Category Archives: Fun Savvy

Was Duchamp Really An Artist?

 

duchamp2Marcel Duchamp is considered one of the brightest artists of the 20th century.  Not to me.  I pretty much hate everything he did and wouldn’t pay a plugged nickel for any of it.  But that’s okay because it’s my opinion.  Art is subjective. If a piece of art doesn’t “speak” to you emotionally, it’s not worth a plugged nickel.

I learned that lesson from an English professor who taught a class in Renaissance English poetry. (It was the only English class that fit my schedule that semester.)  At first, none of us wanted to voice our opinion on the poetry we were reading because we didn’t want to sound gauche or uninformed.  Then the professor told us that any work of art, regardless of the medium used, only has value if it speaks to us emotionally.  Without that emotional connection, art has no value.

Years later I was invited to a special exhibit in Dallas, Texas of the private collection of one of the city’s leading citizens.  The collection was a mishmash of Benin sculptures, Anasazi pots, Mayan knickknacks, some random Asian artefacts and so on.  It was a 30 or 40 year history lesson in art collecting based on what the avant-garde defined as “art.”  The owner of the collection had buckets of money but apparently collected only what everyone else collected.

That brings me back to Duchamp.  This guy is famous for displaying three panes of glass.  When one pane of glass was broken during transit, Duchamp claimed he liked the piece even more. It’s still on display somewhere with one cracked pane.

Most famously Duchamp put a urinal on display.  Viewers proclaimed that it had classic lines rather than pointing out that it was a bathroom fixture that should be returned to the men’s room down the hall.  No one wanted to be mocked by the avant-garde crowd for lacking artistic sensibilities.

It’s amazing how much guff and abuse we are willing to take to remain part of the “in” crowd.  Duchamp always reminds me of that human trait.  He not only convinced people that panes of glass and a urinal were “art,” he induced them to pay huge sums of money to own one of his pieces.  So I admire his chutzpah and think he was one of the greatest marketers of the 20th century.  But, in my opinion, Duchamp was not an artist.

About Norma Shirk

Norma started her company, Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor, to help employers create human resources policies for their employees and employee benefit programs that are appropriate to the employer’s size and budget. The goal is to have structure without bureaucracy. Visit Norma’s website: www.complianceriskadvisor.com/.

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Four Reasons to Celebrate the Battle of Hastings

dover-castle

October 14th was the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.  The town of Hastings is most famous these days as the setting for the television series “Foyle’s War.”  Back in 1066, William the Conqueror invaded England and fought King Harold near Hastings.  William won the battle when King Harold died after he was shot through the eye with an arrow.

There are many reasons to celebrate the Battle of Hastings today.  It truly did change the course of history.  Here are four of my favorite reasons for celebrating it.

  1. The English language changed forever when Norman French was combined with the early English spoken by Anglo-Saxons and Danes (of the Viking invasions). That’s why we have so much duplication in modern English, such as “sheep” and “mutton” for the same animal.
  2. Popular tourist sites were built by the Normans. The White Tower in the Tower of London was built by William the Conqueror.  Windsor Castle (the current queen’s favorite home), Dover Castle and Richmond Castle were all built by the Normans.  In fact, they were such prolific builders “Norman” castles are an architectural style.
  3. The Domesday Book gives us a snapshot of the economy and people of medieval England and parts of Wales. The book is a census compiled in 1086 on the orders of William the Conqueror.  Thanks to this “Great Survey” we know who lived in England, where they lived and what property they owned.
  4. The Bayeux Tapestry is a beautiful work of art that tells the story of the battle. Its style is instantly recognizable and constantly imitated as in the opening credits of the movie “Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves.”  Recently a group of enthusiasts created a final scene showing William’s coronation, which is missing from the original tapestry. The new addition is called the Alderney Bayeux Tapestry and it’s gorgeous.  See for yourself at alderneybayeuxtapestry.com.

About Norma Shirk

Norma started her company, Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor, to help employers create human resources policies for their employees and employee benefit programs that are appropriate to the employer’s size and budget. The goal is to have structure without bureaucracy. Visit Norma’s website: www.complianceriskadvisor.com/.

