Everything’s Coming up Roses (and Lilacs, and Wisteria, and Iris…)!

Here in Eastern Kentucky the Summer keeps coming. Then leaving (and letting Winter back in). And coming back. ?

But, thankfully, the flowers and plants are all coming along nicely, and lots of Spring flowers are here! I’ve been watching my hubby’s Iris as the buds shoot up over the leaves and swell with promise. Here’s one!

This one has little brown dots and lines, although they’re not very clear in this photo 😦

Here’s another:

There are several spots along the driveway that have clumps of these pretty little white violets, too:

Some wildflowers that I’m guessing are related to Prunella :

And some blackberries that are getting ready for an OUTSTANDING year:

I’m SO looking forward to the blackberry cobbler I’m going to make with these!!!!

Also, despite the recent hot spell (then cool spell), we actually still have a few Daffys hanging on…

And so, I’m off to fill the bird feeder. I can’t get a photo of the Downy Woodpeckers, or my Cardinals, but I keep trying…..

Complaints, questions, comments are always welcome! Have a LOVELY Spring day…

With Grace and Gratitude

LeslieAnne Hasty

Bird’s ID – Peruvian Pelican

Excellent article!

H.J. Ruiz - Avian101

Peruvian Pelican


The Peruvian Pelican (Pelecanus thagus) is a member of the pelican family. It lives on the west coast of South America, breeding in loose colonies from about 33.5° in central Chile to Piura in northern Peru, and occurring as a visitor in southern Chile and Ecuador.

These birds are dark in color with a white stripe from the top of the bill up to the crown and down the sides of the neck. They have long tufted feathers on the top of their heads. It was previously considered a subspecies of the brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis). The Peruvian pelican is considerably larger, ranging from about 5 to 7 kg (11–15 lb) in weight, 137 to 152 cm (4.5–5.0 ft) in length and with a wingspan of about 228 cm (7.5 ft). Compared to the brown pelican, it also has proportionally longer crest feathers, as well as differences in the colors of the…

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How About a Havanese?

Image by Ralf Bitzer from Pixabay

Havanese are a charming small dog that was bred specifically as a companion, and they are bouncy, attractive AND hypoallergenic! They have a double coat and shed very little, making them a possible dog for allergy sufferers. Some people who are highly allergic still might not be able to tolerate even these low-shed pups, so be careful in your choices!

Image by Nicole Denker from Pixabay

The biggest drawback to keeping a Havanese that I’ve found is that
good grooming is essential for these companion dogs. Their coat is very silky, and can reach a length of 6 to 8 inches long. Their grooming needs to be a fun event, so that both owner and dog enjoy the brushing or combing regularly.

If you’re the sort of person who enjoys this kind of activity, a Havanese may be the perfect dog for you. That lovely double coat also insulates them from the hottest tropical sun! Some Havanese will develop a corded coat as they grow – these are not that common, but are accepted.

Image by Ralf Bitzer from Pixabay

On the other hand, Havanese are famously intelligent, even being trainable as Hearing Ear dogs for the hearing impaired. They love to learn tricks, and are a favorite circus dog due to their ability to quickly learn new things and their will to please. Their playfulness and affectionate nature make them a lovely companion, and if you don’t mind playing fetch you’ll have found the perfect roommate!

Also, they don’t need extensive exercise like a bigger dog would, and they are the right size and temperament for RV’ers who’d like a small, fluffy, affectionate companion!

Image by Christian Weixelbaumer from Pixabay

Havanese can be had in nearly any color, including bi-colors and tri-color! Unlike the Bichon Frise (a close relative whose coat is only permitted to be white), these are a colorful little Cuban native, brought here in the 50’s by a few families leaving Cuba during the Revolution. They were bred from the Blanquito de la Habana (now extinct), and they’re the national dog of Cuba.

Havanese are also closely related to the Maltese and the Coton de Tulear, other breeds of small companion dogs that you may have heard of, both with similar coats. These little dogs are renowned for not being yappy, so your Havanese shouldn’t be bothering the neighbors while you’re at work.

