Did you know?

Birds are picky. They prefer Pleasant Places.

Apr 03, 2013
Photo by: Paul Viau BIRDS OF A FEATHER — Liz and Leon Russell, owners of Pleasant Places on Main Street, will tell you — quality products are good for business.

Right now spring should be in the air, not day after day of intermittent snow flurries, and I blame myself.

Usually I commemorate Groundhog Day with a column, but this year I wrote about the health benefits of juicing. It must have struck a nerve with Punk-satawney Phil, who is currently punishing most of the U.S.A. with lousy weather.

This, too, shall pass and in a matter of days (not weeks) Carol and I will be sitting out on our deck enjoying the “show” — instead of “snow.”

By “show” I mean the much-anticipated arrival of (Hummmmmm roll) the hummingbirds. Many experts believe they will be arriving earlier this year. So this is your friendly reminder — it’s time to get those brightly colored feeders out of the garage and into plain sight.

Hummingbirds send out scouts ahead of their group to find the best nesting and feeding areas, and you can catch their attention by providing (1) food — open-throated, bright red flowers and clean feeders with plenty of nectar, (2) nesting materials — anything from cotton batting to pet hair, and (3) a cold shower — a little mist of water for the hummers to fly through.

In simple terms, you need to make your house one of the “pleasant places” for the hummingbirds to hang out. And here’s my tip of the day — to attract the best birds, hummers included, visit Pleasant Places, 36 North Main Street, in historic downtown Waynesville.

Pleasant Places is a relatively new store. Owners, Liz and Leon Russell, will be celebrating their first anniversary on June 15. In just a short time, this couple (and their very pleasant store) have attracted a “charm” of loyal customers.

Did you know? — A group of either finches or hummingbirds is called a “charm.” And in a sense, the Russells have “charmed” our community with quality birding supplies, including a variety of decorative garden and patio accessories.

To a person, their customers will tell you, “It pays to spend a little more on good feeders and better birdseed. At Pleasant Places you’ll find Cole’s wild bird feed and bird treats. Cole’s is located in nearby Kennesaw, GA, and is famous for their quality.

Coles says it all with their catch phrase, “If you want bird seed, buy any brand. If you want birds, buy Cole’s.

I take that a step further — If you want weeds and varmints, buy bird seed from a big box store. Birds are smart. They quickly sort through and discard filler and unwanted seeds in search of their favorites.

Quality feeders make a difference, too. Pleasant Places features Brome squirrel-proof feeders and Droll Yankees Feeders — which are made in America and carry a lifetime guarantee. As Droll Yankees says, “Buy it once, enjoy it for life.”

That really resonates with me, because my wife and I have that same kind of commitment — to one another and to our love of bird watching.

Which brings me back to the couple behind Pleasant Places on Main Street. Liz and Leon Russell opened their store because, “We just love birds and watching them.” That’s both simple and profound. And the Russells are rewarded just about daily, when customers return to say, “You really helped us. We’re getting more birds than we ever had.”

That’s the best kind of feedback a store can receive. And speaking of best, Pleasant Places also stocks Best-1 Hummingbird Instant Nectar, which many folks consider (as the name implies) – the best.

And my best advice for successful hummingbird feeding is to “Keep it fresh and clean.” In other words, keep your feeders clean and bug-free, and change your nectar often.

OK, I seem to have reached my 600-words already and it’s time to blow the snow from the deck and hang the feeders.

Spring — I know you’re out there somewhere. Bring on the hummingbirds.

Pleasant Places is located at 36 North Main Street. You can also reach the Russells at www.pleasantplaces-waynesville.com or by phone at 456-4974.