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Books That Changed My Life

Reading

Growing up, I spent most of my free time with my nose in a book.  I was not athletic, I was not particularly popular, and lived in a crowded duplex with three generations of my family.  Reading was always my escape and I read voraciously.  My parents, both teachers, had shelves of books and I loved looking at them, touching them, flipping through the pages.  I can still picture the battered shelves with titles from O. Henry, Edgar Allen Poe, William Shakespeare, Sinclair Lewis and many more.

When I was in grade school, I loved reading biographies, primarily those of women,  Clara Barton, Louisa May Alcott, Marie Curie, Maria Tallchief and Isadora Duncan, just to name a few.  It was through the lives of these pioneering women that I could imagine a world of possibilities for myself.

It was around this time, that I also entered the world of fantasy through one of my all time favorites, “A Wrinkle in Time.”  Even today I continue to love stories about time travel.  There’s something about the mind-bending nature of the genre that keeps me thinking about it long after I’ve finished the last page.  I even enjoy films about time travel, yes, “Back to the Future,” never ceases to entertain me, and the romance of “Somewhere in Time,” still haunts.

As I grew up, I fell in love with mysteries.  Yep, I had a small collection of Nancy Drew stories, but I quickly moved on to Agatha Christie, an interest that continues to this day.  I love nothing more than to curl up with a good “whodunit,” especially when I’m on an airplane or on vacation.  Then, I can enjoy the whole book in one sitting!  Mystery readers know there is nothing more frustrating than putting the book down, only to return days (or weeks) later and not remember what is going on!

As an adult, I fell in love with Harry Potter, and the writing of J. K. Rowling when my son wanted to read the books.  I felt I should take a read, first, to make sure it was age appropriate for him.  Of course, he moved on and I was hooked.  Her writing was surprising, evocative and rich and I could not get enough.  Eventually, my younger son found the books and together we explored the magical world of wizards.

In recalling these books that changed my life, it’s clear to me that there is no one book that defines me. I guess if there is a theme, it’s that I am drawn to stories that spark my imagination, make me dream about the fantastic, and open my mind to a world of possibilities.

About Barbara Dab

Barbara Dab is a journalist, broadcast radio personality, producer and award-winning public relations consultant.  She is the creator of The Peretz Project: Stories from the Shoah: Next Generation.  The Peretz Project, named for her late father-in-law who was a Holocaust survivor, is collecting testimony from children of survivors.  Check it out at http://www.theperetzproject.com.  If you are, or someone you know is, the child of survivors of the Shoah, The Holocaust, and you would like to tell your story please leave a comment and Barbara will contact you.

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Permission to Create

Big MagicWorking as a creative person, I identify when hearing other creatives’ experiences and struggles.  Elizabeth Gilbert is one such person.  Her book Eat, Pray, Love, which chronicled her adventure of travel to pursue the three things that she most wanted to feel and be immersed in, connected with millions of people.

Her latest book, Big Magic, was a good listen for me.  She went through all the funky negatives we tell ourselves that keep us from creating.  She also gave examples of beloved pieces of art where people carved out a few pieces of time a day to create them.  I like the way she encourages us to create, not for money, not for success, but just for our happiness.

People talk to me about my art like I have a special gift.  I see how people are moved when I tell them about my experience of taking a painting class for the first time, and how I embraced it and knew it was something I wanted to pursue.  I appreciate that people are moved and inspired, and I understand that I have an ability to do what I do, but I don’t believe that I have anymore of a gift than anyone else, except that I became willing to give myself permission.  And what that meant was giving myself the tools that I needed to adventure, hence the painting class.  It was a long time in pause and in the “I don’t know if I can,” or “I don’t think I would be good,” since I had my first drawing class in the mid-1990’s.  Before the class, I could not draw good stick people, but I just wasn’t ready to carve out the time, or venture further, for almost twenty years.

So Elizabeth’s book is another tool, of encouragement, of permission to continue exploring, working toward something I want to achieve.

I hope you will give yourself permission to explore your interests.

Renee Bates

August 1, 2016

About Renee Bates

Renee is an artist focused on growing a newfound ability to express herself through oil painting, recently leaving her role as executive director of the non-profit Greenways for Nashville to pursue art and product development.  Renee likes being in nature, hiking, birding, and working in the garden. Married to David Bates of Bates Nursery and Garden Center, a 3rd generation business begun in 1932. Renee admires the fact that it was begun by a savvy woman, Bessie Bates.  Renee’s art may be enjoyed from her website or followed on Facebook.

