Showing posts from May, 2008

Happy hummers

T he Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are back and, from our own experience at least, there are plenty of them. For years, Sally and I have had hummingbird feeders of various kinds, and always got a modest showing of Ruby-throats. Last year, because of some modifications to our house, we did not have our usual feeding station. This year, we decided to try something new: Feeders hanging from windows, one in the kitchen (where we’ve never had one before) and one in the bedroom (which had been our traditional location). While thumbing through a Kinsman Garden Company catalogue last winter, I noticed “super suction hangers.” “Bring your hummingbird feeders right up to your window glass and enjoy a super close-up view, with this high quality suction hanger,” Kinsman said. Our previous feeders were hung from steel swing arms mounted solidly to the house. The catalogue said the suction hangers could safely handle feeders (or small plants) up to three pounds. They were only $6.95 so I order

Ash yellows

F or folks with White Ash trees, early May can be a nail-biting time as they wait and wait for the leaves to appear. Ashes are one of the last native trees to leaf out in the spring. Many are still not out yet. But ash owners aware of the “ash yellows” are particularly anxious to see leaves in the hopes that this deadly disease has not struck their tree. The result could be a hulk costing many hundreds of dollars to remove. Ash yellows is a protoplasma, a kind of parasitic bacteria possibly transmitted by beetles, that attacks ashes and can kill them as in as quickly as one year – an amazing feat, considering White Ash may be anywhere from 50 to 100 feet tall, with up to a five foot diameter trunk. One sign of a diseased tree are “witches’ brooms,” spindly clusters of leaves amid limbs that are otherwise leafless ( see picture ) No one knows for sure how it spreads or exactly how it works, and no one has a way of preventing ashes from catching it. But by now, if your ash ha