Tag Archives: fun

DIY Hummingbird Feeder Moat

A few weeks ago, I posted about our new hummingbird feeder.  We have had lots of fun watching a few stop by to have a drink at the new watering hole.  It appears we have one that has sorta made the area home as he tends to chase off any other hummingbirds that try to stop by.

Unfortunately, the sugary treat that is intended for the birds, also attracts some less desirable visitors…ANTS.  Within 24 hours of setting up the feeder, the ants were marching up the shepherd’s hook a la Tom and Jerry.

So, I have seen a few solutions to this problem.  You can buy a commercial solution either built-in to the feeder or buy one to put between the feeder and the hanger.  But I was able to go to Lowe’s and get a couple of parts for about $3 and built my own.  (Disclosure: One part cannot be purchased by itself.  See below.)

Turnbuckle, nut, washer, and spray can cap.I purchased a 1/4″ x 7-1/2″ turnbuckle hook, a 1/4″ nut, and a 1/4″ washer.  I already had an old spray can cap.

The first thing to do is to drill a 7/32″ hole in the center of the spray can cap.  By drilling the hole just slightly photo2smaller than the threads on the turnbuckle hook, the assembly makes its own water tight seal.

Be aware that the threads going into the turnbuckle are reverse of each other.  The one you want to remove from the turnbuckle is the one that turns left.

photo3Thread the nut onto the hook you just removed.  Note:  If the nut won’t thread onto the hook, you have removed the wrong hook…try the other one.  Turn the nut until it is near the start of the hook.

photo4Slide the washer on next and then start to thread the cap after the washer.  As you get the cap close to the washer, hold the nut still and gently tighten the cap down to the washer.  Don’t force it as you could break the seal that makes it watertight.

photo5Finally, thread the turnbuckle back onto the hook inside the cap.  Tighten the turnbuckle down to sandwich the washer and the cap against the nut at the bottom.  Again, not too tight.  If necessary, you can add some silicone caulk or use hot glue to seal the bottom of the threads.



photo6The final step is to check your moat by filling with a bit of water to see that there are no leaks.






Photo7_reducedAnd finally, just hang the moat above your feeder and no more ants!


Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’

This week, share a photo(s) that says summer lovin’ to you. It might be a favorite pair of sandals you can’t bear to part with, the homemade salsa you made with veggies from your garden, the flowers you planted, or your family frolicking on the beach. If summer is on the way in your hemisphere, show us something hot hot hot: your homemade sriracha sauce, some friends shuckin’ and jivin’ on the dance floor, or even the furnace or boiler that heats your home.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’


Hummingbird Bistro Grand Opening!

This afternoon, I thought it would be fun to help the girls set up a hummingbird feeder.  We have planted a cardinal flower, which is supposed to attract hummingbirds, but so far we have had no customers.  So, I thought we would add a new item to the menu.

I took Morgan and Emmelyn out to Lowe’s to get a little feeder, and we came home to set it up.  To begin, we started to create our nectar.  I will include the very simple recipe at the bottom of this post.

IMG_0951IMG_0950Each of the girls had a hand in mixing the solution and also helped to
carefully pour it into the feeder when it was done.  While cooling, I went out to the shed and picked up one of our Shepherd’s Hooks to hang the feeder on outside our window on the side of the house.
IMG_0958Now we just get to wait and see if we get any interested birds.

Nectar Recipe:

1 part sugar
4 parts water
Bring to a boil for 1-2 minutes and let cool.

It used to be customary to use red food coloring in the solution to help attract the hummingbirds.  I have read in some places that the red dye can cause mouth sores to form in the hummingbirds, which is obviously not the intended outcome.  We chose a red feeder so that we wouldn’t have to add food coloring to the solution.  For more detailed information you can check out this article about how to care for the feeder and making the nectar solution.