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Reading Is Like Breathing To Me

 

Reading 2

I can barely remember a time in my life when I wasn’t able to read.  Reading means as much to me as breathing; one without the other is unthinkable.

Although I read many genres, my favorite is history. It’s difficult to say how my love of history originated. I was raised in an extended family with up to five generations regularly gathering for Sunday dinners. I heard endless tales about how great life used to be before modern morals screwed up society. Reading history was a useful method for fact-checking that glorious past.

It is easier to explain why I love military history. I’m a contrarian.  I was raised as a Mennonite, a Protestant sect that is pacifist.  Studying military history appealed to me as a protest against a patriarchal society that set stifling boundaries on women’s expectations. After all, military people get to fight back and sometimes win.

I began reading about the American War of Independence before moving on to our Civil War.  One of the best accounts of the Civil War is Battle Cry of Freedom, by James McPherson. It’s a “must read” for anyone interested in that war.

A source on southern life in the Civil War is Mary Chestnut’s Civil War, edited by C. Vann Woodward.  Mary Chestnut was a close friend of Varina Davis, wife of Jefferson Davis. Her memoir is full of political intrigues as well as the deprivations caused by the Yankee blockade.

Later I read about World War I flying aces. The top ace of the war was Baron Manfred von Richtofen, the Red Baron. But my favorite is Oswald Boelcke, the ace who commanded the jasta or flying circus before Richtofen. The last commander of that jasta, by the way, was Herman Goering of WW II infamy.

The biography of Boelcke illustrates an important point about history. Perspectives change. The original 1932 version by Professor Johannes Werner was published as the Weimar Republic tottered and the Nazis were close to taking power. The biography is full of jingoistic exhortations to German schoolboys to be loyal sons to their parents and the Reich. The English translation, Knight of Germany, includes the Professor’s rhetoric, which may be unsettling for some readers. The jingoism obscures the fact that Oswald Boelcke was a respected man who originated fighter pilot tactics that are still in use.

Eventually I moved on to reading about World War II, European Theater of Operations. A favorite author is Carlo D’este who writes well and includes extensive annotated endnotes.  I’ve also read scores of memoirs ranging from field marshals to French Resistance fighters. Memoirs are a great way for survivors to settle old scores against their enemies, including occasionally, the opposing side in the war.

I recommend reading history as the best method for gaining perspective on life. What we live through every day, good and bad, has happened before. History shows us how to cope with the bad and work toward the good.

About Norma Shirk

Norma started her company, Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor, to help employers create human resources policies for their employees and employee benefit programs that are appropriate to the employer’s size and budget. The goal is to have structure without bureaucracy. Visit Norma’s website: www.complianceriskadvisor.com/.

Like what you’ve read? Feel free to share, but please… Give HerSavvy credit. Thanks!

 

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Artist Tech

Renee's Tomatoes

Spineless? Never!, 8” x 10” oil, © Renée Bates

As a painter, I use technology for capturing the light, or a moment in time.  I work as a plein air and studio painter.  Plein air is a term defined as pertaining to a manner or style of painting developed chiefly in France in the mid-19th century, characterized by the representation of the luminous effects of natural light and atmosphere as contrasted with the artificial light and absence of the sense of air or atmosphere associated with paintings produced in the studio.  Plein air can also be defined as designating a painting executed out of doors and representing a direct response to the scene or subject in front of the artist.  Lastly, a plein air painting is defined as having the qualities of air and natural light.

The business of “chasing the light,” as the sun moves across a scene, can make an artist crazy or in the least, make for a poor painting.  The “values,” or light and dark bits, are what make the thing read, even more than the color.  If you cannot capture it all quickly, you will lay out a painting, work it for a bit, then take a photograph and finish in the studio.  Technology is most helpful here.  The artist of former centuries had to work fast, or they had photographic memories.

I am probably most grateful for cell phones with quality cameras. A photography instructor recently said, “The best camera is the one you have with you.”  True. I regularly capture wildlife shots and beautiful horticulture with my phone camera. While it doesn’t get great detail at far distances, it does afford me many action shots.

When setting up plein air, I will often look through the lens at a scene for scale or, take a photograph and use the cropping tool to decide how I want to lay it out on canvas.  Back at the studio, with Photoshop and similar software, I will sometimes punch up the color in an image, or blur it for a more impressionistic effect.  I will work from a print or use the computer monitor to view as my source. I like to blow up flowers with the cropping software to achieve an abstract view.

