Rubies in the Sky - theHumm May 2022
Rubies in the Sky - theHumm May 2022
By Lise Balthazar
Ask any birder in Eastern Ontario: the month of May is synonymous with anticipation. Even though spring has sprung — robins and Eastern bluebirds are already nesting — May is when the songbirds come back after spending the winter in Central and South America. But the bird species whose return brings the most excitement is also the tiniest: the ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris). Many of these minuscule creatures cross the Gulf of Mexico in a single flight on wings which beat about 53 times a second — quite an accomplishment for birds weighing 2 to 6 grams!
The arrival date of ruby-throated hummingbirds has always been up for debate. Some birders swear that hummingbirds always return on Mother’s Day weekend. As for me, the arrival dates I have noted in my birding journal vary between May 2 and May 14. Given that hummingbirds return to the same spot every year, make sure to put out your nectar feeders in early May; otherwise your regular visitors will have to look elsewhere for nourishment and may not come back to your yard. After their long migration, they need nectar and cannot survive more than a few hours without it.
They are nicknamed “flying jewels” and for good reasons: their back is shimmering emerald or olive green highlighted with flecks of gold. Males have an iridescent red throat which looks dark when it’s not in good light; but viewed at the correct angle that throat patch lights up like a ruby!
They tend to gravitate towards red or orange tube-shaped flowers, but in my garden they are also attracted by fuchsia and hosta blooms. I have also observed hummingbirds catching insects in the air.
Hummingbirds use their forked tongues to feed. The outer edges curve inward, creating two tubes running side by side. The tiny forks at the tip spring open to gather nectar from flowers. They repeat this high-speed lapping 15 to 20 times per second. They use the same method at nectar feeders.
To make nectar for your tiny feathered friends, simply mix one part sugar with four parts water that has been boiled and cooled. No need to add red food coloring — that’s a birding myth. Change the water every few days, more often at the height of summer — when the weather is hot, the sugar water can ferment and become toxic.
Ruby-throated hummingbirds are extremely fast flyers but they can also stop on a dime, hover in mid-air, go up and down, and even fly backwards with exquisite control. The perfect example of this mastery of flight is the courtship display: while the female sits on a branch, the male launches himself in the air, as high as 50 feet. Then, he takes a vertiginous U-shaped dive at dizzying speed, only to turn around and fly up again; this pendulum flight is a sight to behold!
Females are in charge of building the nest out of thistle or dandelion down held together with spider silk — it measures about 2 inches across and 1 inch deep. The female lays 1 to 3 eggs and can have two broods in a season.
Male hummingbirds usually have several mates. A pair is together only long enough for courtship and mating; a matter of a few weeks. Then the male is off on his own and may begin migration as early as the beginning of August. Females stay a little longer, until mid-September.
Same as the songbirds, those flying jewels are with us for a short while. Hang a nectar feeder and enjoy the show!
By Sally Hansen
Art… and Soul
For starters, he’s six-foot-three. He paints huge, mesmerizing abstracts. He’s incredibly intense and passionate about art and life and helping people. He’s all in. Patrick John Mills is a force of nature.
And that’s when he’s in the middle of his fourth round of chemotherapy to hold his CLL (Chronic lymphocytic leukemia) at bay. His life is much too compelling and challenging and rewarding to loosen his grip on it. He actually describes having cancer as a gift — it has “prolon......
By John Fenik
When you work with people in a creative way, you are blessed. It doesn’t matter if you are cooking or playing music, if you are writing or making a film, or, for that matter, building a sandcastle on a beach. The bottom line is when kindred spirits come together, wonderful things happen. When you collaborate with others, the best of artistic energy is harnessed and the results are spectacular. Lifelong friendships are forged and future possibi......
Return of the Rag Bag Cabaret! - theHumm May 2022
Rachelle Elie is a world-travelling, award-winning comedian who now calls Almonte home. After a pandemically-induced hiatus, she is ready to bring her raunchy and hilarious Rag Bag Cabaret back to the Old Town Hall on Friday, May 27, this time with an eye towards raising funds for the newly formed group “Mississippi Mills for Ukraine”. Tickets are on sale now from Tickets Please (TicketsPlease.ca or 485–6434).We caught up with her to find out more about the show and its goals.
theHumm: If someone wer......
The year is 1944. The place is Bournemouth, England. The context is World War II. The play is This Year, Next Year, by Norah Harding. The company is Studio Theatre Perth. Those are the facts, but there’s so much more to this delightful period dramedy.
“For a while I worked with a woman who was a War Bride and her stories intrigued me, which is probably why this story drew me. I fell in love with the play because it was real, it’s a true story, it’s the author’s story and when I read it,......
