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Building a Place to Watch Hummingbirds?

English: Hummingbird aerodynamics of flight

English: Hummingbird aerodynamics of flight (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hummingbirds are so beautiful and amusing. But it is even more fun it you have a great place to watch them.

When my mother- and father-in-law built their dream house to retire to in Central Texas, they also built the best place I’ve ever seen for watching hummingbirds. Their two-story house had a wonderful deck across the back.

They hung hummingbird feeders every few feet along the eves. A glass wall along the breakfast room, dining room, and living room, allowed them to watch the hummingbirds feeding and squabbling, even from from indoors if them wanted to.

Or they could sit outside and watch the tiny birds up close. The humminbirds, as many as a dozen at a time, were so busy guarding their favorite feeders from other hummingbirds, and other birds, that they did not seem to mind humans watching them quietly from just a few feet away.

The house was beautiful and spectacular, but one of the best things about it was that wonderful second-floor deck that my father-in-law added on.

Now is a great time of year to build a great place to watch your own hummingbirds. You can enjoy your new viewing spot all summer and early fall. It might be as simple as an small arbor with a seat in it—or as fancy as a new balcony with french doors leading out onto it.

Here’s a tip for finding just the right materials for your project, from glass doors to new flooring or wood trim to frame the view: Buy it on line. It really isn’t much fun dragging around to showrooms and lumber yards when you could e home filling feeders and watching the birds.

You can do it at your own convenience on evenings or weekends. And the huge selections at online suppliers like BuildDirect save you time, money and patience. They make it easy to find what you want.

Online shopping is easy and safe. You can check out the vendors beforehand. For example, you can read BuildDirect reviews on topics like the trustworthiness of their website. And you can read BuildDirect’s Crunchbase page for a business profile of their company.

Be sure to take the time to plan your new hummingbird-watching haven carefully. You might want to spend a few hours relaxing on the spot with a cool drink while scouting for hummer flight patterns.

So whatever you build, send us a photo and tell us how much you are enjoying it. And have a great summer watching hummingbirds.

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A Tampa car title loan company that makes the process quick and easy.

A Tampa car title loan company that makes the process quick and easy.

Being the manager of an auto parts and repair shop here in Tampa I was sure that I knew everything about cars. Well, I had no idea that a car title loan was actually a viable and safe option if you need a loan quickly for some unforeseen emergency. You have all of the old Mafioso tough guy type companies in your mind whenever you’re thinking about payday or auto title loans. Well, the company that one of my employees, Danny found couldn’t have been nicer when they found out the bond that this guy got himself into.

Danny was searching for a Tampa car title loan when he came across a company called Rapid Auto Loan. They’re in a few other cities here in Florida and from a quick check of online reviews it seems like they’ve got a staff that works hard to keep a good reputation. Something that seems pretty rare in this type of business.

As my curiosity got the best of me and since I didn’t have to be the guinea pig, I figured I would listen up and stick around as my employee went through process. I honesty couldn’t believe how easy and painless the process was. I thought for sure that because he was an auto repairman that they would put him through the ringer looking at his credit history. Nope couldn’t be further from the truth. First it was simply filling out an online application. He quickly got approved and literally got the cash that he needed the next day. Over the course of the month he paid the loan back and later got his car title back. It really surprised me how well it worked.

Have Fun Buying Hummingbird Gear for a Song

Yeah, I know, hummingbirds don’t really sing—though they do make that loud humming noise when they fly. The point is that you can buy all kinds of things for hummingbird watching, hummingbird gardening, hummingbird art and jewelry, even hummingbird books, for pennies on the dollar. Where? At DealDash.com.

Deal Dash is an online auction site that operates in a different way. It’s fast, fair and fun. All items they auction are new and highly desirable, like big flat-screen TVs, the newest, most deluxe models of IPad, and gift cards for America’s favorite stores.

You can buy items for just pennies on the dollar. You purchase a package of bids (sometimes as cheaply as 15 cents for each bid) and use them to bid on items you want. The auctions are all fairly short (great for quick gratification) and very fair.

After an auction runs for a little while, it is closed to additional bidders. So no one can swoop in at the last minute and spoil your fun. And if you don’t win an auction, you can immediately purchase the same product at regular price if you want to. Or join a new auction and try again.

I’ve seen a top of the line iPad go for $27 and $1000 Amazon gift card go for $78. Think of all the hiking and camping gear, camera equipment, gardening tools and supplies, hummingbird books and feeders and nectar and other hummingbird-related things you can buy with gift cards that you buy for just a few bucks.

So you can have more fun with hummingbirds and have more money for other things, too.

To find out more about how it all works, watch this short video on how to get great savings while having fun at Deal Dash.

