New Chimney Swift Towers – Flyin’ High in 2009!

KristaHansenConstruction-FinishXXThree WRNC Chimney Swift tower grant awardees completed their towers in early spring and quickly put up vacancy signs for all Chimney Swifts in their immediate area and “Houston, We Have Residents!” Avid bird lover, Krista Hansen from Oak Path Farm in Council, NC, who has enjoyed Chimney Swifts on and near her land for many years, immediately saw the value in applying for a Wildlife Rehabilitators of North Carolina (WRNC) Chimney Swift Tower Grant. Her home heating system was updated years ago, which unfortunately, required the sealing of chimneys where Swifts had previously nested. She and her husband, Craig Magill, vowed at that time to find ways to keep Chimney Swifts in their lives. Krista’s determination and passion to provide alternative habitat for the Chimney Swifts in her area were recognized by the WRNC board and her application was selected to receive a grant during the Symposium Board Meeting in Raleigh on February 1, 2009. As soon as Krista received the word, her husband and his father, Charles began constructing the tower and a decision was made to abut the tower to an existing horse barn to ensure an abundance of delectable insects and tower stability. After the finishing touches on the tower, the waiting game began. Although told it would be unusual for a first year tower to house swifts, Krista and Craig stood fast in their monitoring of the tower, and it finally happened. By May, Chimney Swifts were moving into the tower and by July, five babies, were onboard.

09AprFischesserTower1High atop the Bell Tower at Lee’s McRae College, Banner Elk, North Carolina, Chimney Swifts, acrobatic birds that live on the wing, will soon be doing what they are meant to do; raise their young before they return to Peru in late summer and vacuum the sky at dawn and dusk, ridding the campus of dangerous and pesky insects. Chimney Swift parents and their offspring can consume over 12,000 flying insect pests every day. Nina Fischesser, Instructor of Earth Stewardship and Wildlife Rehabilitation at Blue Ridge Wildlife Institute aboard Lee’s McRae campus, also saw the value in applying for a WRNC Chimney Swift Tower Grant, especially since the college’s heating system was being updated, which unfortunately, required the closing of chimneys where Swifts have nested for many years. Lee’s McRae College in Banner Elk is one of the largest roosting sites for Chimney Swifts in western North Carolina. Nina’s selfless determination and the Chimney Swift’s need for a tower were recognized by the WRNC board and her application was also selected to receive a WRNC grant. As soon as Nina received the word and the weather broke, she put her construction team to work. By early April the tower was up and ready to receive resident Chimney Swifts. Nina has noticed a number of Chimney Swifts checking out the new tower, but it is not known at this time whether a family took up residence this year.

On twenty-five acres of undeveloped land in Wayne County, Ed Erkes, naturalist, bird lover and 09MayEdErkesFinish2Xnature photographer from Goldsboro continues his efforts to groom a valuable wildlife sanctuary and refuge. His desire and efforts to build a Chimney Swift Tower were assisted by WRNC when his tower application was approved to receive a monetary grant. Ed’s white, majestic Chimney Swift tower was completed in late April and stands tall, awaiting its first family of swifts. While he patiently waits and monitors swift interest, he’s stocked the pond with fish. His plantings of eastern red cedar, red maple, river birch, flowering dogwood, black cherry, black gum, wax myrtle and inkberry shrubs are growing. Wood duck and bluebird boxes, as well as purple martin condos are in place and structures to attract more warblers and barn swallows are in the planning stages. Ed has sighted Chimney Swifts in the area this summer feeding over the pond and swooping the tower, but there are no indications of activity inside the tower yet. Maybe next year!

If anyone is interested in constructing and maintaining a Chimney Swift tower to benefit the Swifts as well as your community, check out http://www.chimneyswifts.org for tower constructin details. If you are from North Carolina, WRNC is in a position to help you conserve this natural resource and encourage Swifts to return to North Carolina by offering a Chimney Swift Tower Grant to any environmentally active group or individual who will seek appropriate site approval, properly construct and regularly maintain a Chimney Swift Tower in their area. Find the requirements and WRNC Chimney Swift Tower Grant application online at http://www.ncwildliferehab.org. New applications must be submitted prior to January 5, 2010.

May the Swifts be with you!

Linda Bergman-Althouse

author of “Save Them All” 

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Hangin’ Out!