TNIM PresentsDrinking Habits - theHumm May 2022
By Andrea Howard
Are you ready for a good laugh?! As May dawns, why not treat yourself to a Theatre Night in Merrickville! TNIM’s first spring production in two years will be a knee-slapper — sure to be the tonic we all need. Drinking Habits, by Tom Smith, runs May 5–8, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30pm and Sunday at 2pm.
The setting is the convent of the Sisters of Perpetual Sewing, where life seems idyllic but pickings are slim. Unbeknownst to the abstemious Mother Super......
Art in the Attic — Close to Home - theHumm May 2022
By Laurel Cook
The Art in the Attic (AITA) Show and Sale returns for the 32nd time on Saturday, May 7 from 10am to 5pm and Sunday, May 8 from 10am to 4pm at Almonte Old Town Hall. Admission is free.
Over the last three decades, AITA has showcased the wonderful works of local artists. Artists come and go, and the show is ever-evolving with fresh talent. Yet the constant that has held fast over the years is the quality and originality of the work.
Other than the first two years, the show has been held in the Ron ......
Vintage Market Trunk Sale at MERA - theHumm May 2022
The McDonalds Corners Farmers’ Market returns to MERA this summer! On the opening day (Saturday, May 21), MERA is also hosting a Vintage Market Trunk Sale. Vintage Marketplace vendors will be selling from 9am to 1pm. Lovers of unique, collectible treasures will enjoy hunting for something new. Come dressed in your best vintage costume for the chance to win a prize!
MERA (McDonald’s Corners & Elphin Recreation & Arts) is a space in Lanark Highlands committ......
Summer Fun that’s Good for Your CV - theHumm May 2022
By Bruce Patterson
Camp Lau-Ren is facing a staffing crisis. Executive Director Joanne Hartnett said that the summer overnight camp has never had such difficulty in getting applications for summer positions. After being closed for two years, Executive Directors Ron and Joanne Hartnett opened applications for summer positions in early January. There has been advertising in local newspapers, on social media, and information sent to churches about available jobs, but some positions remain unfilled. The......
On May 29, enjoy an intimate Sunday afternoon concert of classical music at Lammermoor in rural Lanark Highlands. Bring a folding chair and a picnic lunch to enjoy before the concert and listen to the music of Beethoven, Brahms and more, in a beautiful outdoor setting. The event begins at noon, rain or shine.
A magnificent 19th century barn will feature a silent auction of donated works by the area’s finest artists and craftsmen.
Toronto musicians Sheila Jaffe (violin and viola......
Catch the Blues Bossat The Cove Inn - theHumm May 2022
Due to a change in Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne’s touring schedule, he will now only be doing a single Blues on the Rideau (BOTR) show at The Cove Inn in Westport on Friday, May 13, instead of the two-night stand that was originally planned. That means you should grab your tickets right away, because it’s sure to sell out! Reserve your spot for this awesome dinner and show by calling 273-3636. Tickets are $80 plus tax, and proceeds will support both the Rideau Waterway Land Trust and t......
Choral Evensong Returns to St. James - theHumm May 2022
By Hilary Barrett
Choral Evensong had become a tradition at St. James Anglican Church in Perth, with a loyal congregation, but we have not been able to hold the service for two years due to Covid. Finally, our church is fully open for worship, and to celebrate Easter, Spring, and a resumption of a less restrictive life, we are offering a festive Choral Evensong on Sunday, May 15, starting with a prelude at 3:45pm. The prelude and postlude will be played by Andrew Graham.
This traditional service is peaceful and reflective and incudes bible readings, prayers and a homily, interspersed with psalms, hymn......
7 Things to Know About Puppet Shows - theHumm May 2022
By Susan Macaulay
Folks in Mississippi Mills, and Almonte in particular, are excited about the resurrection of the Puppets Up! festival this summer from August 12–14. We’re delighted to be offering tickets through Tickets Please TicketsPlease.ca at “early blue jay prices”. Everyone who has been to a puppet show knows how much fun they are. They’re colourful, comical, and kids of all ages love them.
To add to your enjoyment, here are some interesting facts ab......
Welcoming Families Fleeing War - theHumm May 2022
By Sarah Kerr
Since my last Little Humm article this winter, the world took a nasty turn when Putin marched his troops into Ukraine and began bombing across the country. It’s been a difficult topic to bridge with my kids, but one that I believe really boils down to the basics of why we teach our kids that there is no place for bullying and violence in this world. After the initial shock and overwhelm of watching news headlines getting worse by the day, some members of our community started to take action — which h......
How to Choose a Good(?) Wine - theHumm May 2022
By Glenda Jones
First off: no judgement, no criticism. It’s been a long two years, and we’ve done what we could to get through it in one piece. This has been an acceptable strategy, and has provided some solace in dark times, like when the sky opened and it snowed like a Christmas globe gone rogue.
