A Sentiment

God knew what He was doing when He sent a gentle breeze and brought a lovely butterfly to set my heart at ease. The happiness of your friendship and the gentleness of your words have touched my life in special ways and now I feel assured. Thank you for your loyalty and for reading everyday. I only hope you find things to make a happy day.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Thoughts on a Rainy Day

A tiny picture of a tiny birdie.
Here are some of the flowers that this tiny bird visits for nectar and a resting place.

"God made rainy days so gardeners could get the housework done." ~ Author Unknown

Today is a rainy day in Northern Illinois and maybe I should do what God says to do. LOL He also said that Sunday is a day of rest....I rest my case. I will not be doing housework. It's Sunday and a day for rest and relaxation. I do, however, feel like checking out the internet for new ideas for gardening. I really consider birds as part of gardening, because they make it so enjoyable.

I was thinking about the hummingbirds yesterday and trying to look back and see when I first saw them last year. I put my feeders out on the 1st of May...when a neighbor called and said, "They are here!" We have no trouble attracting them here, but so many do. Here are some ideas for attracting them to your yard.

How to Attract Hummingbirds
Hummingbirds are so pretty that one of the most common questions concerning them is how to attract more of them to your garden. Here are some tips on how to do that.
Ask people what type of bird is their favourite and a common response will be the hummingbird. Hummingbirds are so pretty that one of the most common questions concerning them is how to attract more of them to your garden. The best way to attract them is to offer them food and shelter.
Probably the most common and easiest way to feed hummingbirds is to put up a feeder for them. You can buy nectar for the feeder or you can make your own. Making your own nectar for the feeders is easy. First, boil one cup of water. Next, add 1/4 cup of white sugar and stir until all the sugar has been dissolved. Let the mixture cool before adding to the feeder. Remember to clean the hummingbird feeder with hot water every 3 – 4 days (to prevent dangerous bacteria from developing) and fill with fresh nectar. Since the feeders usually have a base that is bright red, it is not necessary to add food colouring to the nectar.I make this in big batches and keep some in the refrigerator. Between the food for the hummingbirds and the grape jelly for my orioles...I need an extra shelf in the frig.I read in the paper that they are basically insect eaters and only drink the nectar for energy. I didn't know this before.
One key consideration when using a hummingbird feeder is to know when to put it up and when to take it down. It is a common myth that hummingbirds will stay around if there is a food source available, even though the weather has turned cold. In fact, hummingbirds know when to start their migration due to the length of the day, which is called photoperiod. Handy Hint: Put feeders up once the risk of frost has passed for the season and flowers have started to bloom. Put feeders away for the season when the flowers in your garden start to die off.
Besides using feeders, another way to attract hummingbirds is through flowers. The natural nectar of flowers is better for these petite birds and adds remarkable beauty to your garden. Birds are attracted purely based on eyesight, so the brighter the flower, the more hummingbirds it will attract. Some common plants that have bright flowers include:
Cardinal flowers, which produce bright red flowers.
The Trumpet Vine is a climbing vine that produces clusters of dark orange-scarlet blooms. This is a plant that I want for the edge of my woods. We already have honeysuckle and I think that a trumpet vine would be pretty. I had one at my other house and it was so pretty climbing an old ladder that I had on the back of the garage. I put the old ladder there and on the rungs...I hung birdhouses and planted this vine. It can get very unruly, but I kept it in check so it wouldn't go over the garage and cover everything.
Beebalms "Marshall's Delight" variety produces pretty pink flowers. I have red bee balm in the woods.
The Songbird Cardinal Columbine produces a spurred flower that is red and white. I have seen them in all my columbines. All different colors.
Coral Bells "Bressingham Hybrids" produces tiny bell shaped flowers in a variety of colours.
In addition to food, hummingbirds also need shelter in order to rest, to protect them from the weather and to build nests in. Here is a list of common shrubs and trees that hummingbirds like to rest on:
The Butterfly Bush, which is also used to attract butterflies, hence the name.
Different varieties of honeysuckle, including the Vines Honeysuckle and the Trumpet Honeysuckle.
Azaleas, which are a part of the Rhododendron family and have many stems on each plant.
The Trumpet Vine, which has large, trumpet-shaped flowers and dense foliage.
Fact: Hummingbirds spend 75-80% of their time sitting and only 10-15% of their time eating. Therefore, it is very important that they have somewhere to rest. If you provide both food and shelter, you will be successful in attracting and keeping the hummingbirds in your garden over the summer months.

So, if you've wanted them in your yard...follow some of these ideas and keep your feeders full and fresh. Once they start coming...they will be your little visiting jewels forever. Now I have to go and get busy resting...LOL It is my day of rest and this week, I've earned it.


Patti Cakes said...

I put out feeders for the humming birds but I never see them. I think I'll move the feeder some place outside my kitchen window.

It's raining here too. I wanted to get outside today. Didn't know it was going to rain.

John seems to be feeling a bit better today.


Barbee' said...

Nice post, Balisha, I especially like your Haiku.

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

I keep sending your wonderful blog to those who want to LEARN something. :) I learned about humming birds today..things I needed and wanted to know. My daughter, the gardner...another friend, Mary, neither of them blog but they do read and ask me questions that I cannot answer..SO.. :) I send them here.
~love and smiles~

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the wonderful info about these flying wonders. I need to clean & fill my Hummingbird feeder! Better get busy with that. :) Glad you having a day of rest. I spent mine in the garden, of course. lol :)

OhioMom said...

April showers bring May flowers, and hopefully lots of birdies to your garden (and butterflies too).

Balisha said...

Thanks for stopping by today to read about these tiny wonders. I will let you know when they are in N. Illinois.