According to the hummingbird migration map, it is time to set out the feeders. So yesterday I did that. Here's the huge sugar bowl, sugar left over from last year, with a two-cup (about 1/2 liter) measuring cup standing next to it.
Once the bugs (that's what we call the hummingbirds) show up, it's astonishing how fast that sugar bowl empties. I usually make a mix of 4 cups water to one cup sugar, but when they're travelling or when the weather's still cold I make it stronger ...three cups water to one cup sugar. I've set out four feeders, two on the front porch and two on the back.
Ants enjoy the sugar water too, so I try to remember always to put a dab of dish soap where the hanger touches the wall. I think lard will work too; I'll try that if I remember to. Here are some pictures of a previous years' bug invasion:
Memory. I have a big fat hole in my memory. Things slip out at an alarming rate. For instance, yesterday morning I was overjoyed to notice both clematis vines were up and leafing out.
It's been years since they did that at the same time, and I don't think I've ever seen them bloom simultaneously. So I weeded around them, and around the sides of the cellar. At one point I uncovered a big fat earthworm, and suddenly some birds in the tree behind me made all sorts of excited noise. I think I heard one of them say, "Dibs!"
I didn't pull all the weeds; I never do. This is called Purple Deadnettle,
...and I leave it for a while because this neat website mentioned that since Purple Deadnettle blooms so early, it's often the only food nectar-eating bugs can find. I leave dandelions here and there too.
Honeybees took a severe beating in this part of the country a few years ago. Some kind of mite infested the hives and killed a huge percentage of the population. I'm always thrilled to see honeybees on our land. See the pollen sacs on his hind legs?
When I worked my way around the cellar to the side the less-often blooming clematis is, I started having a vague memory of ...did I replace that plant? Sure enough, there's a marker, there's a bit of wire on the plant stem.
And then, to add insult, today while cleaning out the van (it's getting a new home) I found the receipt for a clematis, at Lowe's, in March of 2008. Srsly, the memory lapses are getting downright scary.
Today I cleaned along the south fence, near the catnip. I wondered if I'd already done that once, and was now uprooting my flower seedlings. SIGH... Planted some red sunflowers and yellow daisies in spots, and made a big row of Canterbury Bells --which is a biennual, so it may not bloom this year at all-- and Bells of Ireland near the catnip cage. The catnip is caged, because if it weren't the cats would kill it with kindness. Hey! There's a new catnip plant in the cage with the old one! And are those a bunch of catnip babies??
Here is the horseradish one of Bob's cousins gave me:
Butterfly bush beginning to get new leaves:
Pampas grass getting new blades:
Lastly finally (it looks redundant, I know, but I don't mean it that way) we replaced the old security light on the garage. The old wire was stuck fast inside the pipe, and the pipe pieces are rusted together so tightly that although I hosed it down with WD-40 a week ago, I still couldn't budge it with a big pipe wrench today. Bob stood on the workbench in the garage pulling, while I was on the extension ladder pushing, and finally we did get new wire in the old pipe. Now the light is hung, and as it is now dark, it is lit.