When a painting is nearly there, I will take a photograph to see how well I have communicated with the lights and darks, and I’ll always find areas that need tweaking.

Using photos to electronically market on websites and social media is current practice for most artists.  The technology with these platforms has improved dramatically in the last couple of years.  I created a website in just eight hours.  I look forward to seeing how much better technology will be in five years.

About Renee Bates

Renee is an artist focused on growing a newfound ability to express herself through oil painting, recently leaving her role as executive director of the non-profit Greenways for Nashville to pursue art and product development.  Renee likes being in nature, hiking, birding, and working in the garden. Married to David Bates of Bates Nursery and Garden Center, a 3rd generation business begun in 1932. Renee admires the fact that it was begun by a savvy woman, Bessie Bates.  Renee’s art may be enjoyed from her website or followed on Facebook.

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To Trim, or Not to Trim

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2016-04-11 12.35.15 copy

My friend Marina sent me a note today, and I asked her if I might share it with you.  She said, “Regular therapy and gardening therapy are about the same price range.  They both create a special type of beauty in seeing and feeling and being at one with one’s life.”  This was nice, and I agree that it is therapeutic.  For me, trimming and pulling weeds do it, and they are both free.  Now I don’t propose a replacement for regular therapy, but for a supplement, absolutely.

“When can I cut back my hydrangea? Is it o.k. to trim my crape myrtle now? “I often get asked about this around this time of year, April. I’m glad to answer these perennial questions. (pun intended) I thought you might like to hear some rules about trimming that might inspire a venture into your outdoor therapy:

1. If it blooms in the early spring, do not cut it now. Wait until just after it finishes the blooming cycle unless you are willing to sacrifice blooms this year. Examples would be Oakleaf and Hydrangea macrophylla (the old-fashioned blue or pink ones), lilac, azalea, and rhododendron. Even if you think stems are dead on your hydrangea, wait, I tell you. I have removed what I thought was dead only to realize I cut the bloom stock off by mistake.

Hydrangea paniculata varieties like Annabelle and Limelight bloom on new growth. Trim those in late winter, before new growth appears. February in Middle Tennessee works well. The paniculata grow stronger when trimmed back from 4” to 12” above the ground. Leave the sturdier stems up to 18-24” long on the Tardiva hydrangea.  You may also allow it to be taller and tree form shaped.
2. “Can I cut my crape myrtle now?” Yes, even though the leaves have begun appearing, is not a terrible thing, if you must. They won’t die however, we have a term for the look of wholesale trunk decapitation: Crape Murder. You see these all over the place, flatly cut off. Yuck. The plants are prolific foliage producers and burst back out at these points, but I don’t like it. I prefer to leave the branching alone. Simply thin out the smaller trunks, and remove spindly branches from the heads in favor of larger ones. In this way, that elegant line leading your eye from the ground to the tip end, uninterrupted. Artistry in nature.
3. When can I trim my boxwoods? Preferably, late winter but if it has gotten past and you must, trim them anytime before August 1. The reasoning is that new growth will have time to get tough before the freezes of winter come. This is also true about holly, and most hedge type plants. Freeze damage looks yellow, dry and dead, and nobody wants to see that.
4. “What do I need to do about my azaleas and rhododendron to make them bloom better?” Fertilize them three times, May 1, June 1 and July 1. I know, it’s not about trimming, but it is a frequent question. There are other plants that use those dates in a different way: Chrysanthemums. If you have these late summer beauties in the landscape and want them to bloom prolifically in the fall, cut 1/3 of the plant off each time at those same calendar intervals and you will have a bounty of blossoms. Don’t forget to fertilize. I like organic everything so bone meal, worm castings, or both if you are serious. All of my blooming shrubs and perennials do well with these.

This spring I’ve taken hundreds of photographs for possible paintings later. The bright colors of blooms and light green foliage on the trees is irresistible. The photo above shows a Flame Azalea, which is a rhododendron, and also a native. I am partial to orange, a fun, and social color.

About Renee Bates

Renee is an artist focused on growing a newfound ability to express herself through oil painting, recently leaving her role as executive director of the non-profit, Greenways for Nashville. Renee is inspired by nature and enjoys hiking, birding, and the garden. She contributes to HerSavvy, a blog featuring writings from a group of well-informed women wishing to share their support and experience with others. Married to David Bates of Bates Nursery and Garden Center, enjoying flora and fauna is a family affair.

