Suet feeder and Val's homemade suet

Bird Feeders, Suet Feeders – Summertime!

Suet feeder and Val's homemade suetHere in the Pacific Northwest, we are blooming with daffodils and tulips, a sure sign of warmer weather. Some parts of the country are still seeing snow and much cooler temperatures. As the season changes, it becomes less important to feed the birds. Of course, you can continue, but they’re able now (or soon) to find the food nature provides. If you enjoy watching the birds, keep your feeders full. The natural suet/lard filling we make does not contain wax or any other unnatural fillers to prevent melting in the heat and direct sun. Store bought suet is like a white brick likely not to melt, but who knows what it’s made of to prevent that.

If your daytime temperatures are around 60° F and you have hung your suet feeders in the shade, you should be okay. You’ll see it dripping if it gets too warm and then it’s time to put it away until next Fall.

Seed feeders and hummingbird feeders are welcome all year round, but not necessary. The flocks of our ground feeding birds are gone now. Likely eating real bugs! Our summer time hummingbird mixture is 4 parts water and 1 part sugar (no food coloring!). Thoroughly boil the mixture first. The winter mix is strong, 3:1. The red dye in the hummingbird mix you find in the store contains red dye #4 and I’ve read,  is very harmful to the birds’ kidneys. Clear water in a red feeder works just fine.

Enjoy your Spring and bird watching

All is well


Whimsical Woods is in the Costco Connection Magazine!

>

Whimsical Woods in the Costco Connection magazine!

If you don’t already “gnome,” we/Whimsical Woods, are featured in the March edition of the Costco magazine, “Costco Connection” on their Member Connection page (inside back cover)!! http://www.costcoconnection.com/connection/201203#pg95

This is obviously a big event for us. The magazine is mailed to approximately 8 million Costco members and we have been receiving email inquiries, phone calls and orders from all over the US in response.

We’ve been working with Costco on this for the last 6 months and were thrilled that they took interest in our creations and wanted to feature us in their magazine. We are very flattered and now quite busy!

Not surprisingly, not everyone reads (or receives the magazine, or are Costco members so we are letting family and friends know with this email. Take a look and pass this on to anyone who might have an interest. Let the network begin! :-)

(Article “Reprinted with permission from The Costco Connection, March 2012.”)

Suet Feeders – Very Popular!

>

Suet Feeder – for the birds!

To all the Whimsical Woods loyal gnome blog readers, a very Happy New Year, 2012. It surely will be a year of changes and politics. That is something we do not read about in the life of gnomes. They have a vocal leader in the clan – a king, who has a queen. Likely a wise elder couple who have earned great respect over the years. How different!

Although our winter of 2011- 2012 seems to be very mild so far, the winter feeding of the little birds must continue. A favorite here in the northern cooler climate is suet made from real animal fat, or in my case, lard. Here at Whimsical Woods, I prefer to make my own from scratch. I can make it to my liking much better than the cheap corn based cakes available in stores. You can find the lard at various bulk food/restaurant stores (Cash & Carry, Smart & Final, etc.) It is about $1.00 a pound in bulk. I buy a 30 lb. bucket for about $35, which will last a full season. The birds love the protein and energy from the suet feeders.

When the snow piles up on the ground, the winter birds will need your suet feeder and ice free water. Our gnome friends to their best to help, but appreciate human efforts.

The photo is a suet feeder I make and sell at the Sequim Open Aire Market, craft shows and mail order. Commercial green suet cages work, but don’t look as natural and require the use of store bought packaged suet.

Suet Recipe – simple ingredients

1 lb. soft lard
1/4 cup sugar, brown or white
1/8 cup ordinary beach sand
1/4 cup old bread crumbs
8 cups of good quality bird seed mix*
1/2 cup flour (white or whole wheat)*

Mix all and let sit in a cool place for a day, then feed the birds! Suet filled pine cones also work great!

*Note: Add more or less to thicken the mix. Optional: add natural chunky peanut butter.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays 2012 from Whimsical Woods

>

Merry Christmas from Whimsical Woods and the Gnomes

From our Whimsical Woods to your homes, a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. From our crew and little fellows here, we all thank you for your support in 2011. We appreciate your mail, photos and your orders for special log bird houses and custom gnome homes.

Our hope is to continue to spread the Gnome news and bring a little joy to those who can imagine and share with the family. Whimsical Woods will be spreading out to bigger craft shows in 2012. We’re hoping to be accepted to the Anacortes Arts Festival  and the Olympia Harbor Days. If we are accepted, we’ll let you all know and the dates. We’re looking now to branch out to spread the smiles. You never “gnome!”

Thank you all again. Please send us your feedback and your own photos so we can share the fun we’re having. (val@whimsicalwoods.net).

All is well. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Val & Nancy Jackson
Whimsical Woods
Port Angeles, WA

TRAVEL PLANS

>As the wild geese begin their practice flights about our property, the gnomes have worked out a ride-along agreement.  This is their preferred method of travel to visit clans and offspring that have settled in a nearby forest here on the Olympic Peninsula. We thought the geese were honking at each other, but maybe they’re communicating with the gnomes riding on their long necks! At 245 to about 300 grams, they’re an easy load for an adult Canadian goose. I’m sure the visits are short as there is much to do in preparation for the colder winter ahead. Hang on there!

Strawberry Poachers

>

Garden gates keep the deer out of our garden, except when I forget to latch it, but that doesn’t stop our forest gnomes. Ripe strawberries look just like their little pointed red hats. I’ve got some to spare and do share, but will they take the whole berry? No! Just a nice big, round hole where they may have used a tool to carve out a section. They take a little from a different berry every night. The berries are organic and very sweet. Some rhubarb is left, so why not mini strawberry rhubarb pies? Just a thought. Better watch my raspberries! Gnomes are known to ferment them to make a potent alcoholic drink. Good thing they don’t drive! 

All is well.