We have an afternoon interlude called “4’s”, an hour’s opportunity to sit together and chat over the day’s activities without dogs nagging to go outside or the phone ringing. We put on our favourite music and let supper......
By Miss Cellaneous
Chagnon at Bittersweet
The Anne-Marie Chagnon Spring/Summer 2022 collection celebrates the beauty of a raw and delicate contradiction, a fusion of textures and materials that includes an array of symbols to create a cryptogram, to explore, interpret and ignite our imagination.
An anomaly turned beacon of the collection evolved from what was originally considered a failed endeavor, a technical defect of a three-dimensional printing error; a happy accident that reminds ......
Rubies in the Sky - theHumm May 2022
By Lise Balthazar
Ask any birder in Eastern Ontario: the month of May is synonymous with anticipation. Even though spring has sprung — robins and Eastern bluebirds are already nesting — May is when the songbirds come back after spending the winter in Central and South America. But the bird species whose return brings the most excitement is also the tiniest: the ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris). Many of these minuscule creatures cross the Gulf of Mexico in a single flight on wings which beat about 53 time......
St. James Anglican Church, the little stone church in the Lilac Capital of Ontario, has welcomed parishioners, visitors and friends to worship on a weekly basis since the doors opened 200 years ago. History tells us the cornerstone was laid in 1822. Prior to that, in “1923 permission was granted to use the King’s store for a Place of Divine Worship, as it was more suitable than the tavern, where church services were being held”. Upon its completion in 1827, the capacity of the chur......
A Right Time to Plant - theHumm May 2022
By David Hinks
Winter is finally in the rear-view mirror, and keen gardeners are chomping at the bit waiting for garden soil to dry out so that planting can begin in earnest.
Of course, hard-core gardeners (you know who you are) have been at it for months now. Seedlings have been started under lights beginning in February with onions and leeks, followed by peppers and brassicas (such as broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage) in mid-March and tomatoes in early April. Please, please tell me that you were able to wai......
June is PRIDE month, and the local organizing committees have come together to coordinate a dynamic selection of events — including a street party in Smiths Falls, The Mississippi Mills Rainbow Revue: A variety show of queer shenanigans in Almonte, and a PRIDE Parade and Dance in Perth.
For the first time this year they are offering a writers’ evening on Wednesday, June 8 at the Crystal Palace in Perth, beginning at 6:30pm. Everyone is invited to join in this celebration of a variety of qu......
Perth Tourism is pleased to announce the return of the Perth Night Market, taking place on Saturday, May 28 from 5pm onwards.
Following the success of the inaugural Night Market last September, this free event returns to the streets of downtown Perth. A number of streets will be closed to vehicles, and many shops and restaurants will be open late, giving attendees the opportunity to explore the unique offerings housed in beautiful heritage buildings. Several locations outsi......
Cattails and Bog Water - theHumm May 2022
By Chandler Swain
When Beaus Brewery from Vankleek Hill started making its popular natural beer in 2006 with, as they describe it, “an honest consideration for the environment using locally sourced ingredients”, it caught on like crazy. The one ingredient that got my attention was something they commissioned a local forager to source for them from area wetlands: bog myrtle. Here’s a quote from their website beaus.ca : “Beau’s Bog Water gruit is ......
Mississippi Mills Community Awards - theHumm May 2022
The Municipality is seeking nominations for the all new 2022 Mississippi Mills Community Awards. These awards were developed to recognize and honour individuals for their contribution to life in the Municipality. Council recognizes that outstanding efforts, actions and achievements of these individuals significantly and positively impact the social, cultural or civic life of Mississippi Mills and its residents.
Categories include Outstanding Senior Citizen, Exceptional Volunteer, Inspiring Youth, Community Builder, and Key to the Municipality. Any person or organization can nominate a......
Journey Through the Dumoine - theHumm May 2022
Join the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society and the Valley Artisans’ Co-op Gallery on Saturday, May 14 from 12–3pm to discover the wonders of the Dumoine River through art. Together, they are hosting a fundraiser with innovative art pieces, great food, and captivating speakers for an unforgettable experience in Deep River.
Proceeds will go towards their conservation efforts of the Dumoine River for future generations of animals and people alike. Connect with your community, ar......
The Red Trillium Studio Tour returns on the weekend of June 4 and 5, spotlighting the studios of West Carleton’s talented artists/artisans as well as some beautiful gardens. You can meet local craftspeople in their studios on this very popular self-guided studio tour taking place in the countryside between Carp and the Ottawa River. Just twenty minutes beyond Kanata you will find studios featuring paintings, photography, jewellery, pottery, glass art, woodturning, h......