Book Lovers’ Fairs or Expos are great opportunities for networking in ‘author world,’ showcasing your  writing talents and generally, having a lot of fun.  Meeting fellow authors is a marvelous trip.  Most writers are unique in so many ways I truly appreciate.  Although I look forward to meeting and hanging out with a crazy, diverse bunch of writers, some of the moments I anticipate the most at a multiple-author, book event are spying the adorable, animated characters milling around and rushing to hang out with them.  They’re there to bolster the childrens’ books or advertise something out in town.  Either way, I’m thrilled to see them.  I’ve grown very respectful of mascots over the years.  They don’t talk, have pleasant demeanors,  delighted, if not goofy, looks on their faces, transmit infectious energy and throw out happy waves to everyone.  They’re big and have even bigger heads, with shoes to match.  I get so excited to see them, I want to be them.  Yes, my mind has gone there.  The thought of becoming a big head with big shoes bounces in my brain quite often, but the dilemma is what head would I choose?  I’ve envisioned a Bluebird because they’re happy, have wings and are uncommon as a mascot.  Bees are disappearing, so maybe I should be a honeybee to bring attention to their plight.  I’d still have wings, but I’d also be adorned with antennae and yellow is a good color for me.  I’ll think on that a while.  I guess my message to everyone with this little bloggie blurb is stay positive, have fun in whatever you do and respect the ‘clean’ fun others are having even if it’s not your cup of tea.   Book signings,  Literary Symposiums and Writers’ Workshops are on the schedule for me over the next six months, and I plan to have a huge amount of fun teaching or learning at all of them.  I just hope some big-headed mascots will be close by to hang out with.  Bye, Bye, now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Linda Bergman-Althouse

author of “Save Them All

DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUT THIS YEAR’S AUTHOR’S HOLIDAY GIVE-AWAY BASKET AND GET ENTERED BY DECEMBER 10TH!

Backyard Fatality . . .

As much as I love nature and nature loves me,
I can’t seem to escape the occasional backyard fatality.
Their hunt is aggressive but manners demure, it wasn’t a cat, that’s for sure.
Feline free roamers with pure criminal intent are not nature to me.
Wildlife has little defense against efficient sport killers as these.
With cats, death is usually quick and quietly carried away.
They leave no trace, there is nothing to know, no guilt to pay.
No . . . this was a hawk, Sharp-shinned or Cooper’s variety,
Who must also eat, so I reluctantly accept an occasional loss and know it must be.
Nature circles where I live; my grounds, my mind, soul, and in my heart.
Disjoined bed of feathers, tragic scenes such as these give way to guilt’s start.
Which to save . . .  is not for me nor others to say, it’s nature’s way.

I try to keep them safe with cover and food; the doves, cardinals, flickers, squirrels,
Wrens, bluejays, titmouse, robin, thrasher, chickadee, opossum and sparrows.
But there’ll come a day when one is not alert or fast enough to out sway,
And I shall gather up all that is left of one I encouraged to stay.
I’ll always love nature and nature will love me,
Just wish I could escape the tormenting backyard fatality.

 

Linda Bergman-Althouse, author of “Save Them All”

DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUT THIS YEAR’S AUTHOR’S HOLIDAY GIVE-AWAY BASKET AND GET ENTERED BY DECEMBER 10TH!

AUTHOR’S HOLIDAY GIVE-AWAY IS BACK!

It was so much fun last year, I have to do it again this year!

“AUTHOR’S HOLIDAY GIVE-AWAY”

Date: From 22 September to 10 December 2008

Time: Ends midnight, December 10, 2008

Location: USA

Everyone who purchases a copy of my novel “Save Them All,” directly from author (address below) or through PayPal will be entered in my “Author’s Holiday Give-Away” drawing for the goodie basket below.

“>The winner will receive a green and gold harvest basket filled with a blue plaid fleece throw, a crazy cute pink poodle, an over-sized mug with Sen-Cha tea, a happy snowman, festive reindeer hand towel, a spiral “fat book” for note taking, a wildlife print pen, an aquamarine cushion grip pen, some sweet treats and a signed copy of my novel, “Save Them All” with wildlife bookmark to gift one of your favorite people.

The contest begins on Monday, September 22, 2008 and will end midnight on December 10, 2008 when the winning name will be drawn.   The winner will be notified by email on December 11, 2008 to let her or him know their prize basket is in the mail.

For your copy of “Save Them All” and an automatic entry into the “2008 Author’s Holiday Giveway” drawing, please send check or money order in the amount of $21.95, which includes shipping, to:

Novel / Save Them All
130 Aldersgate Road
Jacksonville, North Carolina
28546

I encourage you to ENTER!! It’s definitely a lot of fun for me, you receive a GREAT read and I still believe your ODDS of snagging that basket and it’s goodies are much better than powerball, our state’s lottery or even a scratch off card!!

Just ask Bea B., last years winner.

