Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Hummingbirds are Here!

I try to put out the hummingbird feeder every year by Mother's Day, which is usually a few days before we actually see one of the tiny flying jewels. This year the hummers were right on schedule. Unfortunately, the first hummingbird we saw was a little dead one found in the driveway. It looked absolutely perfect, so we aren't sure what happened to the poor little thing. Only a few hours later, however, I heard that familiar buzz while working in the garden, and spotted a hummer visiting some wild columbine. The first of our feeders went out that same afternoon. On the east side of the Mississippi we have only one type of hummingbird, the ruby-throated. I remember being fascinated by the other types of tiny hummers we saw while visiting San Antonio one year, and I'm sorry we only have one variety of hummingbird to migrate here.

Most of my garden boxes are planted now, and I'm in waiting mode. The only plants I've put out so far besides the cabbage are three different varieties of peppers that were given to me: Fushima, Slim Pim, and Early Jalapeno. The tomatoes are hardening off on the porch and can go out any time. Of the seeds I've planted one variety of cucumber has sprouted (Muncher), the carrots now look like delicate blades of grass, and the beets are off to a good start. I'm still waiting for the first planting of green beans and turnips to germinate, as well as the Minnesota Midget cantaloupe, and Trinity sweet corn. I am hopeful that this weekend I will finally get the chance to get my onion plants into the garden. Progress is being made, slowly but surely!

There is so much left to do in all the flower beds, but even they are off to a pretty good start. I've done a lot of weed pulling so far, but need to devote an entire afternoon to this not so pleasant task. There are also some dead flower heads and stalks that need to be pulled out of some of the beds, especially from the Showy Sedum plants. I could finish that job in about 15 minutes if I could just get started. Oh well, it will get done in time. At least now I can look forward to occasional visits from the curious hummingbirds as I work among the flowers. It's nice to know they appreciate the gardens enough to nest and stay here all summer. They are certainly welcome.

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