Rocky Mount Gourds & Treasures of Louisiana

  (Plain Dealing, Louisiana)
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Purple Martins and their family!!

Today I took more time for fun, and to me that is watching the Purple Martins.  They are very busy feeding their young and before long they will be teaching them to fly......then before it gets too terribly hot they will be gone.

It is already in the mid 90's here, so they need to hurry up....hotter earlier this year it seems.  With our humidity, the heat seems worse.  When we go to Phoenix to visit our daughter, it does not seem as hot due to the lack of humidity.  I know why she loves the "big sky country"!!

I want to share a picture of one mother Martin feeding her baby and another atop the wire on guard.  They were diving at me the whole time trying to keep their young safe.  Didn't mind me as long as I did not move though.

Well, that didn't work getting the picture into my blog, so I will do some more checking into putting picture here and post it in an upcoming entry.

For now, The Gourd Lady of Rocky Mount, Louisiana, that is....


Purple Martins and more Scouts

This is such an exciting time of year!!!! I have been outside watching another Purple Martin Scout!!  I saw two last week, and today one is so patiently sailing above in the sky.  Fortunately I can see for miles from up here on top of Rocky Mount.

The "Old Timers" used to say Rocky Mount is the second highest place in Louisiana, used to be the highest until someone scrapped two feet off!! 

Have you hear the Whippoorwills yet?  Man, this "spell check" is absolutely fabulous!!  It knows the right way to spell Whippoorwills!!!  I thought I was going to have to do an internet search to find out the correct spelling.....

Anyway, back to Whippoorwills.  They love these piney hills and this cool weather.

A friend of my husbands was just here telling me about someone he knew that never had weeds in his garden area.  He had his chicken coup in one spot, and when it was time to plant, he would move the chickens over and plant his garden where they had been.  He said he never had weeds because of the chickens.  Then he would move the coup back when the garden was through, the chickens kept the ground clean.....I just thought it was a great idea!!

Have to get back outside and watch what is going on, not accomplishing much, am I, but love the Martins!!

For now,

The Gourd Lady of Rocky Mount, Louisiana, that is......


Purple Martins ARRIVE!!!!!

THE PURPLE MARTINS ARRIVED THIS MORNING!!!! I saw two checking out our Gourd Martin Houses.  Could not stay to watch too long though before they were gone.....will be back though. 

 This is an exciting time for me watching and waiting for the Martins each year.  I always hear them, then start watching and have to run and get my husband for him to see too!!  Somewhat like a child, when it comes to this.

 We are on our way to Waco, TX, just passed through Corsicana and the world renown Collins Street Bakery, I love that place!! to visit that is!!  Who would expect to see such a place in a small town like Corsicana??

  Anyway, we are on our way to my husband's cousin's 75th surprise birthday party, and I have a signal right now with my plug-in.

Hope you are all having as beautiful a day as it is here!!

For now,

the Gourd Lady of Rocky Mount, Louisiana, that is....


Purple Martins Arrival

I noticed today, the Purple Martin Society has joined with the Louisiana Bayou Bluebird Society.  In case you would like to check out the Louisiana Bayou Bluebird Soc., the link is: 

There is so much information on their site, that I think you will really enjoy going to it.

The Purple Martin Conservatory tracking map shows the Martin Scouts have arrived in Dallas, and all over the southern areas.  I may have just missed them.  The Martins should be arriving any day now!!

We were outside a lot trimming trees and getting things taken care of this weekend.  Having fun in the bucket of the tractor with the generator and electric chain saw.....that was the fun part, the clean up was more laborious, but the tractor helps out so very, very much!!

Hope you have a great start to your week!!

The Gourd Lady of Rocky Mount, Louisiana, that is......


Purple Martins Arrival

We have still not seen any Purple Martins here at our home at Rocky Mount. I can remember many days over the years walking the lane wondering when they would arrive. It is always a waiting game for me!!

I can remember one year, I didn’t think they were going to nest here again because it was so late in the season. In mid May, there was a horrible storm and right after that storm ALL of our houses were full. I wondered if their home had been destroyed by the storm and they had to move. I will never know. So, as you see, you should not give up.

I have heard for new homes, it may take up to five years to attract the Martins.

I have been outside a lot lately, especially, watching, and listing for the Martins. I usually hear them, as opposed to seeing them. You never forget their sounds, all it takes is one of their sounds and you start watching the sky.

I have to remember to check with my neighbordown the road, he doesn’t have his gourd Martin Houses up yet. He has the boxes, but not the gourds up yet. He was so excited about the gourd bird houses the last few years. I guess we notice even small changes with our neighbors!!

Tomorrow, I will get back to the gourd crafting some to keep it a bit more interesting!!

For now,

The Gourd Lady of Rocky Mount, Louisiana, that is....


Gourd Crafting during freeze!!

We had wonderful weather here today, in N.W. Louisiana, it went from a cold 20's to possible 54 degrees.  We should be so thankful for this.  I spoke with a gentleman today that lives in northern Arkansas, he said it looks like a war zone there because of the ice storm.  They have been without power for several days now, and not sure when it will be back on.  This really makes one appreciate things more!!

To view the image for this project, simply right click on the image and click on 'view image" and the image will pop up. 

