Thursday, July 3, 2008

The best $10 I've spent this summer

When we got home from my parents' house after they remodeled our bathroom back in May, my dad said to me, " Jen, you've gotta get a hummingbird feeder! You've got so many hummingbirds around here and if you had a feeder, I think you'd have even more." A few weeks later, I actually remembered to buy the feeder and nectar on our weekly shopping trip. I didn't have that thing hanging up for more than ten minutes and the hummingbirds were already buzzing around! It was amazing, to say the least.

The kids and I have had so much fun sitting quietly on the porch watching the hummingbirds feed. We've been able to identify four different birds, which appear to be two male/female couples. One of the males is the most beautiful shade of green with a bright red throat. His feathers are gorgeous and have this amazing iridescent sheen to them. We've enjoyed watching the birds fight in mid-air as they swoop in for a quick feed. They don't seem to want to drink at the same time. They make little tweeting sounds as they drink. They dart in, look around to make sure the coast is clear, then take a dainty sip or two and buzz away to perch on the telephone line. A few minutes later, and they're back for more. They never seem to stop!

It's been really cool to watch my kids' interest in these tiny birds grow. Even Norah, at just 2-1/2, has become fascinated by them. She will sit quietly on my lap in the morning as we wait for Sammy's bus to pick him up, watching intently for the hummingbirds. When she sees them, she gets so excited! But she knows that if she's not quiet and still they will fly away. To watch her overcome her natural instinct to wiggle and shout has been so rewarding to me. It's like she's maturing before my very eyes.

I've been trying to snap some photos of the hummingbirds since we got the feeder, but they are so quick and nervous that it's been really tough. However, I was able to finally get a few shots one morning as I sat on the cold, wet ground, still as a statue, for over a half hour.

A rare moment where two of them were feeding at the same time. The colors aren't great on the photo because it was early and the light wasn't very good, but you can sort of see his pretty green feathers.

If there are hummingbirds in your area and you've got $10 to spare (it's about $5 for a feeder and $5 for a jug of nectar at Wal-Mart), then do yourself a favor and get a hummingbird feeder! You won't be sorry, and these sweet little birds will keep you occupied all summer!

And they call it puppy love...

On Tuesday, we adopted two Papillons from a local rescue group. When we got to the rescue worker's house, we took one look at these two adorable girls and fell instantly in love!

First moments:

Taz, the black and white one, is now known as Jazzy. Dazzy, the brown and white one, is now Daisy. Jazzy took an instant shine to Jake and decided he was her human.

But that doesn't mean they didn't like the rest of us:

Here, Norah gets some "puppy love" from the girls.

We've been home for about two days now and so far, so good. We had a few small accidents, but I don't blame them. Sam literally scared the pee out of Daisy by falling off a stack of chairs about 20 minutes after we got home. Poor girl nearly jumped out of her skin! Daisy is definitely the shy one of the pair. Jazzy is the dominant one, the leader. It's neat to watch Daisy become bolder when Jazzy acts boldly first.

Here they are snuggled with "Daddy" on the couch. They have taken a shine to Todd, too!

The only one they're not sure about is Peanut, the cat. He weighs more than both of them combined and is being VERY intimidating. I give him credit though, because he's restrained himself more than I thought possible. He's been giving them looks, and at one point puffed himself up and made the hair on his back stick straight up, and once yesterday he took a swipe at Jazzy, but he missed her face and ended up scaring her and not hurting her. I've got my fingers crossed that if they can't be friends then they can at least coexist peacefully. I guess we'll see!