Image by Lisylia from Pixabay

Training your Havanese in basic obedience is essential for a happy life, for both you and your dog. You want to be able to call and control your dog no matter what the circumstances may be. Safety in an emergency depends on your dog understanding that commands are always to be obeyed, so that you can always keep your beloved dog safe!

If you’re thinking about getting a new dog but are unsure which breed is right for you, check out the Havanese! These sweet pups may steal your heart and take over your life…

If you’d like to learn more, get YOUR copy of “My Havanese Journal” today at http://bit.ly/Havanese13

Sources included VetStreet.com, and the American Kennel Club website.

Corrections, criticism and complaints are always welcome at FlamingPurpleJellyfish@gmail.com

With Grace and Gratitude

LeslieAnne Hasty

#havaneserescue #havanesepuppy #havanesepuppies #havanese temperament #havanese dog #havanese poodle #bichon tenerife #how to train a havanese

Indigo Buntings are STUNNING!

<h2> Our first sighting at our home of an Indigo Bunting (male) <h2>

Photo by skeeze via Pixabay

Unfortunately, I don’t have the skill to get a decent photo myself, but here’s a lovely picture courtesy of Pixabay. As you can see, “Indigo” certainly an accurate description of this gorgeous birds’ spring plumage!

Encouraged by the sighting of one of these incredibly beautiful boys from our front porch, I pulled up some information about them. Here it is:

“Passerina cyanea” is described by my iBird app as a “small finch with brilliant, almost iridescent, blue plumage.” The hens and juveniles are much more plain, brown with streaky bellies and only a tinge of blue on their shoulders and tails. Young males will acquire their distinctive blue plumage over the course of their first couple of years.

They summer throughout the East and Midwest of the US, as well as all the way over to south and central Arizona and Texas, and up into the lower parts of Canada. They spend their winters in the tropics and in southern Florida. Their preferred habitats consist of forest edges, woodland clearing, old fields that have grown up into scrub, and brushy slopes.

Indigo Buntings will eat insects, berries and seeds. They’ll be attracted to a thistle seed feeder or to nyjer seed, and I’ve hung one up a little way away from the feeder on my porch.

Allaboutbirds.org states that they’ll “swish their tails from side to side while perching”, although I’ve not had a chance to observe this yet.

They’ll sing from the tallest perch they can find, and may be spotted while foraging through shrubs and grasses for food. Said to be solitary in the breeding season, they’ll flock up in the fall into large flocks to migrate and winter.

Image by heronworks from Pixabay

The National Audubon Society calls them the most abundant songbird in some parts of the East, singing on every roadside.

Females are much harder to spot, though, as they stay busy taking care of the eggs and chicks, in the cup-shaped nest she’s built, hidden in a dense thicket. She lays 3 or 4 white or bluish-white eggs that are spotted with brown or purple, and incubates them alone for 12 to 14 days. She usually feeds them alone, but some males will feed chicks that have fledged while the hen starts the second clutch of eggs.

Www.audubon.org says that some males will have multiple hens nesting in their territory, in nests built between a foot and three feet above the ground, although some hens will build up to 30 feet up in a tree!

I encourage you to hang a thistle or nyger seed feeder for these wonderful little songbirds at your home (if you’re in range), and enjoy the sight of a deep blue finch streaking across your yard!

As always, questions, corrections or criticism is always welcome at FlamingPurpleJellyfish@gmail.com. Have a wonderful day!

With Grace and Gratitude

LeslieAnne

#EasternKentuckywildbirds #bluebirds #bluefinch #migratory songbirds

New to Having a Dog?

Dog Owner Advice For Those New To Dogs

Dogs bring people joy, companionship and unconditional love. We, their owners, must provide them with food, entertainment, medical care and attention. Together, owner and dog make each other’s lives complete. If you already own a dog or are planning on adopting one, you should understand and plan for what lies ahead. This article will guide you through some tips to make dog ownership easier and better for both parties.

Image by Lenka Novotná from Pixabay

If you are thinking of getting a new dog for your family, be sure you are prepared for this commitment. Smaller dogs will require at least a 14-16 year commitment, and larger dogs will require at least 10 years. If you are not prepared to own the dog for its entire life, then PLEASE do not choose a dog as a pet.

