Spring happenings

My wireless internet has been down for a while. My tower was blown down in a wind storm, so it’s great to be back up and blogging.  Before that I had Influenza B.  They really guessed wrong when they made up the strains that were going to be in the shots this year.

The heralds of spring, the ruby-throated hummingbirds are on the way back to the valley.   According to the latest migration maps, on March 19, ruby-throated hummers are all way up the state. 

When feeding hummingbirds don’t use the red dye stuff you find in the store. It’s very simple to make your own.  Use one part sugar and four parts of very hot to boiling water.  Mix well, cool and fill feeders.  It’s important to change out feeders frequently, especially during hot weather. If the water becomes cloudy it’s past time to change it.  At the first of the spring until I start seeing hummingbirds at my feeder, I’ll use 1/8 C sugar and ½ water.  As I have more birds, I’ll start putting more feeders out.

One interesting fact about migration, hummers will travel 25 mph hour while migrating from Mexico across the gulf and up the panhandle.  It’s an amazing feat for something that only weighs a few ounces. They don’t ride on the backs of migrating geese as some wise tails have it.  The wings will flap 55 times a second.  The average lifespan of a hummingbird is around four years. 

This past weekend was beautiful but windy, however Influenza b decided to pay a visit and  I was sick and didn’t get to enjoy working out in the yard.  The last warm spell I did a lot of tree trimming of the Heritage birches in the front yard before the the sap started to run.  I didn’t want have to put a tourniquet on one like I did last year when the sap started  dripping out of a cut limb so that it was puddling on  the ground. How do you put a tourniquet on a tree you ask?  I took a long bandage, wrapped it around and over the cut, then wrapped some plastic bags around that, then wrapped and wrapped it with rope and tied it tight over the cut.  After about three or four days, it finally crusted over the cut and I was able to take everything loose.

My daffodils, star magnolias, saucer magnolias, lenten rose, anemone and plum trees  are in bloom.  The star magnolias were hit by a freeze and aren’t as nice as last year.  The one at the corner of the house was only blooming up the side nearest the house and I thought the other side wasn’t going to bloom because of the freeze damage, but it came out nicely during the warm temperatures two weekends ago.  During the freeze this week with snow flurries, the blooms are history.

I took the tractor to some over grown azalea along the back of the house and moved them along the creek. Now a decision is needed as to what is going back in there.  But first I’ll have to let it dry up a little before I can haul a lot of compost and dig everything up.  After 16 years, most of organic matter is gone and slick red clay is left.  While taking pictures of the after removal and before new beds, I slipped and fell into the water filled tractor tire ruts with my new Canon 7D less than a month after getting it for Christmas. The old chimney bricks I’m going to use in a walk through in one of the front beds.

Check out some of my bald eagle photos on my GRIT magazine post.

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