BASICS: "Hummingbirds.....where is the person, I ask, who, on observing this glittering fragment of the rainbow, would not pause, admire, and turn his mind with reverence..." (J. J. Audubon).
This is a blog about my summer life at the Baiting Hollow Hummingbird Sanctuary, at my winter garden, Calypso, in the Bahamas, and aspects of life in general.
This private sanctuary is now permanently closed to the general public, as a result of a lawsuit brought by a neighbor. Only my friends and personal guests may visit (

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Open Today Sunday IF you bring waivers. Shrimp Plants

We are open today sunday am (9.30-12.30) and pm (3-5.30), but only to those who bring completed waivers (not available at sanctuary) and who have not visited yet this year. Take the woodland trail when you arrive.

If you do visit today, or during the week, when we should also be open (but always check this blog for confirmation before setting out), remember that you MUST BRING COMPLETED WAIVERS (waivers are still being rationed) for each person, and YOU MUST BE A GOOD WALKER ABLE TO SAFELY FOLLOW OUR WOODLAND TRAIL, which starts at the yellow minibridge you will see as you as you enter the sign-posted parking area. If you have ANY doubt about taking this trail, please remain in the lot or near the yellow admission table at the start of the trail (where waivers are received).  If you see the lot is nearly full or that there are many visitors at the sanctuary please limit the length of your stay appropriately (e.g. 1/2 hour). You can stay as long as you like (until closing) IF you park in the Sound Ave Preserve lot immediately east of the entrance to Terry Farm Rd and hike up to the sanctuary (about 0.6 mile). Out of consideration for the neighbors it's important to ensure that everyone parks in the designated sign-posted lot and not on the side of Terry Farm Rd, as happened on the day the Newsday article appeared. In its wake we had to completely close for several days at the peak of the hummer season to reduce the flow of traffic to a reasonable level. Since instituting the waiver system the flow has been reasonable. Please park carefully  so as not to block ingress/egress by others.  Please be patient if you have not yet received permission to access a waiver,  we will still have a week to go before the sanctuary closes. If you cannot walk with confidence over the narrow, twisty, uneven and steep woodland trail please email me for special arrangements for a weekday visit.

The sanctuary is difficult to find (especially as someone removed the Terry Farm Road sign in an effort to confuse sanctuary visitors; look for the large boulders and the Shawn Elliott real estate sign) and we strongly recommend a close study of our Google Map. When you get to the "Do Not Proceed" sign, proceed!

Today's picture is by Peg Koller, and shows a hummingbird feeding at shrimp plant (Justicia brandegeeana). The plant is of course named for the shrimp-like red bracts, but the flower itself (where the nectar is located) is a small, usually white, projecting tube. However, this variety, which I got from Long Island Hummingbird Plants, has a pinkish lower lip. A similar but distinct plant is Golden Shrimp Plant (Pachystachys lutea, aka lollipop flower), where the bracts are bright yellow and upright like a candle rather than curving lie a cooked shrimp. This also has nectar-laden small white flowers. Both are tropical and both rate 3 stars.

Because of the evolving situation with the Town and 2 neighbors, I need some good legal advice. In the past, because of similar issues, and at considerable expense, I retained the services of the best local law firm and received much useful advice. However, in order to minimize further expense, it would be wonderful if one of my nice visitors might know of (or even be) a bird-friendly lawyer willing to help the sanctuary survive on a reduced or even pro bono basis. Please email me if you have suggestions!

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