Hummers, Hosta Flower & No Curtain Yet!

A rare, split second two hummingbirds share the same feeder

A rare, split second two hummingbirds share the same feeder

I am still dragging my feet on making the curtains for the Casita’s new door window.  It’s because I don’t have enough fabric to do what I want to do, and I know I will not be happy with the result.

Spotting the enemy

Spotting the enemy

What I want to do with my brown and white striped fabric is make deep pleats so that the pleats will be solid brown, with the stripes visible on the rest of the panel.  However, I am going to have to make shallow pleats that will show a white stripe in the top border.  It really shouldn’t matter since they will only be up at night for privacy.

Anyway, I will have to get them done this coming week because we are planning to go camping July 22.

I had not planned to put up my hummingbird feeder this year since we hope to be gone so often.  But the other day I was sitting out on the back deck when a hummingbird flew right up to me and hovered in my face.  I thought he may have remembered that there was a feeder there last year.

Another brief moment of two hummingbirds at the feeder before the battle ensued.  :)

Another brief moment of two hummingbirds at the feeder before the battle ensued. 🙂

The hosta is finally blooming again!

The hosta is finally blooming again!

So I went inside, boiled sugar water, let it cool, and rehung the feeder.  The next morning two of the little birds were back performing their aerial dogfights, running into each other, chest bumping, and all the other hilarious, mean things they do to keep the others away from THEIR feeder.

I might have considered the hummingbird “telling” me to fill the feeder a fluke if it weren’t for another episode a few years ago.  At that time, we kept the feeder out front where we sat in the shade in late afternoons.  One day I heard the most insistent chattering.  I looked up, and a little hummingbird was looking right at me, jumping up and down on the branch, chattering angrily and loudly — pitching a temper tantrum, it appeared.

So I went inside, filled the feeder, and as soon as I rehung it, the little hummer made a beeline for it.

spiny puffball-sm

Lycoperdon americanum. One of my finds last week. It would have been edible if I had found it sooner.

It’s so funny to realize that such a tiny bird can communicate and tell me what to do!

My hosta has not bloomed in several years, probably due to the drought.  But this year, to my surprise, it’s blooming again!

The main reason I haven’t posted in the past week is that, since our drought is in the past, mushrooms are popping up everywhere!  I spend hours photographing them, taking spore prints, processing the photos, poring through my books and the net trying to identify them, then posting them on my mushroom board for ID confirmation.

So far I am thrilled with how well I am doing at IDing them.  I almost always get them in the right genus, and often get them down to specific species.  It’s like solving puzzles to me, and I really love learning those little guys’ names!

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20 Comments

  1. I love it when the little hummers come up and demand to be fed. Wonder if they will be around when we return?

    Just caught your post as we are leaving the Mercantile Store at Riley campground.
    Happy camping (and sewing) to you!

    • Lynne, I don’t think those little birds ever forget where a feeder has been. They’ll be back for sure!

      Your timing was perfect. I had JUST posted and your comment showed up almost immediately after I got it up!

  2. Our hummers are finally arriving and enjoying the feeders as well. It is so much fun to watch them! Definitely one of my favorite birds!!
    With all the rain I would have thought we would have had more mushrooms around our area but we haven’t. I wouldn’t begin to know how to identify them…pretty awesome that you are able to identify different ones.

    • Gerri, what truly amazes me is the ruby throated hummingbirds migrate solo across the Gulf of Mexico (500 miles) every fall, and then make the return trip each spring. They lose 1/4 of their body weight each trip. I am surprised that so many survive that epic feat! Needless to say, they need a lot of rich food before their journey. I always make my fall feeding 3 parts water to 1 part sugar instead of the normal 4:1 ratio.

      Mushrooms are funny. They really love to hide and often i won’t see any until I narrow my focus to the ground right around my feet. Then I can’t believe I missed them. And sometimes they are not where one would expect them to be plentiful.

      IDing is mainly attention to detail combined with dogged patience. You have to really love studying them to put in all the effort required.

  3. They are insistent little things. John says on the migration to Mexico, they probably fuss and fight the whole way!

    You’re like me – I’ll delay a project in order to get it right. No matter how small the project or how few people will notice. I guess experience teaches us to be patient and get the results we want.

    • They probably do fight the whole way! If they weren’t such exquisitely beautiful little things, I wouldn’t bother to try to attract them!