If you keep some medication in your home, be responsible and keep it where your dog can’t get into it. Taking just a few pills can have devastating consequences for a dog. If your pet does manage to ingest any human medicine, contact your vet right away.

You should be prepared to begin training your dog as soon as you bring them home. Create a vocabulary list that all your family members will use to command the dog and stick to it. Dogs can get confused if the same words are not used to give them directions. Your dog hears “get over here” and “come” as two different commands.

Positive reinforcement is very important in training your dog. You need the dog to realize that he or she has done something you like. This will teach the dog that when they do what you wish, they’ll get praised.

Image by skeeze from Pixabay

Keep on top of fleas. Not only can fleas cause discomfort for your dog, they can easily spread throughout your yard and into your home. Speak to your veterinarian about the best prevention method, and remember that this is not a one shot deal. You will have to continue your efforts throughout the life of your pet.

Don’t forget to trim your dog’s nails regularly. Long nails can make him uncomfortable, cause injury to his feet and will also damage your floors. If he makes a “click” sound when he walks on hard wood or linoleum, that’s a good indication it’s time for a trim. Ask your vet to do it if necessary.

Image by Alain Audet from Pixabay

Keep your dog in comfortable housing. They should be able to rest off the floor and away from drafts. A training crate is a good choice or any covered shelter outside. Try placing a dog bed inside that has a warm blanket or a pillow inside. Wash the dog’s bedding frequently.

If you have a pure-bred dog, join your local AKC. They are an active social group where you can share your love for your dog, learn a lot and make new friends. The experience can also help prepare you and your dog for entering contests and winning shows!

Make sure you select dog food very carefully. Since there are so many, you should find one that is made for your particular dog. Letting your dog eat leftovers is something you may think can save you money, but really that’s not healthy for it at all. Also, if your dog seems to have stomach troubles, or is consistently losing weight when you don’t think it should, consult your vet. Dogs can also have food allergies, and its not uncommon for a dog to have or develop an allergy to grain in your dog food.

Not all dogs are meant to be outdoor dogs. If you plan to keep your dog outside most of the time, carefully choose the breed. Small dogs, short-haired dogs, or older dogs will usually not do well being kept outside. Choose one that has a nice thick coat, that is mature and one that is extremely healthy. Outside dogs must have a shelter where they can get out of the weather and rest, as well as fresh, clean water at ALL times.

Remember the expression “Too many cooks spoil the soup” when training your dog. Everybody does things differently, and a dog can be confused by having several commanders. One family member should be the trainer, and everyone else can act to reinforce good behaviors.

Start training your dog in an area with few distractions. As they begin to understand that ‘training time’ is about focusing their attention on you, you can begin to allow the kids out to watch at first, then within a couple of weeks they’ll be able to play while you train. Rarely are you going to be in a situation where you need your dog to obey and it is completely quiet. It’s good to practice your training with the television on, kids playing and maybe even the radio on. The more you work with your dog, the stronger your bond will become.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

When you are enjoying your dog’s companionship, you will be so happy you read this article and began to use these ideas. Protecting and loving your dog begins with taking the time to learn all you can, and continues with putting that knowledge to use. Few things are as satisfying as having a well-trained dog as a companion. Start today, for your dog’s sake!

As always, comments, corrections and criticisms are welcome at FlamingPurpleJellyfish@gmail.com

Thanks for reading, and enjoy your dog today!

With Grace and Gratitude

LeslieAnne Hasty

#dogcareguide #dogtrainingandcare #companiondogtraining #dogsrule #dogsareawesomepets #dogmom #doglover #ilovemydog #basicdogcare

Robin Emergency!

Yesterday, we had an unfortunate accident out on the porch. My hubby and I were watching the birds, reading, and chatting, the cat was stretched out in the sun, our boy was out and about, and the pair of Robins was busily feeding their FIVE babies.

