By Anne Butler
Slow down, you’re moving too fast. Summer in the south means dialing it back, says Southern Living editor Eleanor Griffin. She’s talking about abandoning the swift interstates for the picturesque winding back roads, decompressing in venues that don’t insist on round-the-clock activities, slow-cooking those old favorites that don’t come in the frozen-foods section of the local grocery. She’s talking about: St. Francisville, Louisiana, the perfect place to take it easy in the dog days of summer.
Even the hummingbirds slow down in the summertime in this birding paradise so beloved by John James Audubon. The Feliciana Hummingbird Celebration, sponsored annually by the Feliciana Nature Society, provides participants with an up-close and personal acquaintance with these tiny feathered friends. Normally among nature’s fastest winged creatures, hummingbirds can fly at speeds up to 34 miles per hour, wings flapping up to 90 times per second and hearts beating as many as 1200 beats per minute. This year hummingbirds were not in great profusion, but the ones captured at the celebration the end of July seemed to welcome the chance to chill before rushing off, as hummingbird biologists banded the birds, weighing and measuring them, to provide useful information on their habits and habitats. Information on next year’s hummingbird event is available at www.audubonbirdfest.com, or by telephoning 800-488-6502.