I want to give you an idea for a crafting that would be good with children of many ages using the Buffalo Gourd.  You can create Indian Rattlers, either large or small ones for Christmas Decorations.  Children of all ages enjoy this one.  All you need is a small round gourd, Buffalo, we call it.  If not a Buffalo, you may use a Dipper Gourd.  Cut a hole in the gourd to fit a stick, possibly an inch wide.  You may clean the seed out (and save them for planting) and put in some small pebbles.  Glue the stick into the gourd through the hole that you cut.  You, or the children may decorate the gourd with acrylic paints, or marking pens.  To preserve the design, later you may use a light misting of polyurethane spray.  If you would like, you may further embellish the stick (handle) and gourd with leather lacing and feathers.

This is a great project for Boy Scouts too!!  I used it often in Arts In Education in the schools in Louisiana.  I am adding an image of a couple of completed ones so you may see.
For now, have a good evening,
The Gourd Lady of Rocky Mount!!

My Bamboo Experience and Purple Martin Arrival

Sorry for not posting for a while, but we were clearing an area behind one of the barns that was overgrown, and the bamboo kept coming up inside of the barn.  BAMBOO!!!!  I love bamboo, but

My husband has no appreciation of it when it is so invasive. 


When he planted it, I could just see all types of things I could do with it.  I even tried torching it one evening.  Had more fun, but it actually didn’t bend as I wanted it too.  I see all types of elements from nature that I can use to further embellish my Fine Art Gourds.  I do a lot of weaving onto my gourds to create a Gourdsket (combination of a gourd bowl and basket).  One particular evening, my husband had

gone to a meeting and I saw my chance to play.  That is when I made small strips from the bamboo.  I had been working on a bamboo design on a gourd and wanted to use real bamboo around the top.

It took much patience, and it almost worked.  I finally completed the gourd in pyroengraving and staining…maybe I will try bending bamboo again someday.  For now it will be used for bean poles and tomato stakes!!


Now, it is time to get back to the Purple Martins.  I noticed on my calendar that I saw the first scout

on February 17th  last year.   Checked the Purple Martin Conservatory website and there have been

sightings in Shreveport, LA, just 30 or so miles southwest of Rocky Mount, on the other side of the Red River. 


If any of you have any input you would like to make about your Purple Martins, or pictures you would like to share, just email them to me here on the Local Harvest website.  And don’t forget, it is not too late to order your Purple Martin Gourd Houses.

For now,

The Gourd Lady of Rocky Mount, Louisiana, that is!!


Ten Reasons Why People Fail to Attract Purple Martins

I would like to share some tips from the Purple Martin Conservatory concerning the Purple Martins.  "Ten reasons why people fail to attract Purple Martins."

  1. Housing placed too close to tall trees or in yards that are too enclosed.  Last year we had let a tree grow up too close to the back side of the Martin House line and I think that is why we didn't have as many Martins.  The tree is gone now, so, perhaps, they will forgive us.

2. Landlord allows other bird species to claim the housing first. Starlings are always a problem in your yard, we try to keep them run off.

3. Housing placed too far from human housing.  They like to be around people, although ours like to dive bomb us when we stand too near.

4. Housing not painted white.  our first couple of years we put up gourd Martin houses, not painted just natural.  Finally we painted them white and the Martins did come!!

 5. Housing opened up too early.  This leaves time for blue birds and other birds to nest.

6. Failure to open the martin housing.

7. Vines and shrubs are allowed to grow up under the housing.

8. Housing not really ‘built to specifications"  The holes need to be 2-1/4" and the house needs to be at least 6" wide.

9. Housing attached to wires, or placed too close to wires.  Our houses are strung across the yard on a heavy cord, but we do not have the squirrel problem here.

 10. Landlords buy or build housing that can’t be easily managed.You need to be able to get up there and check to be sure no other birds are nesting or trying to take over the Martin's nests.  The Martins don't mind.

 I checked the Purple Martin Conservatory site today and it shows reports of Martin Scouts as close to us as Pineville, Louisiana.  Pineville is probably within 200 miles of us, south, so they are not far!!

Still hoping you are safe from the devastation of the bad weather, and able to watch for the Martins!!

It is not too late to order your Gourd Martin Houses, see our site here on Local Harvest!!

For now,

The Gourd Lady of Rocky Mount


Purple Martins and Freeze

I hope we are all following and waiting for the arrival of the Purple Martin Scouts.  I am thankful they are not here yet, a couple of hundred miles south at Baton Rouge at last report.

There have been years the Martins have arrived and there has been a hard freeze here at Rocky Mount.  I don't know how, but they made it through the freeze.  I have heard of years in the northern areas that thousands of Martins did not make it because the freeze was too hard and too long.

Don't forget to keep watch on the Purple Martin Conservatory for updates on where they are seen.  If you see any Scouts, it is a good thing to report them on the website so they can keep track of them.

Purple Martin first home at Rocky MountThis is the wagon wheel where we first had our Martin Houses, next to it you can see where we have started the new line going to another pole.  I know one gentleman up north that has some 800 Martins each year, we only have about 50.

Hope you all are safe and stay warm.

The Gourd Lady of Rocky Mount


Watching for Martin Scouts

As we all know it is time to get ready for the Purple Martins arrival.

This is a wonderful and exciting time getting up our Gourd Martin houses and watching for the first arrival Scout!! 

If you would like additional information the Purple Martin Society is a great website to check out!!

 It turned cold today, in the low 30's, but that will not stop the scouts.

Keep looking, i usually hear them and start looking!!


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