They were absolutely tireless, back and forth. Each trip, they’d have a beakful of big earthworms, and would carefully stuff one in each gaping mouth, while the babies twittered away, trying to get more food.

One parent would stuff, then take off, and the other would return and stuff!

Back and forth, like clockwork almost, back and forth. Then, disaster struck!

Suddenly, there was a tweet, a soft “thump”, and the cat streaked over to the flowerpot I’d just planted. She reached in and grabbed…a baby Robin! EEK!

I was already jumping up and grabbing the cat, the baby bird, and climbing the ladder!

Checking for blood, no blood on the baby, trying to put it back in the nest, parents swooping in and calling, CRAP!

Baby doesn’t fit in the nest, it’s TOO SMALL!!!!

Okay, parents swooping, threatening my very life. Cat VERY pissed! Hubby trying to help. STOP and THINK!!

Gently and carefully place baby on top of the stack of babies already in the nest. Hope and pray baby doesn’t wiggle much, or that siblings will toss it off onto the porch again. Climb down from ladder, Put the cat INSIDE.

Wait. And wait. Parents still flying about like crazy birds, well, okay, that’s understandable. Next thing, here’s hubby back with a small piece of wire mesh, a screw gun and a couple of screws.

Hubby gets the screen placed under the edge of the nest, fastens it with a couple of screws, and we sit down to wait for the parents to come back.

And wait. And wait. An hour later, one parent finally flies in, sees the screen and zips right back out again. CRAP!

Nest with new “anti-baby-falling” protective screen
LeslieAnne Hasty (c) 2019

Another hour later, I can hear the parents calling each other and see them at the other end of the house. They’re still pretty agitated, but are dropping down to the ground to get food, so they’re calming down. By now it’s starting to get dark, and we gather up and head inside.

The next morning, I went out and took up my spot in my chair, and within a few minutes, one of the parents was in the nest, feeding away while the babies twitter for attention.

YAY! Disaster averted! Feed on, my Robin friends, feed on!!!!!

AS always, comments, criticism, corrections welcome at FlamingPurpleJellyfish@gmail.com anytime!

With Grace and Gratitude

LeslieAnne Hasty

Lilacs Scenting the Air Eastern Kentucky

It’s almost the end of April here, and the Lilacs are just starting to come into their own. Lilacs are a favorite shrub here for a lot of reasons – one being that they bloom pretty early in the year, another that they come in several lovely colors and are SO fragrant.

LeslieAnne Hasty 2019

Lilacs are the State flower of New Hampshire, can grow up to 22 feet tall, and are tough as nails! They come in purple, blue, white and pink, and I’ve seen photos of a yellow one, as well. They only flower for about three weeks, but if you’ve ever had a bouquet of them, or better yet, walked past a lilac “fence”, you know why we gardeners are so enamored of them.

Common Lilac “Syringa vulgaris” LeslieAnne Hasty 2019

Lilacs have a special place in my heart because they will even grow in the high desert of Arizona, where I got to know them first. As I said, they’re tough, and drought tolerant as well. Even after the blooms are gone past, they’re a welcome sight with a thick covering of thin, deep green leaves.


Photo by Marian May on Unsplash

One of the great joys of having a yard big enough for lilacs is being able to gather armloads of flowers to bring into the house. They will spread their scent throughout the room they’re in, and for those of us who grew up with them, they evoke childhood memories of Moms smiling at bouquets given by grinning kids.


Photo by Juja Han on Unsplash

If you’re going to plant lilacs in your yard, be aware! If they’re happy, they’ll spread out and take over a LARGE area. They spread from the base of the plant, and I’ve seen old specimens that were easily 20 feet around.

Image by RitaE from Pixabay

They prefer full sun and a neutral or alkaline soil, and are an easy-care choice for the novice. You can train them into a tree shape, if you start when they’re young, but most of us just prune them up into a hedge or column.

Image by Дарья Яковлева from Pixabay

Lilacs are an important early season pollinator food source early in the year, when many flowers are just getting started. Bees, butterflies and even hummingbirds will visit your lilac shrubs. Although Lilacs are not native to North America, they’ve naturalized here extensively. Thankfully, they’re not considered invasive, though, so plant as many as your yard will hold!

