This site is about my life as a farmgirl, wife, mother and grandmother. We have a beautiful granddaughter and the cutest grandson. We own two farms in Craig County Virginia, leasing one and raising beef cattle on the other.
I put my hummingbird feeders out every year on April 15th and I’m so excited because my first little feathered friend showed up at the feeder about 30 minutes ago. My daughter thinks I need to crochet him a jacket so he doesn’t freeze tonight!! NOT!! Feathers work better!! 🙂
The formula for the syrup is four parts water to one part sugar! NO DYES!! They’ll love you for it during this migration and when those little feathered friends come to stay for summer I’ll have lots of red, pink and orange blossoms for them!! They also love my moonflowers and blue balloon flowers.
Here’s a few of photos of past hummingbird visits:
I wrote in an earlier post about our new ducks and how much I’m enjoying their eggs. I now have a dozen of their eggs ( two each day) and plan to make some custard pies with them. I made a huge batch of french toast to share with our daughter last week and it sure didn’t last long.
But my post today is about visitors on the pond this morning. We have two adorable Bufflehead ducks and three Canadian geese.
According to my “Native American Wildlife” book these birds grow in length 12-16 inches. They’re small ducks with a white head patch and in flight there is bold pattern on the male and a white wing patch on the female. Their habitat is ponds, lakes, rivers and sheltered saltwater in winter.
In years past they’ve stayed around about a month and I’m hoping they stay around for awhile because I can watch them for hours. Our domestic ducks pay them no mind and vice versa.
The geese didn’t stay long with us this morning because Sadie runs them off when they start squawking. They are beautiful birds but they leave such a mess on the pond bank in spring and it’s not much fun dodging their droppings which are huge and lots of it. We let them swim and rest on the bank for awhile and then Sadie sends them on to a neighboring farm!!
I also want to remind you that you might want to get your hummingbird feeds out and sterilized for they will be returning to our farm around April 15th which is 18 days away!! The hummingbird mix is a ration of 1cup white sugar to 4 cups of sterilized water, no food color, please!!!
These were our visitors in 2017 and we had so many all summer.
April 15th is my deadline for putting out the hummingbird feeders. Last year I was late getting them out and didn’t have near as many. This year I’ve got the jump on them I hope by putting out two feeders on the front porch this morning. I’m early but they might be too!!
Last year the few hummers that I had loved the butterfly bush, geraniums, bleeding hearts and the columbine.
Get those feeders out this weekend and let us know how many you have and when you first sighted them!
Here’s my recipe for the feeders, all natural: 1 cup sugar to 4 cups of water. I mix it up in a pitcher and put it in the microwave for 6 1/2 minutes to sterilize it and keep it from fermenting. I let it cool to touch and then pour in the feeders.
My first hummingbird of 2016 arrived around 6:00 p.m. yesterday afternoon. He’s a fat little male and so beautiful! He was too quick to get pictures but they have arrived!! I hope you have a very blessed 2016 spring!
This summer weather in December is making me crazy!!! I don’t care for the cold anymore but this is ridiculous!! We actually have a cherry tree on the mountain BLOOMING! This is just wrong, don’t ya think?
So if it’s going to act like summer, I’m going to blog summer!
This the last flower blooming back in September and the little guy hovering over it is a hummingbird moth. They’re so unusual and I only had two this summer.
Now that I’ve got that out of my system, can we PLEASE have some normal temps and a little of the white stuff (not fog)!
You know it’s spring when the hummingbirds return. For several years now I try to get at least one hummingbird feeder on the porch by April 15th. I was a few days late this year and didn’t get mine put out until Sunday the 20th and boy was I ever glad. Our first arrival was yesterday afternoon when we were sitting on the front porch enjoying the warm afternoon.
After preparing the feeders, hang them where you want to get a good view of these little angels in action. We usually have 4-6 feeders on our front porch out of the sun so the syrup doesn’t spoil as quickly. If your syrup seems to have strings of film in it after several days it’s time to change the syrup. I usually start out with two feeders to begin with and as the population grows I add more feeders.
Last year in June, I believe, we had about thirty at one time. I had four feeders on both sides of the porch and we were refilling them almost daily. We love watching them. Here’s a view of last years group:
I try to grow as many of their favorite flowers as possible every year and add perennials to my garden that they love as well. Most of these flowers also attract the graceful hummingbird moth as well.
We started out with six hummingbirds in mid-April and then it got cold and up until two weeks ago we only had one. I kept the fresh nectar out for him and finally we have five which I hope will multiply soon.
Normally I have five to seven feeders on the front porch by now but they’re only using the two and I’m refilling the feeders about twice a week.
I love these little guys and could watch them for hours. I make sure they have plenty of their favorite flowers in the yard as well.
They’ve been very busy this weekend and I’ve heard their courting rituals several times today. The dipping dance they do is quite something.
They’re quite territorial at the moment and they whizzed right in front of my face and caused Sassy to change positions on the porch for fear of getting “hummed”!!
Waiting for hummingbird food to cool and pour into feeder!
I know it’s still cool but I always put my hummingbird feeders out on the 15th of April and it never fails that they arrive around that week. I’ve pulled out one feeder and cleaned it. I make them a mixture of 4:1 water to sugar. Last year we had over 20 by mid summer and the year before about thirty and they kept me busy filling feeders. We usually have four feeders on the front porch and so enjoy watching them feed, flutter and fuss as they are very territorial. This is a picture of last years group.
I was so happy to see these little charmers come to the farm in April. I always put out the feeders by April 15th and this year they were right on time. We started with two and then a third arrived. I made sure there were flowers blooming all spring and through the summer for variety and by the first week of August we had over thirty drinking the nectar we provided for them. We had five feeders going most of the summer and through July and August the feeders had to be filled daily. They are big drinkers and feisty when it comes to “THEIR” feeder. I was never able to identify more than four males at a time and the females were more territorial than the males. We noticed this weekend that the flock was dwindling down and we now only have about twelve to fifteen and I’ve taken down one of the feeders. I’ll slowly wean them from the feeders as the month goes out and by September 15th through the 25th they should all have started their migration south. Just another hint of the end of summer!!
These lovely creatures returned to our front porch yesterday afternoon while we were having dinner. I’m so glad I had the fore-thought on Sunday to get the feeders out and sterilize them. I made a batch of feed for them and filled two feeders just in case they returned. I watched one ruby-throated gentleman fly around the feeder yesterday afternoon for about an hour. Last summer we had over twenty at one time and they kept me busy filling the feeders. They also keep the attention of our two cats but they’re way to quick to be caught.
I keep at least four feeders on the front porch and two in the back yard once the little travelers all arrive. They are amazing to watch and they are vigorous fighters. That’s the main reason I have so many feeders out. I also have a lots of their favorite flowers growing in the yard during the summer but for the next couple months I’ll supplement their diet with my own concoction which consists of one cup of sugar to four cups of water. I bring the mixture to a full boil for five minutes and let it cool before pouring into the feeder. Normally, I feed them from April 15th through September 30th.
This is the blog for our little farm in Skagit county. Here we have Shetland sheep and Nigerian Dwarf goats. In addition we have donkeys, cattle, pigs, chickens, geese, and peafowl. The blog describes the weekly activities here.