Tuesday, September 19, 2017

My Lazy Ant Moat

ANT MOAT (plastic dish)
Hummingbird Feeder
 “Ants are terrifying, having survived for 130 million years, evolving into a monarchical society of soldiers with bizarre levels of self sacrifice. Ants keep slaves. I don’t crush them, it’s pointless, they outnumber humans tenfold by body mass.”    ― Pega RoseThe Someday List
 I've been watching those big black ants crawl into and all around the hummer feeder. All summer long. Drove  me nuts. And the Hummers were frustrated.  
 They wouldn't feed, as long as  ants were having their own little spa day in the sugar water. Silly ants crept inside the holes to drink, and got caught.

 I decided that I should stop them. And thid crazy crooked moat worked. The hummers have returned to the feeder.

 Looks weird. Yes.  Mine is a little lopsided , since I had a huge fight with the hot glue gun. It won.Apparently, I should have held it still till the stuff cooled.
  But it works. The moat stops the ants.  
 Now: This is what I used:  A drill (not keen on drills): A plastic dish that is wider and deep enough to drown ants, coat hanger, bent to hold a feeder, plumber's silicone, hot glue gun.

 Drill a hole in bottom of dish.Try not to crack the bottom. I used a knife to squiggle a hole out of the plastic.Shove the prepared coat hanger thru the hole.

 Take the silicone. Have someone hold the dish and coat hanger  still
 Don't let it wobble.
 Or you'll be sorry. It will be crooked. Like mine. So NO WOBBLING.
 After using the silicone, take the hot glue gun. Keep fingers clear.
 Or you'll be sorry. Let dry. You have to hold it still after each application.If you don't hold it straight it will not be straight. Remember that.  So you'll have two things: burnt fingers, and a dish that is askew.

 But if it IS crooked, it will have character. And the hummers won't care.
 When dry hang up on outdoor peg. Hang feeder  on the hanger hook. Add water to the dish above. Watch  ants become befuddled and bewildered. They will try to climb down, ending up in the water.  Sometimes they will swim. Sometimes they drown.
  If you are kind hearted, you can scoop ants out and add more water.  You can find other ideas for Ant Moats on the internet; ones that require hardware. (That would mean a trip to the hardware store and buying all sorts of hardware thingys.) My Lazy Ant Moat works just fine, even though it could be a lot straighter......( cha cha cha). 
 “Learn from the ants- how a tiny heart is big enough to love, help and care about another living existence.” ― Munia Khan

Photographs 2017

Saturday, September 16, 2017

All roads....

"The Road now leads onward, as far as can be, winding lanes and hedgerows in threes...." -Loreena McKennitt
 All roads are leading into fall..... right on the heels of summer, which has ended hot and smokey.
 And with it,  the arrival of Stellar Jays. They meet  and greet with such enthusiasm. They are so smart. They KNOW i have peanuts for them.
  Squawk and talk. Talk and squawk.
 Neighbourhood cats watch them. Longing with every whisker twitch.
 "By purple mountains and round every bend, all roads lead to you, There is no journey's end." - Loreena McKennitt
 Last of the flowers. Hibiscus and  Roses. Soaked in what little rain we get.
 And in the morning, the skies turn silver when dawn finally breaks. Which is later and later and later....
 And the Stellar Jays stuff themeselves silly. They screech for more peanuts.I find they waylay me as I come around the corner from the greenhouse. Peanuts! 
 More. More. More.
 "Here is my heart, I give it to you. take me with you across this land. These are my dreams, so simple so few. Dreams we hold in the palm of our hands." - Loreena McKennitt
 Some leaves have fallen. But only some.
Cats, like Smokey,  peer into the house, in the silver morning.
Days are shorter. Hibiscus droops and dies. Like the Roses. Almost all gone.
 "Deep in the winter, amidst falling snow, high in the air where the bells they all toll." -Loreena McKennitt
 Bees and wasps govern  now. Wasps more than bees. They grow drunk on late sunlight.And roll around in clover.
Time to tear down falling sunflowers, prune, hack and slash .A daunting mess.
 Leave bare ground. Empty canvas for next year. Note to self: Next year, no more flopping sunflowers on the hill. 
 "It now leads onward I know not where. I feel in my heart that you will be there......" -Loreena McKennitt
 There are those who sit. All day. 
 The Jays watch the cats, watching them. Demand. Demand.
 Last of the roses  freeze in the night. Because frost shows no favourites.
 "Show aid may horsh um flee shum bug.Drams atta ga nay danamar la wa....." (Gaelic) - Loreena McKennitt
Translation: These are my dreams so simple, so few. Dreams we hold in the palm of our hand.
Song excerpts from Loreena McKennitt's "Never Ending Road" (Amhran Duit).....One of my fav  McKennitt songs ever.....

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Cookies by the Sea

 "Those who are born on islands know the sound of spindrift breaking and the drift of foam....."
 The sea grass turning brown.The  ocean ready to toss up logs and rocks
 "The sight of white-keeled luggers sailing home, the cry of gulls at daybreak ocean bound."
 And young eagles. Not so young anymore. Readying for fall.
 And Cookies. By the sea. Some to be stolen by seagulls....
 1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla (or 1 tsp maple syrup if you are out of vanilla)
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups chocolate chips
     Cream butter and sugar together.
            Beat in eggs 1 at a time ( I tend to just dump them all together. Comes out the same. Just mix well)
      Add rest of ingredients. Mix well
                         Drop by spoonfuls onto lined sheets or greased baking pans
 "Always a wind is singing in their ears, always they lean to catch a drift of spray."
                     Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.
                                                  Makes about 5 dozen. Give or take.
 "Or reef-blown water tossing in a bay, or drift of ebb tide around salty piers."
 OATMEAL CHIP PIZZA: Press 3 cups of dough into 12 inch pizza pan.
                                        Sprinkle with choc chips, butterscotch chips, nuts , coconut,                                                                   Smarties, M and M's.
                                         Allow a bit more time to bake. 
                                          A neat treat for a group of people, gathering, etc.
 "Those who are born on islands must remain aware of ships and anchors and tall spars...."
 "Of schooners sailing by beneath the stars..."
 "....of buoys sounding in the dripping rain...."
 "Their thoughts are not of city streets or walls....."
 "But how the full tide lifts and how it falls................"

 Quotes from Harold Vinal's poem "Islanders" (1891-1965) from "1000 Beautiful Things, 1948"...... ( Yes, this is an amazing book. Seems to have everything in it.)

 Born in Vinalhaven, he was mostly  a pianist and teacher. Then he had an epiphany and wrote some of the most beautiful sea poetry, His most famous poem is "Hurricane". But I love the imagery he creates.  "I saw a star flame in the sky, I heard a wild bird sing....." (etc) (Saving more for later......)
 Photographs 2017