Watching Hummingbirds from Indoors? Get Your A/C a Tune-Up for the Summer Heat

Many hummingbird watchers love to drink their morning coffee and evening cocktails outdoors to watch the hummingbirds gathering round their feeders in the cooler morning hours and the long light summer evenings. But down here in the South it’s getting just plain hot in the afternoons.

As the summer really heats up, many of us just have to retreat indoors to escape the heat, humidity and mosquitos. There is a time for air conditioning, and it is right about now.

Down where I live we tend to stay indoors as much as possible till early October, because along the Gulf Coast September is considered a summer month. In the summer evenings we mostly watch the hummingbirds from inside, where it’s cool.

If you live in a place where it gets just awfully hot in the summer—and stays that way for awhile—you know what I mean. The heat can be deadly, especially for the very old, the very young, and people with certain health conditions or who take certain medications that make them more sensitive to the heat. Even if they would rather be outside with the hummingbirds, they just can’t afford to risk their health to do it.

So we watch our hummingbirds through the windows and rely heavily on our air conditioning. Once a year we call in the experts to check the coolant levels and give our A/C a tune-up before the worst of the summer heat. That saves energy in the long run and keeps our life-saving cooling system from wearing out too quickly and giving out at the height of the summer (something that is practically a phobia in some parts of the US—and for good reason).

Wherever you live, if you haven’t had your air conditioning looked at this season, you really should call a good A/C company to check it. Later in the season it could be hard to get onto their schedule just when you need A/C the most.

If you live in Florida, for example, you can call E.D.S., get your A/C checked and tuned up for summer, and then relax, and watch those hummingbirds outside your windows while sipping a cold drink in cool comfort. And E.D.S. also does commercial A/C service, so you can be cool and comfortable at work, too.

Beautiful Background Wall Coverings for Hummingbirds, and for You

 Hummingbirds buzzing around the garden or hovering around a feeder are so beautiful against the natural background of trees, shrubs and flowers. Natural textures seem to show off their glittering feathers by glorious contrast.

Indoors I love hanging hummingbird paintings, photos, and other art against a naturally textured background wall covering. I enjoy seeing the real hummers outside framed by naturally textured walls, too.

One of the most beautiful background wall coverings for nature art is grasscloth. It is subtle and rich without distracting from the art that you hang on it. Grasscloth makes rooms look warm and natural. It is a sophisticated traditional wall covering with a wide range of colors and applications for different rooms and moods.

Grasscloth makes a perfect background texture for hummingbird images. And it makes a great frame for the beauty of nature outside.

Another favorite texture is the hand-crafted wall covering called Aruga. It is just as beautiful and perhaps a little more feminine. I love the look of Aruga for formal rooms. It is a soft texture that makes furniture look richer and creates a welcoming atmosphere for entertaining.

Aruga comes in a nice range of colors for different rooms and different modes. It is also wonderful for bedrooms, where the subtle texture feels soft and nurturing.

My favorite color of Aruga is Tarpon, a soft, light sage green (especially flattering to wood furniture( as well as nature art). What’s yours?

 

Share Your Hummingbird Stories on HummingbirdLore.com

We have added a new feature to this blog. We’ve made it easy to share your experiences with hummingbirds by submitting a guest post with your name as author.

You’ll notice there is a new tab at the top of every page, called Share Your Hummingbird Story.

When you click on the tab, you are taken to a page with a form where you can type or paste your article and read the rules for submission.

Once you submit your article, the editor will review it, possibly edit it slightly and (usually) approve it within a few days. (Sorry, we are a very small staff and super busy.)

After approval. your guest post will appear on the blog with your name as author.

Right now we have no way to accept your photos, but you can put links in your article to a few of your photos on the web (on your website, on Flickr, or wherever).

We are looking for a good way for you to include photos and/or videos directly in your guest post. When we find one, we’ll announce it here and on the Share Your Hummingbird Story page.

Thanks for reading Hummingbird Lore.

 
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Country LIving, Tractors and Farm Equipment

Living in the country can be wonderful. It can be hard work, if you are farming, or it can be pure pleasure if you just enjoy living in the quiet countryside and watching the birds and animals. Perhaps you simply want to raise your own organic food and have some to share with friends or to sell for a little extra income.

If you live in the country, even if you don’t have a farm, you often need equipment that city and suburban dwellers would not need. Maybe you have an oversized lot (or several lots) that have to be mowed. Maybe you go after gardening in a big way. Or maybe you have land to clear of pesky weeds and bushes that would otherwise spoil the view and/or harbor poisonous snakes.

So even if you are not farming or truck-gardening, you may still want to look at small tractors for sale or other farm equipment just for your own purposes. Or you may plant to share with neighbors or friends.