As always, corrections, comments, criticism is always welcome at FlamingPurpleJellyfish@gmail.com! Hope you have a grand day!

With Grace and Gratitude

LeslieAnne Hasty

9 Ways to be a Better Dog Parent

Dogs have been considered mans’ best friend for thousands of years. Humans aren’t nearly as good to dogs sometimes. You want to take good care of your doggy companion, don’t you? Here are some facts for you as a responsible dog ‘parent’.

1) Did you know that chocolate is dangerous for dogs? Here’s the scoop: Chocolate is dangerous because of the stimulants caffeine and theobromine. Baking chocolate is the most dangerous, with a high amount of stimulants. White chocolate contains the least amount of stimulants. Take your dog to the vet IMMEDIATELY if he ingests chocolate.

Image by Spiritze from Pixabay

2) Always take care to keep your dog cool while traveling during the summer by car. Even with your air-conditioning on, the dog may become over-heated in his pet carrier. A simple and low-cost countermeasure is freezing a few gallon jugs of water and placing them near him where he can curl up and cool off.

3) NEVER leave your dog unattended in your car. Temperatures in your car can reach well over 100 degrees even in the shade in the summer, and it’s not only unnecessary, it’s cruel. Many states have passed laws making this practice illegal as well.

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

4) Do you have a “wrinkly” dog, like a Bulldog or Shar Pei? If so, you have to be conscientious about the grooming process in order to help keep your pet clean. After you brush, take a baby wipe and use it to get in between the folds on their body. Make sure, though, to get them fully dry after doing so.

Image by style81 from Pixabay

5) If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, he or she may eventually come in contact with a skunk. If he gets sprayed, mix together one teaspoon of dish-washing detergent, a fourth a cup of baking soda and a quart of hydrogen peroxide solution (but make sure it is no more than three percent). Apply the mixture to your dog’s coat and allow it to sit for five minutes. Wash your dog off well afterward.

6) Never try to force your dog to eat things. If your dog doesn’t like a treat you give him, let it go. When you first get a dog, you should take some time to get to know what she likes and what she dislikes.

Nicely trimmed doggy nails!
Image by Pezibear from Pixabay

7) Although you may find the sound cute, your dog’s nails shouldn’t click along the floor when it walks. That’s a sign that the nails are too long. The nails should actually just barely touch the ground. Seek the advice of a professional on what tools are the best for giving your dog a pedicure.

8) Your dog should not be left outside all the time. This is common for people to do, but dogs need interaction with others. If your dog is alone outside, it will quickly get lonely. Daily walks, weekly visits to the local dog park, and occasional extra training sessions are all welcome events for your dog to participate in with you.

Image by bella67 from Pixabay

9) In addition to the need for socializing, you should not leave a dog to fend for himself in heavy rainstorms or very cold weather. Bring the dog indoors until the inclement weather passes. Some dogs get scared by loud events nearby, such as Fourth of July fireworks. Always have your dog indoors during events like these!

All in all, dogs are great companions, and they deserve good care from us, their humans. Spend some extra time with your dog today!

As always, comments, questions and criticisms are welcome at FlamingPurpleJellyfish@gmail.com

Thanks for reading!

With Grace and Gratitude

LeslieAnne Hasty

#dogcareguide #howtotakecareofadog #howtotakecareofpets #doghealthcare guide #whatadogneedstobehappy #dogcare101 #happydog#dogmom #doggymom #doglover

Parakeets or Budgies?

Have you ever had the pleasure of watching an aviary full of these little parrots with the BIG personality? I’ve had several different types of parrots over the last 20 years, and I have to say that these tiny feathered dynamos are one of my top two faves!

Right now we have a cage with five Budgies and they start chattering at daybreak and don’t stop until the lights go out. Daddy Bird(aka Petty Revenge), Twitchy, Blue, Bubbles and Screamy are constantly in motion, and although I haven’t really made an effort to hand-tame them, they’re quite easy to work with.

