"As many of you know, it's a very exciting time of year for us around the Texas Coastal Bend! The season is changing from hotter to not so hot, we can start planting our own food again and our annual winter bird migration is bringing in the early birds! The early birds around here don't get the worm, they get nectar and hummingbirds need lots of it to complete their migration to South America. What a magical creature! I haven't met a person yet that doesn't get excited at the site of hundreds of hummers gathering to eat out of the feeders, in the native bushes and flowers and nestle into our windswept oaks for a nights rest. Of course we live in Rockport, so there must be a festival to celebrate. I'm not sure what the numbers are but we must have more festivals per capita than anywhere else in the country! That being said, I LOVE the HummerBird Celebration! It's very informative and fun to boot! Please do your best to make time for the speakers and head on over for the Master Naturalist's plant sale too!
Although, I love the site of hummers all around, I have had to overcome some obstacles of the season. First of all, the best sugar to use for homemade nectar is refined white sugar. I'm no hummingbird but I know that human bodies have not evolved to digest refined sugars. Trust me, I did the research and ended up having to buy my first bag of white sugar in years so now we have a saying around our house that "sugar is for the birds!" I am very happy to report that we don't need the red dye in our feeders. The hummers find it just perfect without that stuff.
I watched as a hummingbird came to rest on the oak limb next to my feeder and wouldn't eat so I investigated. I wasn't surprised to see that it was infested with little ants, I think they were the Raspberry Crazy Ants. I remembered reading in one of my grandmother's birding magazines that Vaseline on the string will keep the ants at bay. Of course I didn't have any Vaseline, so I used some expired generic Neosporin. By golly, it works! You'll see from the picture, that I used quite a bit. I wasn't sure so just went for it!
Now I get to enjoy watching the hummers go from my feeders to my plants and around again and again. How this never gets old, I don't know but I enjoy every second of it. I challenge you to get out or at least near a window to enjoy nature at work. Take 10-15 minutes a day to breathe the saltiness of our air and watch the changes in nature around you. You'd be amazed at how beneficial this therapy can be. We live in one of the most beautiful, unadulterated coastlines in the USA. Be proud of this by truly living in and around all the Texas Coastal Bend has to offer!"
Kimmi Norvell is the owner of Coastal Bend Health Foods in Rockport, Texas.