Dear Mom

Happy Graduation Day

Today marks a milestone in Hannah and Olivia’s lives, mom. (For those of you who don’t know me personally, Hannah and Olivia are my nieces. They are eight months apart in age and they will be graduating from two different local high schools today). Today is their high school graduation day. It doesn’t seem possible that they are both old enough to be graduating high school, but they are. Where did the time go? It seems like just the other day that they were little girls without a care in the world and now they are about to embark on the next phase of their lives. I wish you were here to share with them and all of us who love them this milestone in their lives!
Mom, you would be so very proud of the fine young women which both Hannah and Olivia have become. Hannah will be attending Southwest Texas State in the fall. She has received over $47,000 in academic scholarships to help cover the cost of her college education. Throughout her high school career, Hannah has been involved in numerous extra curricular activities including band, National Honor Society, UIL One Act Play, UIL Prose Writing, Headline Writing and much more. With all her extra curricular activities, it has amazed me to watch her juggle her school work, a part-time job and all the other activities in which she is involved. I get tired just imagining living her hectic and crazy life! It must be wonderful to be so young and have all that boundless energy.
Olivia is an equally amazing young women, mom. She has received a full four year scholarship to any college in the state of Texas. She plans on attending Lamar University Beaumont in the fall. Right now, Olivia is thinking that she wants to become a physical therapist, so she will take courses that will enable her to work towards that goal. Throughout her high school career Olivia was also involved in numerous extra curricular activities as well. This includes band, volleyball, weight lifting and much more. 
I am so very proud of both Hannah and Olivia, and I know that you would be as well. Their graduation marks the end of one phase of their lives and the beginning of a new one. It is a time they will always remember in their lives, but don’t forget to embrace what the future holds in store for you. Life is a journey and not a destination, so enjoy all the wonderful milestones that are still ahead in your life. After all, you only live once, so don’t have too many regrets about the choices you have made in your life. Although, you will have some regrets in your life, because everyone does and that’s ok, just as long as your life isn’t too full of them. 
Happy Graduation Day Hannah and Olivia! Enjoy this special milestone in your lives. Know that all your hard work and effort has been worth it and that this day is your well deserved reward. Don’t forget all of those who have helped you get to this point in your lives: parents, teachers, family, and friends. I am so very proud of the fine young women you have become and I look forward to watching the rest if your lives unfold. Even though your grandmother, Granny June, isn’t here to share this milestone with you, I believe that she is looking down on each of you with a great deal of love and pride.   
Hummingbird Videos

Cleaning Your Hummingbird Feeder

This video is about cleaning your hummingbird feeders.   It includes information on the accessories that work best and therefore help make the process of cleaning your feeders easier.  

Sword-billed Hummingbird

This hummingbird has a very distinctive bill which is longer than its body, thus making for easy identification from any other bird or hummingbird. It can be found in the forests of the Andes in South America. 
The sword-billed hummingbird’s bill is longer than its body, thus enabling it to feed on flowers with long corollas, such as Brugmansia, Passiflora, Datura, and Fuchsia. When feeding, the tongue of a hummingbird extends beyond its bill and contracts about 13 times per second, allowing it to lap up nectar.
When the sword-billed hummingbird perches, it holds its beak almost vertical, thus reducing the strain on its neck.
Nests of most hummingbirds are tiny cups of foliage and green moss bound together with cobwebs. Two eggs will be deposited into these nests, which may be situated high or low, in a tree or shrub, and even dangling from an overhead support. 
Hummingbirds have a well developed sense of hearing, often retreating quickly at the clicking sound of a camera shutter.
I hope you enjoy reading this information Sword-billed hummingbird and hummingbirds in general. Let me know what you think and what other subjects you would like to see discussed in future post.  

Some Common Hummingbird Myths

Some myths develop a life of there own, and it is difficult, if not entirely impossible, to dispel these myths. This blog post will provide you with the truth about some of the more common myths that still exist today. 
One very common myth is that keeping hummingbird feeders up too long will stop hummingbirds from migrating. A hummingbird has an instinctive urge to migrate and this is not based on whether feeders are up or not. It is quite common for hummingbirds to begin their migration journey when there are still plenty of flowers and feeders available. Male hummingbirds often begin their migration journey two weeks before the female does so. It will depend on the species as to when they choose to begin their migration. Regardless of the species of hummingbird, whenever it is time for them to begin their migration, the hummingbirds are most likely responding to light level changes rather than to food level changes.
Another common hummingbird myth is that they only feed on red tubular flowers. If you have ever spent any time watching hummingbirds, then you know that this is just not true. Hummingbirds visit all colors, sizes, and shapes of flowers. These birds will visit flowers that are primarily visited by bees, or they will visit flowers are specifically adapted to hummingbirds–the red tubular ones. Generally speaking, hummingbirds will get nectar wherever they possibly can. 
I am amazed that so many people still believe this next myth. The myth is that hummingbirds only eat nectar. Yes, nectar is the primary food source of hummingbirds, but it is definitely not their only food source. Hummingbirds also eat a variety of insects, as well as also eating tree sap from the holes drilled into trees by sapsuckers.
Another common myth is that hummingbirds have as many taste buds as humans. This is not true. There is a vast difference in the number of taste buds that a hummingbird and a human possess. Hummingbirds have between 40 and 60 taste buds, but humans possess about 10,000.
This is just a few of the common myths that still exist today about hummingbirds. If you have heard something and wondered if it is myth or fact, let us know by leaving a comment. We want to hear from you!
Hummingbird Feeders

Solving the Problem of Ants

Ants are a common problem with hummingbird feeders. This problem can be very frustrating and hinder your enjoyment of your hummingbird feeders and these amazing birds. This blog post will offer some solutions to this problem. 
The best thing to do to prevent the problem of ants at your hummingbird feeder is to block their passage to the feeder. This can be done through the use of Vaseline or tanglefoot, which is a sticky substance commonly found in garden stores. You would place the substance on whatever is holding the feeder, usually a pole or wire.
Some people choose to wrap a strip of cloth that has been soaked in insect repellant around whatever is supporting the feeder. A brief word of caution here, if you choose to use this method or even if you use a spray insect repellant, please be sure that none of it gets into the hummingbird feeding solution. 
Another suggestion of how to prevent ants is to sprinkle some ginger around your feeder pole. For whatever reason, once you do this, the ants won’t go near the area. I have no idea why this works, but several people have told me that it does. Give it a try and see it for yourself.
You can also prevent ants and other insects from drinking all the nectar in your hummingbird feeder by hanging your feeder using a piece of clear nylon sewing thread. The tread is very fine and slippery, thus preventing the ants or other insects from climbing it and reaching the nectar.
I hope you have found these suggestions to be helpful. If you have any other suggestions, please feel free to offer them. After all, it is impossible for anyone to know all the answers to a common problem like this.