Skirmishes

On these cool-ish mornings I watch from my doorway as the hummers come to the two feeders I’ve set up. There appear to be about four juvies, though who can count such fast-moving flight artists.

I don’t know why they make hummingbird feeders with more than three holes. Perhaps in the land where they were designed, hummers know how to peacefully co-exist, but in our yard they behave much like humans. One feeder, one bird. If any other shows up, he or she is immediately urged to leave. Sometimes a few siblings can drink at the same feeder for a time, but mainly it seems to be, “This is mine. You beat it!”

Last summer I decided to hang a second feeder about a metre over and a metre lower than the main one. Occasionally I will see a bird at each, but more often the bird at the upper feeder will drive away the one wanting to light on the lower feeder. Sigh…

one hummingbird two feeders eight options zero tolerance

A few times this morning an oriole has come to the feeder to get his breakfast, so the syrup has gone down fast. I’m serving up a richer brew these days: 1 part sugar; 3 parts water. I’ve read they need more calories during migration — and that time will be coming soon. Though they be feisty little things, I hate to see them go.

I have a number of tubs of flowers on the step underneath the feeders, and planted two of them with red nicotiana this spring, thinking they’d appeal to hummers. As I observe, the hummers pretty much ignore the nicotiana blooms and seem to love my salvia and reddish-orange lantana blossoms. Duly noted for next spring. 🙂

Empty Nesters Again

Good afternoon — or whatever time of day it is as you read this note. The storms and cold a few days ago have passed again and we’re enjoying a lovely summer afternoon. Crops and gardens are soaking up the sunshine; having soaked up last week’s rain they’re growing abundantly.

Last Thursday the last of our sheltered nestlings discovered the wonders of the wide world outside their cozy home. These are the barn swallow babies which have grown up in our garage. (It’s open along the top sides when the rafters join the sides walls, lacking the siding and finishing touches. (Next big project.)

I didn’t notice their nest until it was built, and since barn swallows are a threatened species and it’s against the law to tear down a nest finished and in use, I spread old vinyl tablecloths under it, parked outside, and left them be. They’re with us such a short time.

Four eggs hatched. Sadly, one baby fell to its death, but the other three are vigorous and are out exploring the yard as I write this. Now we can reclaim our garage while they devour the mosquitoes whose bites have given me red lumps and so much torment this summer. I’ve had some pretty severe reactions after being outdoors this summer, though I’m not sure if it was always mosquitoes or some other tiny creature.

For the past couple of months WordPress has been notifying me that my domain Christine Composes is about to expire and I should renew it. Like my original poetry blog, Swallow in the Wind, it was a neat name for the time, but I’ve decided to just let it go.

The only glitch might be that some of you may be subscribed to that domain name and been automatically switched to this site when I moved. If you stop getting my blog posts after August 13th, please resubscribe to christinegoodnough.com.

As I said, I brought several sites together here and am not sure how each reader will be affected, but I plan to post something every morning for the next couple of weeks so you can be sure that you’re still subscribed.

Wishing you all the best!

A Prayer

Ah, the lovely summer time! My flower pots are in full bloom. The young birds are leaving their nests and flitting around in the woods, which are incredibly lush and green. After several months of complaining we seriously lacked rain, now I have to report that it’s been raining almost every day for the past five weeks. We got another .7 of an inch Sunday evening in a wild storm, then another soaker yesterday left us with .6. Toadstools abound. 🙂

Life has returned to normal here, as my dear hubby came home last night after spending five days in Quebec. He’s on the French-literature proof-reading committee along with three other men from the Roxton Falls area and they find it’s good once a year to get together and devote several days to editing their latest project. I managed okay by myself, but am very happy to have him home again.

I found this poem in my files and hope it inspires you.

A Prayer

by Edgar Guest

Lord, let me do my little part
with courage and a willing heart.
Open my eyes that I may see,
however dark the day may be,
however rough the road I fare,
the purpose of the cross I bear.

Lord, let me wake when morning breaks
undaunted by my old mistakes.
Let me arise as comes the sun
glad for the task that must be done,
rejoicing I have strength to give
some beauty to the life I live.

Lord, let me hear the kindlier things,
the morning song the robin sings,
the laughter of the children near,
their merry whisperings in my ear,
my neighbor’s greeting at the gate,
let these shut out the speech of hate.

From his book The Light of Faith
© 1926 by The Reilly & Lee Co.