So are they Parakeets, or are they Budgies? They’re both! Parakeets are just a long-tailed parrot, and they come in small to quite large. The Alexandrine Parakeet is around 25 inches long, and like most “parakeets” over half of that is tail.

Where did the term Budgie come from, then? There are a couple of different stories about that, but my favorite is that Budgerigar is from an Aboriginal word that translates to “good to eat”. Honestly, that’s kind of hard to buy, since they’re barely big enough to put on a cracker, let alone cook over a campfire!

One thing I get asked about frequently is wing clipping. Now, I’m aware that there are a lot of people who don’t clip their pet birds’ wings, but I have to say that I’m very glad that I do. I can’t count how many times I’ve had a bird escape to relative freedom in my house, only to collide with the window glass. Every time, I’m thankful that with clipped wings, they can’t get up enough speed to hurt themselves when they run into a window. Contrary to what many people think, wing clipping is NOT painful, and if it’s done properly, they can still land quit well without getting hurt.

Your pet Parakeet can get plenty of exercise in an apartment, and if his wings are properly clipped, and all the windows are closed, he’ll be quite safe exploring while you supervise.

Budgies come in a wide variety of colors, and if you’ve got your heart set on a blue bird, for instance, you won’t have too much trouble finding one. If you prefer yellow, white, or the traditional green, you’ll find those easily as well. And if you like a multi colored bird, you can get budgies in yellow with blue, green with yellow, white with blue or violet – the combinations are amazing!

Now, depending on your situation, two birds may be best. A single bird may get too lonely if you aren’t home a lot to spend time interacting with him.

Parakeets are very social animals in the wild, and they may flock in huge numbers to watering holes and feeding grounds. If you’re at work all day, and don’t have a couple of hours to devote to your feathered friend every evening, you should consider getting two. Budgies of the same sex usually get along just fine in the the same cage, especially if they’ve been raised together, so if you do decide to get two it’s best to get them young, before you can tell what sex they are.

A single Budgie will need a cage at least 1 1/2 feet on a side, with the bars about 1/4 inch apart . She can move around enough to be comfy when you’re not holding her, or letting her fly and explore. Two budgies need twice as much space, so that they have room to stretch their wings and flap a bit to stay in shape.

Parakeets are simple in their tastes, and a simple palm leaf, small stick, or hard plastic ball will all make fun toys for a Parakeet. A toilet tissue roll will get rolled around, and if you want to really have fun, let them help you “decorate” your holiday card envelopes by piercing them with their busy beaks.

I’ve gotten packs of those tiny lightweight hard plastic bracelets that little girls are fond of and given those to my budgies. There are a couple who delight in picking them up and dragging them all over the cage.

And, properly cleaned first, plastic soda bottle caps are also very popular toys. Those get fought over in my birds’ cage, even though there are plenty to go around.

Image by Liselotte Brunner from Pixabay

All things considered, Budgies are a fabulous pet, even for an apartment dweller. They don’t take up a lot of space, require only a regular cage cleaning besides the basic daily care of feeding, watering, and handling, and are great companions that constantly chatter but don’t ever get as loud as most parrots.

If you’re considering a Budgie as a pet, please consider carefully what having these lovely little birds in your life will entail, though. There are many birds that get re-homed every year because they were impulse purchases, and having to change homes and families is just asstressful for a bird as it is for a human.

Purchase “My Parakeet Journal” to learn more about Budgies, Parakeets, and how to care for them while you decide if a Budgie is the right pet for you. It’s available at https://amzn.to/2FjBsiE

And, if you want to check it out on your Kindle, it’s free with your Kindle Unlimited subscription!

More references:

  1. https://lafeber.com – lots of great info about nutrition
  2. http://www.wideopenpets.com – more info about taking care of your parakeet
  3. http://www.thesprucepets.com – info about care and feeding

As always, thanks for reading! Comments, corrections or questions are always welcome at FlamingPurpleJellyfish@gmail.com

With Grace and Gratitude

LeslieAnne Hasty

#Budgerigar #petbirds #parakeet lifespan #parakeetcare #parakeetsaspets #parakeet vs budgie #parakeet facts #parakeet colors #budgie information #whatisabudgerigar #budgiefunfacts #parakeetfunfacts #bluebudgie #blueparakeet

Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds Have Arrived

Today my first Hummer of the year came to the porch as I was typing away in my comfy chair on the porch. It’s been a breezy day, and has warmed up nicely as the sun rose. He was a welcome sight, as they are the best weather predictors I know. Surely summer is on the way!!

