Well, I did my civic duty today. I went around noon, and was out of there in no time. I was voter #243. (Ken went before work this morning and was #15.) I'm not sure how many people our polling place serves. We're not in the city, and our polling place is a church out on the main highway. I would imagine things will really pick up around 5 PM or so--the polls close at 6 PM, so I hope everyone will be able to get out there! I rocked MY vote! Ha!
You know, I told Ken that as I was walking out of the place, I felt a little verklempt. The closest I can come to putting my finger on it is that I felt so grateful that I am able to do this, and to be part of what is a very exciting--and important--process. I guess when I think of how many people in the world are unable to cast a vote, I find it quite humbling, and I don't take it for granted. I should turn on CNN and see what is being said. I'm sure we'll watch the results tonight--flipping back and forth between that and American Idol, another place where YOUR votes count. <grin> A while back, my friend Jillian said that she was going to take the day off after the election in the fall, because she knew she'd want to stay up all night watching the results come in! I have a feeling I may be the same way! Maybe we'll treat it like a major sporting event and have Snack Food Night.
Since then I've been puttering--I'm going to perfect the art of puttering if it kills me! Soaked up some sun, got caught up on Time magazine, did a little laundry. Oh, I brought in the recycling bins, too, and I saw my nest excavating buddy again! Well, first I heard him, and when I walked around to his hole, he flew out and landed on a nearby tree, so I got to see him! It was a Downy woodpecker, a male. Apparently the males excavate the nests. Interesting!
The hummingbirds have been visiting both the front and back feeders today. I read once that you should have at least 2 feeders, and separate them from each other. Hummingbirds tend to be very territorial, and believe me, I've seen some epic battles around the feeder! They're like little fighter jets going after each other! This is a picture of Hummy on one of our old feeders, from a few years ago.
I've discovered that the best feeders and the easiest to clean are the cheapo little plastic ones! I was very tempted the other day by a beautiful old-fashioned glass one, but there was no red on it to attract them. I've also read that you should try to avoid yellow on feeders, because it attracts bees. Since I've gone to all red feeders, we definitely don't have as big a problem with bees--actually yellow jackets, I guess--trying to get at the nectar. As far as making the nectar, don't waste your time buying the stuff in the stores, and definitely don't get the stuff with red dye in it. It's not necessary and could harm the little fellas (and gals). I just make up one part sugar to 3 parts water. Most sources tell you to boil it and let it cool. Our hot water is hot enough that it melts the sugar, so I don't need to boil.
I also use an "ant moat," because for a while, the ants were going after the feeders constantly. Mine is shaped like a bell, and you put Vaseline on the inside, and hang the feeder from that--the ants are stopped from getting to the feeder. And let's see, for a while the raccoons were grabbing the feeder and knocking it to the ground. We finally ended up hanging the feeders from the eaves, and that seems to be working. I have to get out my little step stool when I want to clean and fill the feeders, but that's okay. The hummies kind of seem to like them a little higher, and I think we've managed to keep most other critters away from them.
Fun hummingbird fact (and forgive me for not remembering the exact numbers): A hummingbird's metabolism is so high that if they were the size of a 6 foot man, they would have to eat something like 20 pounds of hamburger a day! I think I found that in the package of a feeder, and it just amazed me.