Wingard’s Market, the Midlands premier full-service garden and plant center’s Zach Steinhauser, along with Captain Kenny Hardee, recently set sail on one of its daily purple martin tours with special guests from Garden & Gun Magazine. Garden & Gun Magazine has more than one million readers nationwide and covers the best of the South, including the sporting culture, food, music, art, literature, and the people.
The Garden & Gun Magazine article interviews Steinhauser about his years of studying the purple martins. Steinhauser gives vivid detail of the experience, including this excerpt:
And then they’re there, and there, and there and there! The sky fills with wings. Thousands and thousands of tiny dark planes, against a golden summer sunset, purple martins coming in for landing. We all fall silent. “When you’re engulfed in birds,” Steinhauser says later, “there’s something primal at work that you’ll never get over.”
The article, written by CJ Lotz, details the history of the purple martin bird, the suspected reason why it chose Lake Murray and the conservation effort of Wingard’s Market and other groups to protect the species.
While not endangered, the purple martins have faced about a 40 percent decline as a species in the last 50 years because people have steadily stopped putting up housing and provided nesting habitat for martins to bring in future generations.
There are morning, evening and weekend sessions running through August 27. Explorers can book their tickets today for what is sure to be one of the most unforgettable events of any family’s summer.
About Wingard’s Market
Wingard’s is committed to beautifying and to sharing fresh, local produce with our community. Wingard’s Market joined the ranks of the horticulture industry’s top local garden centers when it was named one of Today’s Garden Center magazine’s Revolutionary 100 Garden Centers for 2015 and named one of the Top 100 Garden Centers by Garden Center Magazine in 2017. Our customers are encouraged to visit the Gift Shoppe and Fresh Produce Market or take a stroll under century-old pecan trees through the Garden Wonderland.