By John Pigeau
Have you ever watched a movie or a TV show, seen a dad portrayed and thought, Hey, now that guy is everything a father should be; how lovely? Or perhaps the opposite thought has occurred to you: Okay… in no way, shape or form should that dude be a father figure to anyone, ever, not even in a galaxy far far away.
Proud new dad and accomplished author Cian Cruise breaks down this sort of thinking in his new book Dad Bod, which is a smart, humorous, and philosophical colle......
Material Worldon the Mississippi A New Permanent History Exhibit atthe Mississippi Valley Textile Museum - theHumm May 2022
By — Michael RikleyLancaster is the Executive Director/ Curator at the Textile Museum
The pandemic left an unusual opportunity for the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum (MVTM) to revamp its displays on the second floor and shine light on some truths often missed by history.
The new Material World on the Mississippi exhibit tells the story of the textile industry in Ontario’s Mississippi River Valley. Historically, MVTM had portrayed the textile industry from a linear perspective. However, in recent years, the Museum has aimed to take an inclusive and multivocal approach to histor......
Arts CP Jewellery Workshop - theHumm May 2022
On Saturday, June 4, come on out to the Carleton Place Library from 1–4pm for a workshop on wire wrapping and jewellery. Relax and learn some introductory wire wrapping and jewellery design skills while creating a stone pendant that is uniquely you! Everything you need will be supplied.
Buskers for Survivors, Revisited - theHumm May 2022
Building on the success of last year’s Busking for Survivors, Métis leader/activist/elder Tony Belcourt will again bring together Indigenous and non-Indigenous buskers, singer/songwriters and recording artists to raise funds for Indian Residential School Survivors. Featuring Kevinn Schofield — The Tennessee Cree, dynamic Fiddleground, blues guitarist extraordinaire Shane Anthony, Aspects and his young singing sensation daughter Ilya Rose, and political folk recording artist Christophe Elie, the ......
Resilient —Ransom Project - theHumm May 2022
Almonte songwriter Keith Sheldrick is set to release his first full-length original album in his senior years, reflecting on a life’s work towards resilience and strength. Resilient — Ransom Project is quite remarkable, having been recorded by Ottawa Valley and Toronto talent. It will be coming to all streaming platforms on April 29. Here’s what Keith has to say about the project:
“Most of us experience many trials and adversity throughout our lives. Some more so than others. Althoug......
May is Museum Month in Lanark County - theHumm May 2022
After thirty years as the Lanark County Museum Network (LCMN), the 11 member organizations have formalized, expanded and incorporated as Lanark County Arts & Heritage (LCAH). In an effort to become more inclusive and supportive to the arts and culture community, LCAH will provide opportunities for support and collaboration to not only museums and archives but also arts organizations, historical societies and more.
A special promotional video explaining the history of the present partners has been posted on LCAH’s Facebook page in celebration of May is Museum Month. Please take th......
Library After Dark returns to the Perth & District Library on Saturday, May 28 with a night of music with acclaimed Canadian singer-songwriter Jim Bryson.
Library After Dark is a special fundraising concert series held at the Perth & District Library that offers a chance for people who love music to see top-notch artists in an uncommon space.
Jim Bryson is a Canadian songwriter, singer and record maker. He has released six critically acclaimed solo recordings, the most recent being ......
Zion-Memorial United Church, located at 37 Franklin Street in Carleton Place, is delighted to be hosting an Indigenous Arts and Crafts Show on Saturday, May 7 from 10am to 4pm. The day will begin at 9am with a smudging ceremony, and there will be several drumming circles help throughout the day. Food will also be available.
Organizers anticipate that this show will become an annual event with all of the featured artists and artisans coming from the Ottawa Valley or Eastern Ontario. They ......
May 1 - 31 Exhibition: Jeweller Anne-Marie Chagnon
May 2 - Jun 20 Exhibition: Visible Mending
May 22 - Sep 5 Head Over Heels
May 23 The Co-conspirators
May 24 - Sep 6 Eric Uren
May 26 Greg Ball
May 27 - 28 Carole King/James Taylor Tribute Dinner+Show
May 27 Rag Bag Cabaret
May 30 Matt Dickson
- Patrick John Mills — An Artist to Look Up To
- Perth’s First AnnualShort Film Festival
- Return of the Rag Bag Cabaret!
- This Year, Next Yearat Studio Theatre
- TNIM PresentsDrinking Habits
- Art in the Attic — Close to Home
- Vintage Market Trunk Sale at MERA
- Summer Fun that’s Good for Your CV
- Classical Concert for Refugee Resettlement
- Catch the Blues Bossat The Cove Inn