Saturday, September 15, 2018

Feathered Neighbors, 2018

View from my kitchen window.
The hummingbirds are once again migrating through my area on their trip to South America.  Each year I welcome them with feeders full of sugar water; they love it.  We have feeders attached to the rail on the deck outside my kitchen window.


This year  "Ping Pong the Great" led the migration in the early spring then left.  He has only returned a few times so I think he has discovered a sweeter flower.  We have missed him but many more have taken his place.  


My nearest neighbor moved: their house and feeders are empty.  It appears all their hummingbirds have migrated to my yard.  To feed the large flock, we have added two more feeders.  This one is hanging on the wall beside the window.  It has a little extra sugar to encourage them to come close.  It isn't the first time I have enticed someone with sweet treats to get what I want.


Peeping Tom.  He is hovering around the kitchen window looking at me demanding the empty feeder be filled.

  
They are always hungry.




The only thing they enjoy more than drinking nectar is fighting amongst themselves. This is their favorite feeder.  The white plastic bee guards were ripped away by the rascally raccoon who was emptying it during the night a few weeks ago.  A plastic net wrapped around the deck rail discouraged him from returning.  Another close neighbor keeps bee hives but they haven't discovered the feeders yet.  If they do, and if they swarm (again), I will buy new guards.


There was an empty spot on the feeder but this naughty hummingbird decided to smack the one sitting, drinking and behaving.  Even though I haven't tried drinking from each separate spout, I have no doubt the syrup tastes the same.





While this one was enjoying the feeder, another hovered a long time behind him.  It was a staring contest.  There was an empty spot on the feeder but neither one would move.



During the daytime, they disappear to enjoy the blooms in my garden and the fields.  When the sun begins to set, all meet at the feeders for one last battle.  They fight, attack, then right before dark sign a truce and everyone sits down for dinner.



They are tanking up to make their long trip south and will be leaving soon.  I will miss them but won't miss constantly filling the feeders.


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Thursday, September 6, 2018

Amish, Summertime


Every other Wednesday I visit my local Amish community to purchase milk, eggs, and fresh vegetables.  Yesterday was a bit cooler, gray and overcast so I decided to take my camera and linger.





They don't use electricity, nor do they drive cars, but instead rely on horse-drawn buggies and wagons.





Summer is ending soon so harvest season is winding down.






Each house sells produce, services and homemade products.  There are still many items available.



At this house, you can purchase okra, peppers, squash, and your burial casket all at the same time.  Need a mare and colt? No problem, they have them also.





Classes were in session at the one-room schoolhouses.


They all used the same type of lunchboxes which were lined up neatly beside the front door.  



Their ingenuity for living without electricity is impressive.  The barns have downspouts on the gutters which fill the water tanks for the livestock.



Instead of cutting grass with a manual lawnmower, this house has blackberry bushes and fruit trees in their front yard.


This massive barn was filled to the top with hay. How did they manage to get it so far up?


What brave soul is able and willing to climb up the ladder on the outside?


Not using modern-day conveniences forces them to work together as a community to survive.  It is the life they choose.


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