Hummer Summer


| 5/1/2012 2:52:03 PM


Tags: hummingbirds, squirrels, insects, , Sheila S. Hudson,

Sheila S. Hudson head shotWhen we returned from our adventure in the Everglades, the first hummer of the season greeted me as the tiny avian helicopter swooped past the patio glass doors.  I put out the first hummingbird feeder with trepidation of last year’s hummer summer.  For those involved, this innocent act might be perceived as a declaration of war.

As always last year’s nectar was a dinner invitation to the hummers we fed from year to year.  And that invitation was accepted but not by the guests we intended.

In less than an hour, my pear shaped feeder swarmed with armies of black ants.  Their voracious appetites were second only to their territorial fierceness. An entire battalion stationed themselves at the base of the feeder and made their presence known. Not certain what to do, I pulled out books and finally Googled to find the answer.

While contemplating my ant problem, the bees attacked.  I was waiting for the red-jeweled avian to feast at my red festooned feeder.  The tiny green male made a valiant effort.  He bobbed and weaved, retreated and managed to spear an oncoming yellow jacket with his maneuvers.  Alas, the yellow jackets and black Army ants prevailed, and with helicopter speed, he zipped into the unknown. 

War was on.  I determined to save face and refused humiliation by an insect army.  Much to my husband’s dismay, I plunked down $30 plus tax for a hummingbird feeder complete with an ant moat.  According to the side panel, ants can’t cross the moat filled with water and feed on the hummingbird elixir.

It is plain that whoever invented this expensive gizmo hadn’t met my Robo ants.  Not only can they swim, but the gigantic carpenter ants among them merely stepped across the moat.  When I complained to the manufacturer, customer service recommended filling the moat with soap bubbles.  Back to the nature store, where after spending another $20 I floated my hummingbird feeder on a sea of non-toxic soap bubbles. 

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nebraska dave
5/5/2012 11:40:08 PM

Sheila, interacting with wild life can be a bit .... well wild at times, can't it? I guess that's why they call them wild. It's just not possible to get them to do what we want at times. I suspect my war with the wild turkeys at my new garden plot is just about to begin. It will be full battle gear when the sweet corn starts to mature. I'm not sure about what wild turkeys like to eat but I suspect corn is definitely on the menu. Good luck this year with the hummers and feeders.


mary carton
5/3/2012 2:18:42 AM

Hey Sheila, my hummers were right on time this year. Last year I really had a lot. One passed out in my Mom's garage next door and I revived it. I have pictures of it sitting in my hand on one of my GRIT posts as Rosedale Garden. Back early spring last year I have instructions for making a simple moat out of a spray can lid and wire.


lisa sewell
5/2/2012 1:05:44 PM

Great story about the hummers!





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