My bird feeders sit in front of my chair, and I’m out often enough that most of the wild birds will come and grab a seed or two even if I’m there. My Cardinals fuss at me when they come to the feeder, chipping angrily and keeping a close eye on me in case I should move.

I’m not sure this is a Ruby-Throat, but…

Image by Mickey Estes from Pixabay

The Hummingbirds, on the other hand, are not fazed at all by my presence, and in fact will come right up as I hang the filled feeder that they will empty daily as summer warms up. I actually had spotted the feeder a few days ago in the storage box of plastic containers and oddments, and brought it out to rinse and dry. (Usually I have to frantically search for it, because I hate making the little things wait for a meal.)

Back home in Arizona, the Hummers are many, diverse, and a lot earlier to appear. There, we watched Broad-Billed, Rufous, and Black-Chinned Hummingbirds on a regular basis. Here in Kentucky, we’re limited to just the Ruby-Throats, but they’re more welcome for that.

Rufous Hummingbird

Image by Brigitte Werner from Pixabay

Ruby-Throats migrate up from Central America, wings buzzing away at 15 to 80 times per second, flying low and by day so that they can spot any available flowers to get a drink of nectar to aid them in their marathon flight. They’ll eat insects, too, and they’re pretty fine at mosquito control!

Hummers make their migration alone, unlike the familiar geese and ducks who fly in easily recognizable flocks. Hummingbirds can fly up to around 23 miles each day, and when they can get a tailwind to help them on their journey, they’re experts at taking advantage of the boost.

Image by Stephan Evanitsky from Pixabay

Male Ruby-Throats court the females by displaying a large “U” shaped flight pattern accompanied by a distinctive buzz. They’ll also make short passes back and forth in front of the female if she’s perched. Once they’ve mated the male takes off looking for the next lady Hummingbird, and the female builds the nest and raises the babies alone.

Hummingbird hens will usually lay two tiny white eggs, then incubate them for 11 to 16 days. She’ll feed them for around 3 weeks as they grow their feathers and get strong enough to fly. She builds the nest so that it can actually stretch as the babies grow. Frequently they’re seen to begin building their second nest while still feeding the first clutch of babies.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Feed your hummingbirds a simple sugar water solution, no coloring is needed! I make mine quite thick, about 1 cup of sugar to 3 cups of filtered, boiled water, and stored in the fridge. We’ve also been careful to plant lots of flowering plants to give them a choice of nectar, and they’ll visit the Honeysuckle, Trumpet Vine, Mandevilla (in pots on the porch), and even the Scarlet Runner Bean blooms!

If you have room for a Hummingbird Garden, be sure to plant some annuals and some perennials, too. Favorites that I’ve seen are Butterfly Bush, Cardinal flower, Bee Balm, and even Petunia! Other good choices are Daylilies, Foxglove and Hollyhocks, and Impatiens. If you don’t have a lot of room, Petunias in hanging baskets will attract hummers and keep them coming back year after year.

Image by GeorgeB2 from Pixabay

Plant a few new flowers this year, just for your Hummingbird neighbors. Hang a feeder and a basket of Petunias, and help feed these tiny flying jewels as they entertain us with their antics and fearless reminders that the feeder’s empty! You’ll be glad you did!

As always, comments, criticism and corrections are welcome at FlamingPurpleJellyfish@gmail.com – I read every one!!

With Grace and Gratitude

LeslieAnne Hasty

#hummingbirdlifespan #where do hummingbirds live #hummingbirdfatcs #hummingbirdspecies #wheredohummingbirdssleep #hummingbirdnest #howtoattracthummingbirds #hummingbird species #hummingbirdcanflybackward #hummingbirdmigration

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