Thursday, June 01, 2006

Hummer Happenings and More

Finally, success!
I've been trying to get this post done for 3 days and have encountered problem after problem, not the least being Blogger wouldn't post the pictures. We’ve had severe thunderstorms for the past 3 afternoons!! Yesterday evening we were without power for 5 hours. Really frustrating! I was a wee bit cranky :)
I want to thank you all for your encouraging and delightful comments on my hummingbird pictures. It certainly is fun to share the daily happenings in our lives. I love to see what you’re all up to and I’m glad you take the time to visit and see what’s new in our neck of the woods.

I hope to have more time to visit everybody soon. I’m really missing my visits to your blogs!

Our son Andrew, and his wife, brought our 2 little grandsons for a visit this past weekend. We had lots of Kodak moments while riding on tractors, playing with kitties, going for walks, and other fun activities. What a joy it is to see the world through the eyes of those two dear little boys. Grandchildren are the ultimate joy รถ

Andrew set up the new computer for me and copied the data from my old hard drive. He installed a few things, but there was so much to be done, and not much time for computing. I’ve gradually been installing programs this week, and moving files to the new hard drive. It’s a time-consuming process!

Spring is such a busy time with loads of work to do outside, as well as all the other everyday activities….like going to work! As much as I love working with the kids at school, I’d rather be home planting the gardens at this time of year!

And we have to have some cooperation from the weather!! Last week we were back in the throes or winter. This week feels like the middle of summer. We’ve sweltered in the temperatures and humidity. A little something in between to get our blood warmed up would be nice!

There were quite a few questions and comments I wanted to answer, so here goes:

I really am lucky in that our hummingbirds make it relatively easy to get pictures of them. They don’t seem afraid of me at all, and will sometimes sit on the feeder and watch as I slowly move the camera to within a foot of them.

They do move very fast but will sometimes hover and if I’m very lucky I can catch them! That isn’t so easy!

Sandy (Abandoned in Pasadena) was lucky enough to have a hummer sit on her shoulder and one on her arm in Colorado. Where in Colorado was that Sandy? I’m curious!

Sue in California had a hummer fly into her slider and was concerned that it wasn’t going to survive. I’m glad it finally revived Sue!

Tanya says they have a similar bird in Australia called a sunbird. Any chance of a picture Tanya?

Alice asked if the rapid movement of their wings makes a noise.
Yes Alice, the wings make a loud buzzing noise, and sound like a very large bumblebee buzzing by your ear. It’s very startling when they buzz by you, which they often do. Motherkitty mentioned how they will buzz you as you sit on the porch. I like to think they’re coming to say hello :)

Last summer there was a sweet little female hummer that often kept me company while I watered the garden, especially the one by the lilac tree, where she loved to sit. One day she began darting in and out of the spray. It was almost as much fun as having the grandkids visit!

I also saw a male hummingbird ‘display’ right next to our front porch feeder while the female sat nonchalantly by on a hanging basket. He arced back and forth over and over again in almost a blur. She didn’t, however, appear to be very impressed.

A few asked about my camera: It's a Canon Power Shot S410 digital Elph. It’s not a big camera. I’d love to have a bigger one with a zoom lens one of these days, but for now I’m having fun with the little Power Shot. I think it does a great job for it's size.

The hummers do love fuchsias and tubular flowers and are attracted to red, but they’ll feed from flowers in almost any color. There’s an interesting article in the June/July Birds and Blooms about attracting hummingbirds. It mentions some nectar-rich favorites such as penstemon, salvia, petunias, phlox, bee balm (monarda), petunias, zinnias, cosmos, clematis…to name just a few.

My favorite page in the magazine is “Hummer Happenings” (you can see where my post title idea came from :) Does anyone else love to read that page?

Claire asked about the mixture in the feeder. It’s a sugar water mix: one part sugar to 4 parts water. I use a ½ cup of sugar and 2 cups of water. Dissolve the sugar in about a half cup of boiling water and then add cold to make 2 cups. Add a drop of red food color if you want. I left it out of the back feeder last time but they used the front feeder with the red water much more frequently. Perhaps it was just habit. There’s mixed thinking on whether or not the food coloring hurts the birds. I’ve read that it doesn’t, so I use it because they do seem to come to it better.

I was very lucky to catch a tiger swallowtail butterfly on the lilac bush on Sunday and also a bumblebee. There’s just no end to the photo opportunities around our yard lately!

I hope all my American friends had a lovely Memorial Day weekend.

This little fellow posed nicely, while the sunlight caught his red throat beautifully. What luck!

This beauty was rather elusive and I was beginning to despair when it finally came down to within picture range.

I felt really lucky to catch this bumblebee as he paused for just a couple of seconds. They love the lilacs! Posted by Picasa


FRIDAY'S CHILD said...[Reply]

These are very beautiful and clear photos. Good shot ... like a pro.
Have a nice weekend.

PEA said...[Reply]

Beautiful pictures as always...thanks so much for sharing them!!

Sue said...[Reply]

So glad you're "back"! Glad everything is going well with you and I loved seeing your ruby throated hummer.
I'm seeing more of the green throated ones this year! Can't quite figure that one out...

clairesgarden said...[Reply]

wow, amazing photographs, thankyou Kerri

snappy said...[Reply]

Superb photos, glad the computer glitches are ending.You take such lovely photos..

Tammy said...[Reply]

I have been watching your blog like a hawk...just waiting...waiting...for more of your lovely pictures! Glad to know that it was nothing serious that was keeping you away!
I have put out a hummingbird feeder, but so far only one has buzzed up one morning like she was scouting the place and then flew off and I have not seen her again.
I picked up the issue of Birds and Blooms for the first time because it mentioned the hummingbirds. Glad to know you like it too.
Thanks for sharing!

Val said...[Reply]

How big was that butterfly??!!??

Kerri said...[Reply]

Just your normal everyday size butterfly Val :) It just looks big because I zoomed in on it.

Motherkitty said...[Reply]

Kerri, your photos are gorgeous and I especially loved the ones of the bumblebee and the butterfly.

I am going to try your recipe for the hummingbird nectar. I have been using commercial mix but they don't seem to like it this year. Will let you know if the homemade makes a difference for us. Thanks.

Apple said...[Reply]

I'm glad you had time with your grandkids, they grow so fast. Still three weeks until summer break! Love your pictures. I've had some visitors too but can't seem to get them on film like you do.

Tanya said...[Reply]

Ohhhhh, I wish I were there! Great shots. I especially love the butterfly. And the view to the river. To die for!!

I've just put up a few pictures of the sunbirds on my blog.

Abandoned in Pasadena said...[Reply]

I haven't even seen a monarch butterfly or anything that resembles one. I finally got a shot of a tattered yellowish butterfuly and also a white one. I can get bumblebees's those butterflies that I have a problem with...They're just too fast for me.

You asked where in Colorado that the hummers were so tamed that they sat on me. It was near the Royal Gorge on a miniture train ride. The Royal Gorge is I believe in Canon City just south of Colorado Springs.

Your humingbird mixure is identical to mine except that I have been leaving out the red food coloring, but since you said it's ok, I may go ahead and add it.

I subscribed to Bird N Blooms, but cancelled. I loved it, but I wish it was a bigger magazine.

Sorry you had so much trouble posting pictures, but you know blogger. I'm glad you had a great visit with your grandkids also and got your computer back in order.

roybe said...[Reply]

Beautiful nature shots kerri.I love to see brightly coloured birds. I just checked my Australian bird book we don't seem to have any hummingbirds, it's a beautiful little bird, great capture.