Gimme Sugar

July 30, 2006


My mother's mother used to have a parakeet an whenever she wanted a kiss she would say to the bird "Gimme Sugar."

I'm sure that somewhere or another I've got a picture of her with the bird and I'd love include it here because this is after all, a kind of record that will be read by my kiddies and perhaps their kiddies as well.

But anyway, this is not about that kind of sugar, it's about the regular stuff.

The stuff you buy in the 5 pound bag at the grocery store.

My father told me that the best way to use it was to boil one cup of sugar with 4 cups of water. That was the best, the simplest, and without food coloring and preservatives, it was good for the birds.

You know... the hummingbirds.

I bought a feeder sometime earlier this spring and with it a bottle of hummingbird food.

It was red stuff that you mixed with water.

I mixed it and now and then they came to the feeder, but as time wore on, more and more of them seemed to show up.

But alas, all good nectar in the bottle must come to an end and sure enough, I got out the measuring cup and doled out a cup of sugar and 4 cups of water and brought it all to a boil.

And I'm here to tell you ...

They loved it...

I mean really LOVED IT

All of a sudden, it seemed like hummingbird central was in my back yard.

So of course, I pulled out my camera, thinking that perhaps I could grab a shot or two of the birds from inside the house.

The feeder however, was moved early on so that the sun would not spoil the sugar water. Shade works for the birds, but it does not work for the camera.

Anyway, after leaving my camera out on the couch for the past three days I decided that it was time to spend a few minutes and try and get a photo or two.

The first couple of shots through the kitchen window showed me that there was little that could be done to really "see" the birds.

But then it dawned on me that I could try the flash through the window.

You can see here why the Ruby-throated Hummingbird has that name.

But still, the reflection of the flash off of the glass and the fact that I was shooting through the glass made the image not nearly as sharp as I thought it might be.

So I decided to go on ahead and try and stand fairly close to the feeder and shoot from outside.

Once outside, I tried a couple of shots with the camera's built in flash but they did not turn out very well at all because of the distance I was shooting from.

I went back into the house to find the big flash, only to do another search for 4 batteries that could power it.

As you can see, things got better.


Once again

Proof that even a blind squirrel....

Wait.. didn't we talk about chance in the previous entry?

I went back later in the day to see if I could get another good shot, but although the birds were having a party, the previous shot has taken residence as the background for my computer.

I'm giving sugar....

Party is at my house.