For the last several summers we had so many hummingbirds at our feeder that we had to refill it at least once a day. There were so many it was impossible to count them without taking a picture. Here’s one from a few years ago when we had two feeders out.
An even dozen?
I think there are 12 but I’m not sure. I am sure that there are at least 11. I numbered them but it’s hard to see. The questionable twelfth is at the center (labeled 12?). I think I see a tail sticking out from behind No. 11. We used to have the feeders suspended from a post on the deck railing. We had to put the rocks that you can see in the foreground on the deck railing to discourage cats from poaching birds.
Here’s a couple of closer shots.
A single hummer
At first this year it looked like we would have a lot of hummers again. And then they seemed to disappear. We put out a full feeder and it went down so slowly we had to dump about half of the sugar water after two weeks. We seem to get one or two at a time now. Where have they all gone? We don’t know.
For those of you with a good hummer population who are plagued with yellowjackets hogging the feeder, we found a solution. This is what our feeder looked like a few years ago towards the end of the summer. There was no way the hummers could feed.
Yellowjackets hogging the feeder
We read online about yellowjacket traps with bait suspended over water, but it turned out that a simple bowl of water with a drop or two of detergent attracted them.
These are all suicides. I assume they were attracted to the odor of the detergent, and when they lit at the edge they fell in. The detergent “wets” them and they sink beneath the surface of the water, where they drown. We had to dump the bowls at least once a day for a while before the yellowjacket population was reduced sufficiently that the hummingbirds could feed.
Update: I don’t know where the hummers went, but, wherever it was, they came back. We are just now seeing a fair number, and the feeder level is dropping nearly as quickly as in the good old days.
The dogs discovered a new, small, puzzling friend on our walk Sunday.
Lucy is not sure
I walked right past the turtle and didn’t notice it until Zeke fell behind enough to pull on the leash. He investigated a little but lost interest. Lucy was afraid of it.
Nothing to be afraid of here
The turtle wasn’t particularly interested either. He stayed like this the whole time.
We walked on, and then it occurred to me that the only place this turtle could go is across the road. It was on the uphill side of the road, and there was a steep bank about 10 feet high and way too steep to climb. I didn’t know where it was going, but I thought it was too dangerous to let it cross the road by itself. So I put it on the downhill side, and hoped that was where it wanted to be.
This is what it looks like when we have a wet spring.
Layers of green
The world turns a luscious green, from the lowest moss, to the dogwoods and persimmons, and all the way up to the tallest oaks, poplars and hickories. The layers of green fade into the distance. It’s almost like being under water, especially when the humidity is high. But things begin to dry out after a week or so of high temperatures and no rain. That’s why I was pleased to hear we would have rain on Sunday.
The clouds began to gather on Saturday and It got dark earlier than normal. Things looked good as we walked the dogs.
Leah and Luci, as the sky and woods darken
There was not much blue in the sky by the time we got home.
Layers of gray
There were even a few very low clouds, lower than our house, scudding along just visible above the treetops. There’s one just to the left of the lower center of this picture. And then the clouds banked up against Lavender Mountain and began to pour through the trees in our back yard.
Clouds are coming
Sunday morning came. It rained hard to the west and to the northeast of us, but not here. Maybe next weekend.
Our house has an elevated walk constructed like a deck that leads to the front door. It’s about 20 feet long and nice and wide. It’s a great place for the dogs to lie in the sun and bark at foxes. But Zeke is a wanderer, he roams around, around, around, and he’s happy as a clown. So we got a really nice, decorative, steel gate to curb his enthusiasm. It was not cheap. Zeke was happy for a while. Although apparently not as happy as a clown, so he figured out that he could climb over the fence and he’s the type of dog that likes to wander around.
Last Tuesday at around 8 pm he climbed the fence and disappeared. A neighbor told us she saw him running that-a-way, but we had to go to the phamarcy for glaucoma eyedrops for Zoe (the son of Satan), so we couldn’t look for him. After we got Zoe’s eyedrops (I certainly hope he looks better after using them; they’re expensive.) I saw Zeke lying at his ease in the neighbor’s yard. I got a leash and went after him. He took off. I called and told him “No!” in what I thought was a convincing tone of voice. He looked at me over his shoulder and continued on his way. I followed. hobbling along kind of like Chester on Gunsmoke, but by the time I got around the curve of the road, there was no sign of Zeke.
Around 10:30 he eventually dragged his sorry *** back into the yard. And then we noticed that the side of his face and his upper right shoulder were covered with blood. Oh, great, I thought, he’s killed the fox. Our good neighbor Allie called and asked about him because she saw the blood and was worried. I got about five gallons of warm water (Not the hose with cold well water. I’m a good dog owner, aren’t I?) and started washing blood off. No sign of injury, so that was good. And then he shook his head, and blood started dripping onto the driveway. There was a lot of blood. It almost soaked a big handful of paper towels, and then another. I finally found the wound. If you looked carefully with a flashlight, you could just see a slight abrasion along the edge of his ear. I wouldn’t have believed it could bleed so much.
So we applied an adhesive bandage.
Zeke recovering with bandage, not chastened, with peanut butter bong
Zeke is a good dog in most ways …
Mother and son.
Chloe and Dusty
Chloe sometimes comes with us when we take the dogs for their last longish walk of the evening. Her coloring is just about perfect camouflage for the pine bark behind her. Her son Dusty never walks with us. He looks a lot like one of the rocks we use in the landscaping. Lying around like a rock is what he does mostly, when he’s not eating or running away from something.