Good Luck and have Happy & Safe Holidays!!
Linda Bergman-Althouse

Everywhere I Go

Last Week was National Library Week, and I was invited as a local guest author to attend the Harnett Library celebration on Sunday in Lillington, NC (two hours from where I live).   Mystery writer, Margaret Maron was the scheduled  guest speaker (Marilyn, you may know her personally).  Cathey and Diane (from the library) made the event sound exciting and tons of fun, so I responded with “sure thing,” and mapquest helped me route the most scenic trip to this tucked in the country town I never knew existed. My husband and I arrived in Lillington a little early so we scouted  the residential area and found some charming and pristine older homes with absolutely gorgeous gardens.  While passing one of the most inspiring gardens, I noticed movement way up in a tree and wondered what it was, so I asked John to back up.  It was an opossum, stuck . . .  really stuck  in the crevice of a tree.  My husband wondered how in the world I saw it, way up in that tree as we were zipping by in the car.  It happens, everywhere I go.  I just see these things.  She was in a bind; couldn’t go forward or backward.  I knew she had to be stuck because she wouldn’t be out in the bright of day at 1:00 in the afternoon.  So there I was, dressed up and in high heels trying to figure out how to get her down.  I had 45 minutes to spare before the library event, but I was not dressed for climbing. So, I encouraged  John to go to a neighbor’s house (no one was home at the tree’s house) and ask to use their ladder.  We even had to use the ladder extension, she was so high.  He climbed to the top rung and kept lifting her gently with some blunt garden tool on a pole, also borrowed.  She was caught right under her ribs and her pouch was full of babies.  She hissed a little, but knowing that’s a possum’s only defense mechanism besides playing dead, he continued jostling her until she became unstuck and lifted her into the safety of the hollow in the tree.  She was exhausted, I’m sure, but hopefully fine.  I could see the scratches on the trunk of the tree where she was desperately trying to free herself, probably since dawn.  I could only hope she learned her lesson.  Those small spaces she used to squeeze through when she was single and carefree are not doable now that babies are on board.  Now, on to the library!  There were quite a few authors there, and the Harnett Library was stuffed with loyal and royal readers from Lillington and miles around, so the number in attendance was quite impressive.  A very attractive woman in white sequins played a golden harp beautifully during the reception.The library staff greeted me with an “I Love My Library” goody bag (loved the chocolates) and golden punch, then escorted me to my table, preciously handling me like a VIP in the Queen’s court!   Margaret Maron had wonderful stories to tell that kept everyone interested and entertained.  She also introduced her most recent published work, “Hard Row” and her soon to be released mystery, “Death’s Half Acre.”  I sat between the author who wrote “Baaaad Sheep”  and the author of “More Than Trees.”  So between sheep and trees, I was in my element.  The respect and admiration for the authors present at the Harnett Library’s ‘event of the year’ was easily recognizable and warmly felt by me.  This small town’s big celebration was certainly worth the trip.  It was a most splendid event and a wildlife rescue on top of all that . . .well, what can I say? 

Linda Bergman-Althouse

author of “Save Them All” 

Author’s Holiday Give-Away Winner!

The contest began on Monday, August 20, 2007 and expired at midnight on November 20, 2007. Everyone who purchased a copy of my novel “Save Them All,” directly from me at a signing/reading or through the mail via my home office or through PayPal were eligible to enter my “Author’s Holiday Give-Away” drawing. All the eligible names were placed in an Abercrombie and Fitch shopping bag (something my son left behind when he went out into the world) during the three month contest. Upon expiration of the contest, the winning name was drawn. I had all my shipping materials ready (the perfect box, new air packs rather than annoying Styrofoam peanuts) for mailing anywhere; Virgina, South Carolina, Ohio, but the winning name happened to reside in Onslow County, North Carolina, well within driving distance. Since she didn’t have an email address, I called the number on her entry to tell Ms. Belinda “Bee” B. she had won. She sounded thrilled, said she couldn’t believe she had won something and also mentioned she was at work. So . . . my husband and I headed on down the road to her place of employment to deliver Bee’s winnings on Thanksgiving day.
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She gave me three hugs (which were more valuable than the prize basket), and Belinda received an attractive unisex, flat woven and lined basket, two $50.00 Books-a-Million gift cards, a soft green (my favorite color) 50” x 60” plush throw, four wildlife bookmarks, two aquamarine, comfort-grip pens, some sweet treats, a squooshy & friendly Monkey pillow and a signed copy of “Save Them All” to give to her favorite person as a gift. Bee told me she has purchased three of my books for gifts already after reading “Save Them All” last year and was needing another copy. So that worked out very well. The contest was so much fun for me, I’m sure I’ll be looking for another opportunity to fashion another one. Now I know how Oprah feels when she gives all those “Favorite Things” away each year or possibly the ladies on the View, when they pass out a new gift each day for the Twelve Days of Christmas! Not Quite!

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Linda Bergman-Althouse

Author of “Save Them All”

Author Event

Meet the Author and Book Signing

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Meet Linda Bergman-Althouse (me), wildlife rehabilitator and author of “Save Them All,” at Suzanne’s Fudge Factory. Take the opportunity to pick up a signed copy of my novel so you too can visit Locus Point, where passion and romance, awakened, go wild!

Event Location: The Market Place, 114 W. Main Street, Swansboro, NC

Event Date and Time: September 1, 2007 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

Come to Swansboro, North Carolina on Saturday, September 1, 2007, and join me at the Market Place in Suzanne’s Fudge Factory for a book signing and gourmet coffee and lots of crazy, scrumptious fudge.

Once you’re downtown, browse the quaint shops of charming and historic waterfront Swansboro, and eat some great food at one of the well-known, coastal restaurants (Yana’s, Ice House, RiverFront Bistro) along the sound, but save room for the best fudge on the planet!!

Come visit “The Friendly City By The Sea,” and stop by the Market Place to meet me! Put me on your calendar now (it’s the only way I’ll ever be a ‘Calendar Girl.’)

Linda Bergman-Althouse