Archive for June, 2018

Hummer Feeder Mystery


Drained dry!  No bee guards!

We had a recent theft in Maine.  I awoke to find that some creature had raided the hummer feeders, draining them and removing every bee guard.  Nothing like this has ever happened during our 38 years of feeding the hummingbirds at this location.  The typical scenario is that we arrive and one of my first tasks is to fill the feeders and put them out.  The hummers (who must see the car) arrive within 20 minutes of my putting out the feeders and the feeders are in constant use for the duration of our stay.


Damaged bee guards

I noticed the drained feeders and missing bee guards quite soon after I woke up at 4:30 a.m. so I think it was a night time marauder but it is possible that the damage happened just as it got light.  We managed to find six of the eight bee guards, two of which had tooth marks.  The culprit also bit holes in a bag of fertilizer I had left on the deck and the teeth marks were an inch apart, probably ruling out the one I thought to be the likely perpetrator; a red squirrel. I suppose it could be a fisher, porcupine or  raccoon with a sweet tooth, but all of those are quite large and getting to the feeders might be difficult without waking us up.  I refilled them and put them out (I have extra bee guards) and I took them in at night.  Maybe I’ll get a game camera and set it up. We’ll see what happens next time we are in Maine.  Grrrr!

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Garden Update


Just seeing the profusion of happy garlic scape curlicues makes me smile!

It’s been a busy spring with much to sidetrack my writing including a 10 day stay in the hospital (Takotsubo’s Cardiomyopathy, look it up, it’s sort of interesting).  I’ve recovered for the most part and am back to gardening with my husband’s help.

First the peas!  They bore early and heavily so the experiment was a success.  They are finishing up now as the weather is warming, but we enjoyed several nice stirfrys and some lovely pasta primaveras.  I don’t think I would have had anywhere near this success if I had waited until the weather settled because the inevitable heat of late spring always brings them to a screeching halt.

Next, garlic scapes.  They have reached the height of their exuberance so I snapped them off yesterday and made garlic scape pesto.  Susan W., if you see this, the scapes from the garlic you gave me last summer had double curls, similar to the heirloom variety called Unadilla Double Coil that I got from a farmer in Poughkeepsie, New York.  I wonder if they could be related.  Such a lovely fresh taste, I can’t wait to see how they are as keepers.


This is a scape from Susan’s garlic!

Lastly, I think I have improved on my strategy to keep my eggplant safe from the dreaded flea beetles.  A few years ago I began covering them with a floating row cover until the flea beetles had completed their life cycle, mid July here, just as the plants are beginning to flower.  The problem with this was that I had to open the cover to water and check their progress.  I recently visited northern Vermont and brought my head net in anticipation of black flies.  In looking over the head net, I got the idea that the fine mesh would make a good substitute for the floating row cover.  An internet search turned up “Noseeum” mesh in 72″ widths, available by the yard.  It is a very promising substitute so far.


Noseeum fabric mesh protecting my eggplant seedlings.

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