Friday, June 20, 2014

Takeoff!

"Takeoff!"  
Judy Royal Glenn Photography

I spent a good amount of time in the Iris garden this spring at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia trying to determine how much and often the Ruby-throated hummingbird fed off of the iris flower.  

Last year was the first time I captured a photograph of the hummer feeding off of the iris, so I knew I needed to do more research.  This particular day, I had my camera focused on a different section of the flowers. 

This male made his presence know either by the hum of his wings or the cute squeaks they make.  I quickly focused on the flower he was feeding on and fired a few shots. 

  I have been extensively researching the hummingbirds within the garden for the last four summers. After spending a lot of time in the garden doing research, I noticed they were perching on their favorite perches just as much as feeding on certain flowers, so I set on a quest to find their perches so I could photograph them.  This led to the obsession I have now for photographing them in the garden.

I kept a small journal writing down all of my notes for the last four years.  I felt I had a vast amount of information that was benefiting me greatly in photographing the Ruby-throated hummingbird, but I did not want to keep this information to myself.  I knew where to find the hummingbirds, but I wanted others to know as well!

I shared my vision of a Hummingbird Trail to the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, and we have come up with a map for the visitors to view.  The map shows 20 markers where the hummers frequent within the garden.  The map is surrounded with my photographs showing the visitors what the flower and location look like.  Some of the markers also display various trees where the hummers love to perch.

Red signs with the marker number and hummingbird symbol will be at each location in case the visitors do not have a map or know there is a hummingbird trail.  Placards will be on display where the visitors enter the garden informing them of the trail, and the placard will also have information about the Ruby-throated hummingbird on it.  

The Hummingbird Trail in Athens, Georgia officially "opens" tomorrow as I will be leading the first ramble.  The ramble is open to everyone.  During the ramble, I will be leading visitors through the trail showing them where the hummingbirds hid, perch, and feed throughout the garden.  The trail is not just for photographers, but bird watchers or anyone just wanting to enjoy seeing the hummingbirds in their natural habitat.  

I will be sharing about how to find the hummingbirds in their natural habitat, and talk about the neat characteristics of the hummingbird as well as the flowers they feed on.

I am extremely grateful to the State Botanical Garden of Georgia for allowing me the privilege of sharing my vision of the Hummingbird Trail to Athens, Georgia!  I am excited about the trail and giving back to my community!  

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