If you keep a horse, for example, you may need to keep moles or other burrowing animals from creating dangerous holes in the paddock or riding trails that could lame your horse. There are many reasons why you may need special equipment for country life.

Whether new to the area or just new to buying farm machinery, you may need help finding good used equipment at a reasonable price. Good news, there are websites that offer listings of used equipment and manufacturer specs and descriptions for new equipment to make it easy to find what you want.

In Australia, for example, the place to go is called tradeboats.au. Well known as a great place to buy and sell boats and yachts, the site has grown to include tractors and other farm machinery as well. It offers ads for used and new equipment and tractors for sale, along with manufacturer specs and photos, so you can find exactly what you need.

And then, if you are in the Western Hemisphere, you can use the time you saved to get back to watching hummingbirds. It’s just a matter of priorities. Isn’t it?

Living in a Mountain Paradise, with Hummingbirds

Each of us has our own idea of what constitutes paradise. But of those who have experienced life at Cullasaja Club in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, almost everyone agrees that it comes pretty close.

Located near Highlands, NC, a summer resort and health resort town dating back to the 1880s, Cullasaja Club, one of the finest of private NC Golf Clubs, is a small private community with fewer than 300 homes. With easy access to every amenity and the quiet and security of a friendly, closely knit community, Cullasaja residents and visitors can relax amidst stunning mountain views and simply enjoy nature and the company of friends and family.

Ruby-throated hummingbirds nest in the area, and with the natural, forested environment, they can be seen hovering around feeders or just flitting through the beautiful grounds and gardens. Nature walks in the forest, great views from the golf course, and the way houses are nestled into the wooded terrain allow for lots of sightings of hummingbirds and other beautiful birds and wildlife. (more…)

Brother’s New House

Guest post from: Constance Rodgers

My brother has got to be the most industrious person I know. He is literally finishing up the house he built FROM SCRATCH which I think is just the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. I mean, who builds a house from scratch? My husband has been helping on the weekends and it’s been really good for him because he is anything but handy – he’s been learning a lot from my brother and hopefully now will have better grasp on the long honey do list I’ve got going for him. My brother is building the house for his family which I think is really commendable so I’ve been helping where I can, too. I looked online at ElectricCompaniesTexas.net to find him a lower utility rate than he was paying and I’ve been helping his wife pick out paint colors and buy some furniture. We haven’t told them yet but my husband and I are going to buy them a dining room set as a housewarming gift because they’ve never lived anywhere big enough for a dining table and I think that’s what they’re most excited about. I really admire my brother’s perseverance – he’s been working on this project for about 2 years now and I don’t think I’ve heard him complain a single time, even when the weather was bad or his workers didn’t show up. He’s been using all his own money that he saved from working as a waiter in college and if that’s not real American get-up-and-go I don’t know what is! I know if my parents were still alive they’d be really proud of Brad but I’m going to tell him every day so he doesn’t have to wonder. I don’t know who in their right mind builds a HOUSE in their spare time but I have to say that my brother is really, really good at it. Who would have thought he’d grow up to be such a great general contractor?

Eat LIke a Hummingbird for Your Health and Slimness

The great boxing champion Mohammed Ali once advised, “Float like a hummingbird; sting like a bee.” Better advice for most of us would be to eat like a hummingbird.

You may assume that hummingbirds live on flower nectar and sugar syrup, but the truth is that the mainstay of their diet is spiders. Eewww, right? But there’s a good reason for that: Spiders are high in protein. Hummers need that to build and sustain the tiny muscles that allow them to fly and hover so gracefully.

Hummingbirds use a lot of energy. They have a high, fast metabolic rate, so they drink nectar to provide extra energy, but it burns right off. We should be so lucky! For us that simple sugar would mostly be turned to fat.

Like the hummingbird, we should base our diet on protein. Unlike them, we should keep the carbs to the minimum if we want to lose fat.

Also, like the hummingbird, we should keep our metabolism revved up by staying active. You don’t have to do extreme exercise or run marathons, but you do need to keep the blood pumping.

Taking the stairs a few times a day, parking farther away, riding your bike around the neighborhood, for example. Whatever you do, don’t sit down all the time.

Mainly, though, the easiest way to slim down and be more healthy is to cut way down on simple carbohydrates (sugars and simple starches) and eat more spiders—-oops, I mean protein, including high-protein vegetables.

On a low carbohydrate diet, moderate amounts of fats are OK, because your body need some fat to operate properly. Foods like olive oil, avocados, and butter are actually good for you in moderation. Fried foods, of course, not so much.

There is no need to go hungry or to get bored either. You can choose from a huge variety of delicious low carb diet foods. Eating a variety of foods provides more balanced nutrition, keeps you from feeling deprived, and gives you lots of energy.

So you can float like a hummingbird—even if you don’t want to sting like a bee.