Thursday, April 9, 2009

Falling in Love with a Tea Kettle and Hummingbirds

... say what? Well I am in love with my electric tea kettle, my Christmas present from Denny. It is sooooooooooooo very useful for things like quickly boiling water for my ceramic teapot (with the copper cozy to maintain a nice temp for a long time) to brew one of my two current favorite teas <---- those would be Constant Comment or PG Tips. They are also useful for a much needed evening hot chocolate fix, for having that hot water at the ready when making beans and homemade chicken soup and for quickly making new nectar for the many chittering hummingbirds who fight for their meals at the three feeders I keep full.

Hummers, aside from being quite magical, are territorial little critters. They are nesting just now too in my backyard so are even more eager to fill themselves and establish personal terrain ... well to be more specific, they are staking claims in the trees on the utility easement on the south side of our property so I've been studying them even more lately.

I know they are nesting because they follow the dogs, hovering and darting safely overhead,making that funny little 'chitter' over near the far fence that marks the propery line of our backyard They are enchanting to watch. Did you know they will play in a gentle sprinkler too? They will also come right up to your face, come to a sudden and eally quite dramatic stop to then hover if you have bright colored clothing on. Well mine do anyway. I think of them as mine though I know they are just seasonal gifts that help mark my life and the cyclic nature of my backyard gardens. Mother Nature is a charming gift giver isn't she? I believe in simple pleasures, don't you?

The hummers we think we have identified as common to our area are Allen's, Rufous and Anna's. An interesting bit of trivia: the males always turn to the sun to more proudly display those glorious metallic colors in their plumage.

To attract these busy and fascinating little jewels to your own backyard, make a solution of four parts water to one part sugar. Boil water to a rolling boil (using your own electric kettle of course), turn off heat and add sugar slowly while stirring until it melts and goes into solution. Cool to room temp. Make extra and keep refrigerated. Change nectar every 3-4 days to keep it fresh. Never add any red dye ~ it's not needed but do plant some colorful flowers for your hummers to enjoy. Butterflies will visit too. I scrub my feeders when I refill them, using a vinegar water solution and a very good rinse of water as hot as it can get from my tap. Enjoy, dream and hey ... make yourself a pot of tea too while watching the vivid dance of all creatures who may come to visit you in your garden

Peace and blessings to all who happen by my blog. I thank you for reading and following my simple musings.

1 comment:

  1. Any unused nectar solution can be kept for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.

    Also, a hummingbird feeder can be cleaned by running it through your dishwasher.

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