      Also, you nailed it — delaying a project to get it right. However, I don’t want to buy more fabric right now, so I’ll use what I have. And never like it! 😀

      If I ever redecorate the interior again, I’ll buy more fabric and do the curtains right.

  4. Marcia GB

     /  July 14, 2013

    It’s amazing to me how feisty those little hummers are and how they remember where feeders have been. The only place I have ever seen a bunch of them peacefully coexist is out in the wilds of Maine. A general store in a little town called Kokadjo near the northern end of Moosehead Lake had several large hummingbird feeders on it’s porch with about 2 dozen of the wee beasties feeding and zooming around in relative harmony. Wish I had a picture of it.

    • Marsha, I wish I could have seen that!

      I have read that if you want to cut down on fighting that you should put up several feeders. But with our coming and going, I think it’s just as well that I don’t get them used to finding an endless supply of food here.

      I know that when I take mine down, they will just go down the road to my neighbor’s house. I think she has three up.

      Also, I must guiltily admit that I enjoy watching the aerial dogfights. 🙂

  5. How do you know that you couldn’t have eaten the Lycoperdon? What tells you that it was too old? (I’m in awe of your knowledge on this stuff!) ;-))

    • Judy, when it is young and fresh and solid white inside, it is edible. As it ages, the spores start changing colors. The inside of this one had a yellow area, which was on its way to turning brownish green and eventually to a brown powder. A pore will open on the top of the mushroom and the spores will be expelled (puffed) into the air. That’s common for all puffballs, edible and poisonous. Some poisonous puffballs start out white inside, but later develop purple spores. But there are some purple spored puffballs that are safe edibles when they are young and white inside also, like some calvatia. I posted some pictures of some of those I found at Allatoona lake last year. They look kind of like potatoes.

      You just have to get good guidebooks and study the descriptions and make sure your specimen matches on all points. If you are really interested, you could join a local mushroom club. Or I could send you a list of the guidebooks I’ve found to be the most helpful. Not all mushroom guides are created equal!

      • It’s so humid here now in Michigan, that I could probably start finding all kinds of edibles in my basement. ugh. Thanks for the info – I like to imagine that I would really pursue this as a hobby, but am probably too lazy. Will have to get by on your photos and info. Thanks for both.

        • Judy, they sell mushroom growing kits. Your basement would be a great place to put a couple of them!

          That way you’d have fresh mushrooms without having to find or identify them!

  6. I miss our feeders this year…they are so darling and can watch them for hours. The later the summer the more active and territoral they seem to get… Third night sleeping in driveway..adjusting 🙂 And watching my 5 GB with no cable…might have to rethink that or CUT BACK which could be a good thing 🙂 Happy IDing…you’ll be in new surroundings soon!

    • Some people carry a hummingbird feeder and stick it with a suction cup to the rear Casita window. The problem is, finding space in the Casita to store a feeder! 🙂

      How are you adjusting to the beds? It took me a while, but now I’m very comfortable in mine.

      Ron and I still have the old unlimited Verizon plan. But we stay on the net way too much. I love it when I get out and have an excuse to do better things. Our next camping trip will be out of cell range, so we’ll go into town and do laundry and catch up on communications around our 4th day out.

      I am counting on finding tons of chanterelles. And I’m taking my dehydrator this time, too!

  7. They are fighters for sure. The Rufous have come around and they seem even bigger bullies than the Broad tailed.. Been wanting to go camping but we are into monsoons now and the storms are wild for tenting.

    • No way would I tent camp in a monsoon! But it won’t last forever. 🙂

      Have you seen the little wild parakeet again lately?

  8. The little parakeet was in Tucson and I haven’t been there since mid April. I hope he has survided.

    • That’s right! I forgot he was in Tucson. If he could survive winter there, I bet he’s doing fine now!

  9. Marsha / MI

     /  July 17, 2013

    It is funny how the hummingbirds know where the feeder is supposed to be from year to year, but sure enough – they come looking for it and then we know it’s time to put it out. I’ve been having to refill the feeder every other day, and I can hear them battling even through the closed patio door!

    • I get such a kick out of the sounds they make. Definitely does not sound like bird sounds. “Making a racket” is more descriptive. 😀

      And that hum when they buzz right past your ears is so cool.

      They are the most entertaining little critters on earth, I think. And their memory of where feeders are supposed to be is phenomenal!

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