Friday, June 8, 2007


Finally made it to Friday. Yea! It was such a nice day here -- sunny and not windy. We can really appreciate that.

Rick took me out for our usual Friday night "date," an all-you-can-eat fish fry. I usually don't have fish but tonight I did and it was sure good. Since we always eat too much, we took ourselves and the dogs for a walk when we got home.

After we got back from our walk I was putting more seed in some bird feeders and in checking whether the hummingbird feeders needed filling, I came across this minor disaster.

Here's a closer look.

Apparently in all that wind yesterday, the feeder got jostled around enough (I have it hanging in a tree) that nectar slopped up and out of the feeding ports. The result was a sticky, syrupy mess on top of the feeder (that's what the shiny, wet-looking stuff is on the feeder). As near as I can tell, a hummingbird must have sat on the perch and then gotten stuck in the sticky nectar. In trying to escape he (or she) lost a few feathers. I have never seen this before. I got this feeder specifically because it's windy at my house and this one didn't spill nectar like some of the Perky Pet feeders I used to have.

I took a wet cloth out and cleaned all the sticky nectar off this feeder and will replace the feeder tomorrow morning with an extra Wild Birds Unlimited nectar feeder I have out in the garage. So just a word of caution to check your nectar feeders after a wind storm and make sure there's no sticky, syrupy mess on them that hummers might accidentally get stuck in.

Here's what I found under our apple trees:

Dozens of baby apples (applets?) that got blown off the trees. :-(

I heard that the official highest wind gust recorded by the National Weather Service was 52 MPH! I guess some applets just don't have the strength to hold on in that kind of wind. Fortunately, there are still many more left on the tree, so we can still hope for a good apple crop this fall.

I'm getting up early tomorrow morning to take my sister down to Forestville State Park for a 7:30 a.m. birding hike. That should be fun. When I talked to the gentleman at the park today, he said on last week's hike, everyone got to see a whip-poor-will. Wow, I would really like that. Maybe I'll get to see a woodcock too.


Mary Carlson said...

Hi Ruthie - glad it was a much milder day for you. I hate it when the wind blows. Thank goodness we don't get high winds that often. When I lived in Albuquerque we lived in the mouth of a canyon where the winds would blow at high speeds. That was my least favorite part of living in Albuquerque.
I was wondering if you would know what one can do to prevent earwigs from crawling into hummingbird feeders? That is my problem of late with the various feeders I have.
BTW - have a great weekend. :)

Larry said...

Ounds like a fun hike-have a great time!

Mary said...

You had a nice "date" night, ey?

Wind really annoys me. More than any other type of weather.

We had some high winds last night, Ruthie, but I knew the storm was coming so I brought my hummingbird feeders inside the sunroom. They are both glass. I guess it isn't wise to use glass feeders when summer t-storms might send them crashing... hmmmmm. Thanks for the tip on keeps them "un-sticky".

Jayne said...

Must have been a good bit of wind you all had. Hope the trip hiking was fun and looking forward to your photos Ruthie. :c)

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mary C,
I always hear stories about how the pioneer women on the prairie went crazy from the wind blowing all the time, and I can totally understand what they went through. Yesterday and today have both been light winds, so I guess it makes us more thankful when wind isn't blowing.
I'm not familiar with earwigs....are they a flying or crawling insect? If they're crawling, you should be able to hang your hummingbird feeder under an ant trap (a little cup that's filled with water and the insects are unable to cross the water and get to the nectar feeder). If they're flying insects, that a little bit harder. I have heard of some people rubbing a dab of the Avon Skin-So-Soft bath oil around the edge of the nectar ports. If you have a Wild Birds Unlimited store nearby, they may be able to give you some advice also.

Hi Larry,
We did have a great time. Post to follow shortly.

Hi Mary,
I'd guess wind annoys everyone, except those people that own the windmills generating power (wind = money!)
Your hummingbird feeders are so beautiful. I would like to have some pretty ones also, but have to go for unbreakable instead.

Hi Jayne,
It was a great hike and we saw good birds and other fun stuff. Post and pictures soon!

Anonymous said...

I believe earwigs ara a crawling insect, at least I've never seen one fly. They have pinchers on their tail ends and have a hard shell, they live under rocks ,dead trees, most any place dark and moist. I have no idea how to get rid of them though.
Don't know if this helps Mary Carlson or not, but I thought I'd let you know what I know.

Anonymous said...

Miss my woodcocks on our yard, they lived under the trees in the brush under the white pines. We had all the trees trimmed up so it would make mowing easy, but I lost out on birds sheltering there. Sometimes it is hard to know what to do. At one time we had Pheasants and Hungarian Partridges living in the underbrush it was so much fun to watch them all. Many years ago there were deer there too.

RuthieJ said...

Thanks Mom, for the information on earwigs.
Was I still living at home when you had the woodcock under the trees? I remember the pheasant because you had pictures of it.

Anonymous said...

All of you were gone from home, David discoverd them and they had been here until 2 years ago, they are sort of secretive and don't want to be seen. I would just stand real still near the tree line and just watch. They are a little bit goofy looking, head right on their body, no neck, and sort of long legs, but they sure loved the underbrush. There were several pheasants there also a couple times. We had nests there and always had a brood. What fun that was for me, I'm glad we planted all those trees around our lot line. Our tulip tree is blooming again this year.