Hummingbird Migration Celebration

Down in Mississippi, about an hour outside of Memphis is a piece of land "where nature and history meet," and each September the public can go there to celebrate the Ruby-throated Hummingbird... in a very hands-on way. The place is Strawberry Plains Audubon Center in Holly Springs. We attended the Hummingbird Migration Celebration five years ago, when the temps were scorching and the hummingbirds were scarce. This year, I decided to give it another go, though it wasn't really the hummingbirds that attracted me.

If you're reading this and wondering if it is worth the trip, I will tell you all you really need to know. Yes! Get there when they open to beat the heat and prepare to be amazed. You will have an opportunity to release a hummingbird or feel its tiny heart beating rapidly against your ear. I could give more detailed information about this event and its purpose, but this video does a much better job.

Note: The video states that Strawberry Plains is located 25 minutes outside of Memphis. Actually, it is 25 minutes outside the outermost boundaries of Collierville. It's closer to 45-50 minutes from Memphis.

Now, for the reason we made the (ahem) 50-minute trek to Mississippi... It was the live bat encounter with conservation biologist and bat expert, Rob Mies that really motivated us to risk a heat stroke. Really, it wasn't that bad because we got there when they opened! Rob offered a very engaging presentation about understanding bats. The photos I was lucky enough to get are of bats that are about 15 inches from my face. It was very cool! Rob answered every question from the audience. Afterward, he hung out at the Organization for Bat Conservation tent, where he autographed books that he has written, and sold other bat-related merchandise... all to support bat conservation and education.

In addition to releasing hummingbirds and getting face-to-face with the world's only flying mammals, we also took in a "Good Ole, Down-home Mississippi Snake" show.

All of that and I still haven't made it to my favorite part of the day! It involves one very cool husband and wife, a 3-D printer, and a one-legged duck named Buttercup. You can read more here.

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