|The heat made catching the little birds difficult. They were sluggish, and so was I.|
|A tiny band is placed on the hummingbird.|
After parking in a dusty field we were shuttled by a volunteer, a member of the state legislature, no less, to the garden and grounds of the center. Besides the demonstrations and lectures going on in tents, visitors shopped for beautiful art—painted gourds, jewelry, pottery, hand-made walking sticks.
There were wagon rides and activities for children.
We were also allowed to go into the Davis House (Strawberry Plains), built in 1851 by Ebenezer Davis. The home was raided repeatedly during the Civil War and ultimately partially burned. Sisters Margaret Finley Shackleford and Ruth Finley restored it in 1960 and bequeathed it and the land to the National Audubon Society. It was their hope that Strawberry Plains be a wildlife sanctuary in the truest sense of the word. It is featured in the Holly Springs pilgrimage.
The back of the Davis home has a viewing area where guests can stand and see the hummingbirds feeding on the many colorful feeders and plants, placed strategically to attract them back year after year.
This is the kind of small-town festival that draws visitors from across the South. Every town should have one—something unique to the town's history and culture. I love small-town Mississippi.
Well since I am a a heat wimp, I didn't last long, but I'm glad I went. "If we go again next year, let's go early," I said to Terry on the way home with the air conditioner turned to its lowest setting. She agreed.