and Martha Sargent of the Alabama-based Hummer/Bird Study Group. Back again for the 2005 event, the Sargents and their banding crew will give visitors the opportunity to see the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds up-close in all of their colorful glory - while some will even have a chance to release the newly-banded birds back into the wild. As each bird visits one of the Sargent’s specially designed feeders, they will temporarily be caught and harmlessly marked with a small numbered leg band that allows them to be identified should they return during next year’s festival. Last year, the Sargents and their Alabama helpers banded over 200 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds.

“The wonder of this festival is that it gives people the chance to see a hummingbird up-close, which because of the bird’s size and speed is not easy to do,” said Madge Lindsay, executive director of Audubon Mississippi. “Festival goers are also excited about the prospect of releasing a bird back into the wild after it has been banded.”

In addition to the bird-banding sessions, event highlights will include: demonstrations with live bats, alligators and small mammals; programs about the care and release of Mississippi wildlife; guided nature walks; wagon rides on the preserve; tours of the historic Strawberry Plains plantation home; a nature products trade show; a children’s activity tent; and presentations focusing on reptiles and endangered species found in Mississippi.

This year, the speaker’s tent at the festival will feature: Pete Dunne, vice president of Natural History Information for the New Jersey Audubon Society and editor of New Jersey Audubon Magazine, whose talk will center on birdwatching; Dr. Jerry Jackson, whose professional expertise focuses on endangered species, and invasive species of forest and coastal ecosystems, who will speak about the Ivory-billed Woodpecker; and Hubert H. McAlexander, professor of English at the University of Georgia and a native of Holly Springs, who will discuss the history of Strawberry Plains.

Additionally, to coincide with the National Audubon Society’s centennial celebration, John Flicker, president of Audubon, will discuss the Society’s first 100 years of conservation.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-associated Recreation has cited birdwatching as one of the fastest growing outdoor recreation activities, with an estimated 46 million people engaged in the activity. Audubon Mississippi is proud to play a role in encouraging an interest in birding and nature through the Hummingbird Migration Celebration.

For more information on the sixth annual Hummingbird Migration Celebration, festival tickets, or to make reservations for the special festival celebration events, please call the Audubon Center at Strawberry Plains, at 662-252-1155 or visit www.msaudubon.org. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for children, $50 for vans and shuttles, and $150 for tour buses.

Audubon is celebrating its centennial year of protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Our national network of community-based nature centers and chapters, scientific and educational programs, and advocacy on behalf of areas sustaining important bird populations, engage millions of people of all ages and backgrounds in positive conservation experiences.


Recipes from Martha Ruth Leonard

Butterbean Casserole
“Our Methodist Heritage”
First United Methodist,
Holly Springs

Two packages small lima beans. Put in pan of water and cook until tender. Drain. Fry 6 strips of bacon and set aside. Chop 1/2 cup onion, 1/3 cup celery, 1/3 cup green pepper, 2 garlic buttons or garlic salt. Saute in bacon drippings. Mix 2 tsp. flour and sugar together and add to this mixture, along with lima beans. Add one #303 can of whole tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste. Put in casserole and bake 30 minutes in 350 degree oven.

(Mrs. Joe Woods - Maggie Lee)

Seafood Casserole

6-3/4 oz. box long grain and wild rice
4-oz. can pimento
2 4-oz cans mushroom pieces
1 cup chopped celery
3 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 small can crab meat
2-3 cups boiled, peeled and deveined shrimp
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 med. onion, chopped
Pepper to taste (already salty)

Prepare rice as directed on box. Saute celery, pepper and onion. Mix all ingredients together and put in a 3-qt. casserole. Bake uncovered 1-1/2 hours at 350 degrees. May be halved and freeze one casserole.

(Mrs. Carlisle Moore - Nyla)

Vegetable Mousse

8-oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 cup Kraft mayonnaise

2 envelopes Knox gelatin (dissolved in 1 cup cold water)

1 can Campbell’s tomato soup

Heat soup until bubbly, add water-gelatin mixture and stir until well dissolved. Mix cream cheese and mayonnaise together, then mix with soup mixture. Add: 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 cup finely chopped bell pepper, grated onion to taste, 1 tsp. lemon juice, 1/2 cup finely chopped celery. Pour into glass Pyrex dish, chill and congeal. Serve on lettuce leaf.

(Mrs. Frank McClatchy - Ruby)

 


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