Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Plight of the Hummingbirds


One of the many new wonderful things about my new small town life is our sprawling Southern porch complete with ceiling fans, rocking chairs, and a view of our (future) garden. It also came with large, Southern mosquitos, which really put a damper on our near-constant happy hours we were planning on having. My roommate kindly bought us a brand-spanking new hummingbird feeder in the hopes that the birds would eat annoying insects while also beautifying our porch.  She filled it with the nectar that smelled suspiciously like cherry Kool-Aid, I did a death-defying reach on a stool to hang it from the roof, and then we sat back and waited for our quick-winged friends to arrive by the droves. 


We waited. And waited. And waited. No hummingbirds.

As we drank our coffee in the mornings, we would go over all of the possibilities. Did we not mix the right proportions of nectar and water? Was the feeder too high? Too close to the door? Was our feeder just not good enough? Who did these hummingbirds think they were, anyways?

Then, it dawned on me: I’m now talking about hummingbirds the same way I used to talk about guys.

Welcome to small town life.

Finally, I found the problem: ants. Everywhere. Ants on the porch, on our rocking chairs, and especially, ants in the hummingbird feeder. In their greed, they had marched down the chain that the feeder was hanging on, down the metal sides, and plunged into the depths of the syrupy sweet nectar. (There are probably worse ways to go, right?) Now, however, I not only had ants practically crawling all over me, but their dead carcasses were now floating in the nectar. To this, I had two thoughts:

1)  1. No wonder we don’t have any hummingbirds, and
2  2.What kind of idiot ant drinks nectar which clearly has the dead bodies of his friends floating in it?

Being a teacher on summer vacation and all, I had plenty of time to ponder these questions. My solution? Sweep the porch, clean out the feeder, and walk myself down to the hardware store to buy ant motels. After all of that, we no longer have ants.

Another thing we don’t have? Hummingbirds.

Sigh.

Yes, I am aware that I’m living the life of a 68 year old retired woman. I can recall a time (I think it was only a few weeks ago) where I barely had a free minute in my day between my workout classes at the Y, meeting friends for lunch (and maybe a glass of wine) and bopping around the Chanel exhibit with Keefer. My bustling days in New York City seem long behind me when I think of my life now. 

But I don’t have time to think about that. I’ve got hummingbirds to find.

5 comments:

Suzanne said...

A little hummingbird tip. They are creatures of habit, for one thing, and will return to the same feeder year after year. Only thing is, you need to put your feeder out in March so that when they send out their food locators, so to speak, they will spy your feeder. I promise they will come back each year because my Papa has had a feeder in the same spot for over 20 years and his hummingbird population is off the charts. He has to refill the feeder daily.

Hope this helps.

Keira of LoveRomancePassion said...

My mom had the same trouble (minus ants) when it came to buying butterfly friendly plants. We still don't see butterflies (in part because half the plants have died... yikes) and in part because I think even if you have them (or a feeder for hummingbirds) you can't make the butterflies (hummingbirds) come if they don't want to.

Miss T said...

you're hilarious.

Miss T said...

oh, and I have no hummingbird tips. Maybe play guitar tunes? would that entice them. Failing that - I can give you a great recipe for hummingbird cake.

Hines-Sight said...

How is school going? Glad you are back.

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