Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Late Summer Report from My Yard



September 17, 2007 - A fall nip in the air greeted New Hampshire this morning. It was a chilly 35 degrees. Northern parts of the state fell below 32 degrees. Sunshine quickly warmed the air. By 9:00 AM, it was warmer outside than it was inside the house. According to the weather forecast, each day should be a little warmer than the previous day. By Friday, the overnight low should be 50 degrees with a high for the day around 80 degrees. Can't wait for Friday!

I like autumn, but I find it harder to adjust to the cold weather as I get older. The acorns have been dropping from the big oak out front for a couple of weeks. Although the tree doesn't overhang the roof, acorns pelt it sounding more like a winter storm of golf-ball sized hail. Personally, I think squirrels sit up in that tree and hurl the acorns at the house.

Some of the trees are showing dashes of fall color. The Great North Woods, the part of the state near Canada, is about 25% towards peak. During the next three weeks or so, the colors will gradually spread southward. Various shades of green sported by the tree-laden hill across the street will give way to the splendor of autumnal golds, oranges and reds.

It has been an interesting season with the hummingbirds. Despite their cute appearance, hummingbirds are fiercely territorial. One of our regular hummingbirds in particular decided he owned both feeders. He perched in either the oak or the maple watching and waiting for trespassers to invade his territory. We named him the Bully. As one of the "intruders" sipped nectar, he dive-bombed it. The intruder would fly away with the Bully in hot pursuit. Many times, they came within inches of grazing my head or my husband's head. Luckily, the Bully wasn't always around.

Lately I've only seen one hummingbird of the four regulars of the summer. Bully seems to have moved on. I just made a batch of nectar and I'm waiting for it to cool. This may well be the last one of the season. Did you know that hummingbirds migrate across the Gulf of Mexico on their journey to Central and South America? A few weeks ago, PBS ran a series of programs about birds. It was fascinating. I also learned that keeping the hummingbird feeders filled will not cause the hummingbirds to delay their migration. Anyway, the hummingbirds need to stoke up before they head south, so I will keep the feeders filled until I don’t see them anymore.

If you want to make some nectar for the hummingbirds boil 4 cups of water, add 1 cup of granulated sugar and stir well. When it cools, fill the feeder about ¾ of the way. Do not add food coloring. According to experts its not good for the birds. I can attest to the fact that you don’t need it.

Today has turned into a great day for birds. While our dog, Oscar, and I were standing near a feeder, birds whizzed by us, scooped up the seeds and flew away. All the regulars are around including chickadees, white-breasted nuthatches, titmice, blue jays, mourning doves, cardinals, goldfinches and downy woodpeckers. White-breasted nuthatches stay the winter. I seldom see red-breasted nuthatches. I was surprised when two of them landed at the feeder. As I turned to go back to the house, I spotted an eastern phoebe on the telephone wire. I've heard them, but have not seen them in weeks.

All in all, it's been a great day, despite the chilly start!


It looks as though my grandson is holding the feeder up while the hummer takes a drink. Actually, he is about six feet away from the feeder! I didn't realize it would be an optical illusion when I took the photo!

8 comments:

Michele L. Tune said...

Nice entry with great photos!

Smiles,
Michele

Renie Burghardt said...

Hi, Tina!!!!!!

Oh what a surprise to have you visit! I just got home and read your entries and was overjoyed to see you! I was just telling Mary recently how nice it would be to have the old Suite's gang together again. Now we need Jerri to join us as well. Anne already had a blog.

Wow, it's already been quite cool in New Hampshire! Today it's almost 90 in the Ozarks, and will be warm all week. Not much color on the trees yet. And I have tons of hummies. Never saw so many before. I have to refill the feeders 3 times a day! I think it must be migrating ones stopping by, that's why there are so many. Just before, I counted 20 of them, all trying to drink, chasing each other, zipping around like tiny jet planes! I am buying more sugar now than I have all summer. The little jewels are mighty thirsty!

Love the hummingbird picture. I have a new camera that I'm taking pictures with, but have a problem uploading them to the pc. I'll have to wait until November, when my daughter gets here, to really learn how. I've tried doing but it just doesn't work. Maybe something wrong with the USB port, or something, or whatever you call that thing.

Anyway, I'd better stop rambling for now. I just am so happy you are here, too. Will be stopping in often. Hope all is well in your world, and I hear you talk about Oscar, the dog. My Oscar went to doggie heaven a few months ago, and I was heart broken.

Take care, old friend. Come and visit again. And keep up the great blogging!

Love,

Renie

Mary said...

Tina,

I agree heartily with Michele. The photos are awesome. Thanks for the recipe for the nectar. Buying it is so expensive. I love hummers.

Our weather is very close to yours right now. The nights are much nicer for sleeping and the ac is finally off. We did have to turn it on for a little while today as it was hot, but tonight is perfect.

Like you, I find it harder to adapt to colder weather as I get older. When it first turned cold, I was chilled to the bone. A couple of days it was in the low 50s after being 90 the day before. I thought I was going to freeze.

How nice to have some of the old gang together again. Now all I have to do is find Anne. I haven't been able to get a reply from Jerri as yet. Hope she visits us here.

Mary

Tina Coruth said...

Thank you, Michele! :-)

Tina Coruth said...

Renie,

What a delightful surprise to check in and see your post. Thank you for your kind words. :-)

It sure would be nice to have the old Suite gang together again. I will have to find Anne's. I imagine she has posted at yours, so I will look. I hope Jerri joins us, too.

You sure are having some hot weather, still. Twenty hummers!! I can just imagine how busy you are trying to keep the feeders filled. I love the way you describe them just "like tiny jet planes." That is it exactly. They are so much fun to watch.

I'm glad your daughter will be able to help you get your photos uploaded. It seems that is the biggest problem with new computer accessories. It can be very hard to figure out how to get them to work with the computer.

I'm sorry you lost your Oscar. Our dogs are so much more than pets.

I will definitely visit your blog again! It's great to be able to read your wonderful writings again.

Love and hugs,
Tina

Tina Coruth said...

Mary,

I'm glad the recipe is helpful. It's amazing what they charge for a bag of colored sugar. You can probably buy a 5lb bag of sugar cheaper than you can buy the mixes. And it's so easy to do.

It is nice to be able to sleep again. LOL I do like fall. Spring is my favorite season and fall is a close second.

Thank you for telling me about the old Suite gang here. This is wonderful! I do hope Jerri stops by. I'm looking for Anne,too. If you find her, let me know and I will let you know if I do. I guess we will have a blogging treasure hunt to find Anne. LOL

Love and hugs,
Tina

Renie Burghardt said...

Hi Tina,

Came by to check if you have updated your blog yet. Hope, soon? Colors must be getting beautiful in New Hampshire by now. It's still mostly green in the Ozarks, but they are coming in, here and there.

Oh, Anne's Blog is in My Favorite Blogs. It's the Writes With Feathers blog. You will see it. She hasn't updated since August. She is a very busy writer, not like me, a sometimes writer. But I'm semi retired from it now, and just do a few stories, here and there.

Thanks for visiting my little blog this morning. Hope to see an update here soon!

Have a great day!

Renie

Tina Coruth said...

Renie, thank you for steering me to Ann's blog! I will "hop" on over.

I finally posted yesterday to Tina's Odds & Ends and I posted to Blogging About Books today.

The colors are just starting to change in my area. As I understand it, the northern part of the state is nearing peak colors.

I hope you have a great day, too!!
Tina