Final Thoughts on Vendormart

Apparently there was some partying going on at Vendormart, but since I was staying in at my mother’s I missed it. I found this on the table at Champions at the Mariott Hotel in down town Indianapolis. Next time I go, I’ll have to find that group that likes to go out and blow off a little steam.

Here is a photo of Jim Carpenter, the man that started Wild Birds Unlimited. I remember when the first one opened in Indianapolis. Most kids were taken to Showbiz Pizza Place as a treat when they were a kid, I was taken to this store. Hey, Jim, check out that Birds of Indiana Calendar right behind you. I think that would be a perfect product for you to carry in your store. Okay, that’s the last of the shameless self-promotion for the next week, I swear.

I did see lots of intriguing things and I can’t talk about them yet, because they aren’t quite available, but there is some cool stuff on the horizon this fall for bird feeding. Here are a few hints:

GIANT WIND CHIMES! That is Scott Gunther the owner of Wild Birds Unlimited in Paramus, New Jersey being a size comparison next to a Contrabass Windchime. This particular hand tuned chime is 108” and weighs 100 pounds! That’s not even the biggest chime this company makes. Thanks, Scott, for giving us a sense of scale. You know, if I was still managing a store and ordered this in, I have no idea how I would have displayed this. I don’t think the ceilings were high enough.

Droll Yankees is offering a limited edition plastic tube feeder called Celebrate Life!. This goal is to support and nuture birds all while raising money for Breast Cancer Awareness. To my understanding the feeder will be available in October 2006. Droll Yankees have been a trusted brand for years as far as sturdy tube feeders go and it’s nice to see them leverage their power to not only help birds but raise breast cancer awareness as well.

Okay, this just cracked me up. Birders tend to be a “tree hugging” crowd. I know lots of birders who drive a Prius—Birder Blog is a first thought on that. But here, we have S&K Manufacturing with a big yellow Hummer! I’m sure they needed something for hauling, they had lots of martin houses as well as their fabulous colorful finch feeders.

I love the whole “in your face” theme that carries on the vehicle, right down to this sign on the doors. These are not meek little birders in this vehicle, oh no. I do have to knock them down a couple of points on creativity. Granted, bright yellow is eye grabbing for advertisement and the goldfinches on their feeders mix well, however it’s a Hummer. This vehicle should have been bright green with a red grill—for hummingbirds. Get it? Hummer/hummingbirds? It would have been brilliant.

Okay, this bird bath isn’t really new, but I just love it. I love that red glass color. The company that makes it is Erva and they have been doing some beautiful and economic mealworm/jelly feeders.

I love the orange for those who want to attract orioles. I think the blue is to attract bluebirds, but that’s a popular color for bird feeders right now so it’s perfect for those who want to try and color coordinate their feeders. Of course, there are clear dishes as well for the no frills crowd.

I’ve heard that next year’s Vendormart is in Orlando, Florida at the happiest place on Earth. I can’t wait! Hm, bird storeowners in Disneyland, nothing could possibly go wrong there.

I forgot to mention that I met the naturalist for WBU John Schaust. We must have been separated at birth, we were so simpatico on so many subjects when it comes to passions for birds and nature. We clicked when we started talking about getting people interested in birds. He’s done so much for parks and birds wherever he has gone and WBU is lucky to have him.

Mom and Aunt Lorelei and I tried out some new non-DEET mosquito repellent called Herbal Armor Pump Spray. We used it for about three hours and didn’t get bit by a single mosquito and we were in some mosquito prone areas. It smells of citronella but it doesn’t have that heavy, sticky feeling many repellents have and is made of six essential oils recognized by the EPA as insect repellents. I’ve been looking for something since Ugly Bugly went away, and though this stuff doesn’t seem to last as long as that product did, it is very effective for the time it does last.