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Building a Bottomless Bucket List


DOLPHIN PHOTO WILD SIDE_crop2_crop

This August I crossed one off the bucket list: swimming with dolphins.   Well, two actually, the second was riding a catamaran on the ocean.  I have wanted to sail again since I was eighteen, loving the exciting tipped on its side ride, tacking, and hearing the sound of the wind in the sails.  It was my cousin’s wooden sailboat at our local lake.  While the boat we were traveling on this day no longer sported the mast and white canvas, instead using engine power to traverse the surf, the excitement of negotiating the rolling waves was still there.  For snorkeling, I learned that big waves are not a big deal when you are in the deep water, as opposed to being beaten up with “the breakers” at the shoreline – on the water you just roll with it.  I did feel brave jumping into that water where big things live.  With flotation belt, mask, snorkel and fins, I was plenty well suited for braving this new world.

Our competent, ecologically respectful guide, Elizabeth, gave us thorough preparation and education about the dolphin’s feeding and rest cycles, and how they rest one side of their brain at a time, alternating between the sonar and analytical sides, as exhibited with closure of the opposing eye of the side of the brain which is asleep.  We learned how to visit in a low impact way and not chase or touch the docile and loving creatures.  A small group of three couples,  upon our first encounter we beheld about twenty dolphins as they played, rested, and lazily moved to and fro zigzagging the coast in their rhythmic movement, sometimes on the bottom, often on or near the top, in 40 to 100 feet of water.  We later noted in the car on the trip back to our hotel that each of us had been mesmerized by the Aurora Borealis-like shafts of light permeating down through the depths in glistening light patterns.  Adding to our pleasure were intensely warm water currents influenced by El Nino, followed by refreshing cool veins of sweet relief.  As an artist, I am looking more at how light reacts on objects, and the pieces of the shapes on those objects.   There was so much to see.

Hours later, I was still exhilarated with the excitement of it all, especially seeing the graceful dolphins in their home, and learning first hand about their loving, community nature.   As we moved from the snorkeling with dolphins site to the turtle site, the dolphins rode our bow, racing ahead as they are so adept at leading.  From the 2-week-old baby swimming against mom’s side, to the 4 teenagers “hanging loose” and swimming slowly, like teenagers do, we enjoyed every minute.  Others were exhibiting raucous, tail flapping fun, spinning, relaxing and mating.  It was nature at its best.  On the trip out we spotted sea turtles and flying fish.  On the way back to the dock, we stopped twice to swim with the turtles, getting good views of several adults together on the bottom coral.  I was at once surprised to be 5 feet away from a sea turtle as it emerged, so close I could smell its algae covered body or its breath; I’m not sure which.

Riding to and from the harbor was a great adventure on the high seas, better than a ride at Fair Park.  On the trampoline-like net across the front, I was holding on tight and getting splashed, rocking up, once airborne, and dropping back down again against the deep blue mountains of water as it splashed through the net.  It felt like we were at a rodeo.  I haven’t had that much fun in forever.

Extra special about this trip was getting to experience it with my soul mate, David, on our celebratory revisit, having married there on Oahu in 1985, one hour east and thirty years before that sun-filled day.

Next on the bucket list: getting up close to a humpback whale.  You will certainly hear about it as it happens.

Photo credit and company we explored with on Oahu: www.sailhawaii.com

About Renee Bates

Renee is an artist focused on growing a newfound ability to express herself through oil painting, recently leaving her role as executive director of the non-profit Greenways for Nashville to pursue art and product development.  Renee likes being in nature, hiking, birding, and working in the garden. Married to David Bates of Bates Nursery and Garden Center, a 3rd generation business begun in 1932. Renee admires the fact that it was begun by a savvy woman, Bessie Bates.  Renee’s art may be enjoyed from her website or followed on Facebook.