We Are Monsters – High Point Community Theatre

Today, I had the privilege to visit the High Point Community Theatre as they presented “We Are Monsters” at Centennial Station in High Point, NC.  This is billed as “A New Children’s Musical” where kids ranging in age from six to 12 perform.  If you have not yet seen this presentation, they have one more show on Sunday, June 29, 2014.  You can get additional information from the High Point Community Theatre website or from their flyer.  Below are some pictures I took while watching the show this afternoon.  I had fun watching the performance, and it seems that these kids really enjoyed acting.  They put on a great show.

Daily Prompt – Random Image Thoughts

Today, I could use a good diversion for a bit, so I thought I would take the challenge of the Daily Prompt.

Pick a random word and do Google image search on it. Check out the eleventh picture it brings up. Write about whatever that image brings to mind.

When I read the prompt, I picked up my phone and Googled the random word “barefoot.”  Here is the image that showed in the 11th position.

These are probably the strangest shoes I have ever seen.  While it seems that they are real, I have never seen them.  I can only imagine what people might think if they saw someone wearing these shoes.  I am not sure I have the personality to pull off wearing these shoes out in public.

I cannot imagine that these shoes are very comfortable.  It doesn’t seem like the toes are open so that you could put your own toes in as if it were some kind of “foot glove.”  I would think that if your toes were behind the “fake” toes that it would make it difficult to walk with the extra length of the “fake” toes out front.  It would seem that the extra length would drag as you pulled your foot forward to take the next step.

These shoes seem strange, but I am sure someone would like to have them.

Leaf Day at Haynes-Inman Education Center

Yesterday, I was fortunate to be able to visit with my daughter’s kindergarten class.  Haynes-Inman Education Center is a school for children with various special needs.  The teachers there provide various therapies to help these children overcome some of their disabilities.

On Monday, they were having “Leaf Day” in her classroom.  The teacher brings in leaves for the kids to play in.  While this might sound trivial to some, these kids are not usually able to go outside and play in the leaves like typical kids do.  Some kids have sensory issues where they are unable to handle a new feeling, for example, even the feeling of a dry leaf being crumbled in their hands.  While this is not necessarily the case of this day, these types of interactions help these kids to better relate to their surroundings and this is just one example of how they help these kids to learn and explore their surroundings.

As I mentioned earlier, my daughter is one of the students seen in these pictures.  Raising a child with special needs can be quite demanding.  Before the kids were introduced to the leaves, I was able to sit and observe the daily happenings in the classroom; things I am not normally able to observe.  I saw as the staff move swiftly from one child to another – one child needing medication at a specific time, another trying to transition after mom left, still another needing to eat breakfast.  The entire time seeming to have an unending amount of patience.  Even though it doesn’t show, I know it is hard to do…I have three children at home.

I think that is what makes this place, and others like it, so special and also why my daughter loves so much to go there.  The teachers, assistants, and therapists all care deeply about the success of these children – even if that success is simply being able to choose between two objects on any given day or watching a child take his or her first steps on their own after years of therapy.

I hope you enjoy seeing the pictures of these children as much as I enjoyed spending the time to take them, and as much as they enjoyed experiencing something new.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A Unique Experience in Wroclaw

Last night, I was able to join with a couple of my colleagues on an excursion that I never would have expected to go on.  It seems that he is very much into hunting and is part of a hunting club called “Koło Łowieckie DANIEL Środa Śląska” [Hunting Club FALLOW-DEER Środa Śląska] that exists in Środa Śląska, a city not too far from Wroclaw.  So five of us, my US colleague Dave, my Poland colleague Bartlomiej, Bartlomiej’s Dad, his Dad’s friend, and myself, piled into a small SUV and headed out into the evening to find some game. Continue reading A Unique Experience in Wroclaw

A First Trip to Poland

A flight to Europe can be quite tiring! My day began on Saturday with a bunch of things to get done. I had to leave shortly after lunch to drive to Charlotte for my flight to Wroclaw (pronounced “vrods-wahv”), Poland through Munich, Germany. The first leg of the trip, which left Charlotte late afternoon, was the longest…8 1/2 hours! That is the longest plane trip I have ever taken, though I am sure there are much longer trips to be had.

Continue reading A First Trip to Poland