Too quiet

mehitabel(z6 MO)September 9, 2013

I've seen posts from time to time about missing the hummers when they are gone, and I thought, well they'll be back, tho. It's not forever.

But it's the quietness! Two weeks ago there was constant chasing and whizzing between the deck and the trees that I could see from my desk or walking around the house.

There were at least two at dusk yesterday, because I saw two chases, but the all day activity is gone, and it seems like some of the life is gone from the trees out there.

At dusk two weeks ago there was constant activity at the feeders, at least 15 landings at the feeders in the hour before dusk, and only one or two got to stay very long, the others got chased off fairly quickly. Last night only two came in the last hour.

They're not even all gone yet, but I already miss the 80 mile perhour bombing runs and the little green things zooming in and out of the trees.

I know a few stragglers may still come by, but I think the greater number of them are already south of here.

It's too quiet out there now! Those little daredevils really wormed their way in.

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That's how I feel. They wormed their way into my heart. I only have one pair. I was lucky to spot one four years ago at my nothing of a window box. I couldn't believe my eyes and it wasn't until I saw it again the next day that I believed and had a feeder up within hours that afternoon. Today, because of that little one, I have honeysuckle and all sorts of flowers in two huge flower beds. My house became a home because of that one little hummer. I miss them when they leave and I worry about them surviving and making it back each year. My garden is alive when they're here.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 4:38PM
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Awww Hummer09 & mehitabel~ they have a way with us don't they.

I remember crying one morning when I pulled my shade to see the li'l fluffy babe that matured & finally left the day before my B'day 2011 & never to return until late Spring of 2012. The birth of my grand-dau 4hrs after mine save me from the melancholy & worry about the babe & her birthmate, I watched so closely (documented, pictorially even) if she made it home ok!!! Much like any mother over a child that have come of age!

The ocasional quiet days, I reason to conditions & temps out there! I seem to observe the activities vary ~ like famine & plenty. Tho we do have to prepare our hearts for the travel-home weeks ahead!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 4:57PM
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mehitabel(z6 MO)

Gosh, hummer, what a wonderful thought. One little hummer stops by and the result is a beautiful, well-loved garden. We do get a lot more from them than the sugar and small effort to look after them.

Yours sounds beautiful -- I'm imagining flowers galore, bounteous, lavish, lots of everything, like one of those old-time plump beauties dressed to the nines in satins and velvets. In my mind that's what a garden is supposed to be. I'll bet yours is lovely.

I love being a provider for those little guys. I have red honeysuckle on my deck posts and three large clumps of agastache in front in full sun. This fall I'm planting honeysuckle Peaches & Cream on two more posts, and next year it will be monarda for the back, since everyone here says hummers love it.

Gotta have somewhere for the little guys to go when the boss chases them away from the feeders :)

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 6:43PM
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mehitabel(z6 MO)

Wow, I'll have to complain about the quiet more often. There must be some new guys in town. This evening there was so much chasing, buzzing around and eating, more than ever. I saw five at once several times, and it was just constant bombing runs in from the trees, ending in a big swirling of 4 or 5 birds all around the deck.

I'd seen the swirling on videos people posted here, but never on my own deck.

Then I went outside for 10 minutes or so just at dusk, and was thrilled to watch a a two-bird ballet and some eating at the far feeder just before dark.

A wonderful way to quiet your spirit after a hard, stressful day. I'm their slave forever, I think.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 8:43PM
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mehitabel(z6 MO)

That wonderful evening frenzy of eating and chasing hasn't happened again. But I'm so glad I had that-- I know now what things will be like next year when they come back.

Since then, it's been quiet again, just a chase or two now and then, a maybe two whizzes a day in and out of the trees, no frenzy of eating before dark.

I think I may be down to two again, but they're very welcome.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 6:50PM
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Mehitabel it was a wonderful observation by you at just the right time. Distas, the flower beds are quite wild as I'm not fond of manicured beds for myself, but I can appreciate them in other people's homes AND It's just that I've noticed plants fare better if I don't get involved...LOL. I love waking up to catch a fuzzy bee sleeping on the Russian Sage, a small variety of butterflies flitting by and the little ahhhs like seeing a hummingbird moth for the first time. It's all a gift from that little hummer.

Question for you all. Do you think if I clear out some trees, hurricanes and blizzards last year uprooted enough to worry me about trees close to my house, that the birds won't "recognize" this spot next year? Or perhaps even not feel "secure" here again thinking it's been disturbed?

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 9:13AM
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Ditas, yours still come back each year? I am wondering how long they will remember a space and call it home.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 10:01AM
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mehitabel(z6 MO)

Hummer 09, thanks for the nice reply :)

just going by what the books say, their terrain is changing all the time-- new roads, new houses, cities getting higher and wider. But they find their way. (I think they follow the rivers and streams because from the air you can see where they are by the amount and kind of vegetation), and there are lots of nice bugs and nectar flowers for them there.)

The books also say that they forage at the edges of woods -- so when you clear your fallen trees, all you've done is move the edge of the woods a hundred feet or so.

Put out the welcome wagon and they'll find you, I'm sure.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 7:40PM
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Thanks! That makes me think about being more definitive about what I will plan to do. I think I will only clear the saplings and prune back the evergreens. The redbud is a favorite lookout point for them. By the way, I had one this morning! I think the little one is a migrator. I don't know that it found my feeders because I saw it in the flower beds out front. It was only here for about thirty seconds at the orange marigolds and the purple coreopsis. Would those have provided any subsistence? Oh it's back again as I type!

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 11:08AM
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mehitabel(z6 MO)

Hummer, keeping the evergreens with just a pruning sounds like a good plan to me. They're beautiful, expensive and provide a lot of shelter for hummers and all birds all thru the year.

Don't know about marigolds and coreopsis, but your new little guy is obviously looking, so here's hoping he finds your feeders. Also they find bugs among the flowers, too.

About hummingbird plants-- the best way to find them I know of is the High Country Gardens plant catalog. They mark all the hummingbird plants (as well as deer and rabbit resistant and drought tolerant ones).

Even if you don't buy your plants from them it's a handy resource for finding good hummingbird plants and ones that won't be eaten to the ground the day they're planted.

I got the honeysuckle Major Wheeler and the agastache Ava from them. Both of them took off right away and bloomed the very first summer. So they send you good, ready to go plants.

Both the honeysuckle and the agastache bloom all summer and fall , the honeysuckle starting in May knocks your eyes out with its beauty. Two hummers were chasing each other around in it this morning. The agastache start in June, a really nice clear pink. Three of these make a clump app 5' x 5' in full sun.

It's fun for me looking thru the catalog and choosing the hummer plants especially in the winter when nothings growing.

High Country Gardens are in Denver, so I do have to give some thought about which ones will thrive here, but I look for the ones that aren't choosy where they live and don't need much care. I also buy a couple the first year and more the second if they turn out well.

Hey, I love hummers and flowers, but I don't want to work outdoors here when it's 94. :)

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 12:55PM
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