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Flowers in the House: Hydrangea

Annabelle Hydrangea

Here’s your tip for bringing the outdoors in for entertaining. You may want to bring in the season simply for your own personal enjoyment. Be savvy and pluck stems from your landscape for an instant focal point for the table or powder room. There is no need purchase cut botanicals at the store, at least not all of the stems. Horticulture of any sort can be beautiful and your selections do not have to be flowering. Great foliage like oakleaf hydrangea, hosta, and my favorite – variegated Soloman’s Seal, work great for bringing in the green. I attended a lecture at the Antique and Garden Show a few years back when Dutch Master Florist Remco van Vliet spoke about floral arranging and conditioning flowers for longevity. Loving hydrangeas as I do, I took notes on his process. I have used the recommendations many times with success. This is what I’ve remembered and practiced for hydrangeas, and most every other stem: if cutting in the heat of summer collect them in the cool of the morning. Bring your water bucket out to the garden so there is little time between cutting and submerging. Strip the leaves off the stem, at least the ones that will ultimately be below the water line in the vase. Use extremely hot water (for hydrangeas). This opens the capillaries in the stem making the water uptake more effective. For all botanicals, cut the stems on the diagonal as this gives more surface for the stem to uptake water. Place damp paper towels on the heads of the flowers to help them stay hydrated through this process. After 45 minutes, change the water to cool and add a floral fresh conditioner. Arrange as desired. Change the water every couple of days to increase longevity. For any horticulture, it is a good idea to have no leaves in the water unless you are wrapping the stems with a cut hosta leaf or other interesting foliage in a transparent vase for decoration. For hydrangeas, on occasion I will have a stem that does not hold up and for no apparent reason. Oh, well, don’t worry about it. And a tip for that hosta and Soloman’s Seal, keep the leaves nice in the landscape by applying slug and snail killer every month, beginning early in the season.

About Renee Bates

Renee is an artist focused on growing a newfound ability to express herself through oil painting, recently leaving her role as executive director of the non-profit Greenways for Nashville to pursue art and product development. Today, June 16, is her “artist” anniversary, the day she happened upon the desire and ability to paint.  Renee likes being in nature, hiking, birding, and working in the garden. Married to David Bates of Bates Nursery and Garden Center, a 3rd generation business begun in 1932. Renee admires the fact that it was begun by a savvy woman, Bessie Bates.  Renee’s art may be enjoyed from her website or followed on Facebook.

Like what you’ve read? Feel free to share, but please… Give HerSavvy credit. Thanks!

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Birding and BBQ, Perfect

Bates Birding hobby Jan 2015

Birding has been a hobby I have enjoyed since my late teens.  I thought that leaving our countryside home in 2007 to move into a dense city neighborhood would mean leaving frequent bird sightings behind, but I’m happy to say there are many birds here and I have even seen new varieties to add to my life list.  For instance, this winter I have seen a Golden Crowned Kinglet two different times near my bird feeder. I’m still waiting for a Rose-breasted Grosbeak to visit our yard, however.

For those wanting to see many bird varieties including the migratory 4’ tall Sandhill Cranes, and other birds whose habitat is in or near the water, I recommend going to Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge. Just an hour and forty five minutes down I-65, in Decatur, AL,  I’ve been told it has better viewing than the Soddy Daisy, TN site, and it’s a half hour closer.  I went to Wheeler on January 10th of this year and was thrilled to also see a pair of Whooping Cranes.  Most cranes are gone by mid-March, but with so many other birds to see, I think it would be a good place to visit at any time.  There is a good visitor center and an indoor viewing room where you can be out of the elements when needed.  It has walls of glass, a microphone mounted outside bringing the bird sounds in, and bleachers to sit on to enjoy the view.  We had a special treat as we watched a pair of bobcats on the far shore through a scope, soaking up the winter sun, playing and grooming.  Wheeler has walking trails and if you like to check out the local flavor, go into town about 3 miles and visit Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ Restaurant.  BBQ is my favorite food group and they did not disappoint with an extensive menu of sides as well.  For dessert they have delicious lemon meringue pie, among other sweets.

I’d love to hear what you are seeing at your feeder.

About Renee Bates

Renee is an artist focused on growing a newfound ability to express herself through oil painting, recently leaving her role as executive director of the non-profit Greenways for Nashville to pursue art and product development. Renee likes being in nature, hiking, birding, and working in the garden. Married to David Bates of Bates Nursery and Garden Center, she appreciates that the legacy of the 3rd generation business was begun in 1932 at the height of the depression by a savvy woman, Bessie Bates.

Like what you’ve read? Feel free to share, but please… Give HerSavvy credit. Thanks!

Photo:  Sandhill Cranes,

US Fish and Wildlife Service

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