Sunday, September 21, 2008

Hunting Hummingbirds

Last May, George and I decided that we would try to attract hummingbirds to our backyard. We hung a red geranium with large luscious looking blooms and a red plastic feeder full of a sugar mixture that we boiled and cooled. Then we waited. And waited. One morning, I looked out and there was a nice big hummingbird, who took one sniff on our sugar water and went flying back from whence he came. I ran out, thinking that our sugar water must have been full of bees, or mold, or diluted by rain water. We boiled more water, added sugar, cooled it on an ice water bath, and ran out to the feeder with it. We didn't see another humming bird for a month!

Then, one day I looked out, and the feeder was on the ground. The red geranium was there, and a hummingbird came, took one sniff of that foul smelling plant, and flew back into the woods. I ran out, got the feeder off the ground, washed it, filled it with nice syrupy sugar water and hung it back out. I never saw another hummer for weeks.

The day before yesterday I looked out. The hummingbird feeder has been there, but rather neglected, with the old sugar water and the colony of bees that have found it a nice home away from home. A big FAT hummingbird came, sniffed at the flowers, ignored the feeder completely and flew away. Gah! I have given up. I think the first mistake we made was buying that big bunch of beautiful red geraniums. They look great, but hummingbirds hate 'em, and they probably smell bad and taste worse.

SO, next year I will buy a different bright red plant, something yummy and sugary, and hang that on the post with a sign; "Don't give up on us, please COME BACK!"

Have a great day.