Monthly Archives: August 2012

Of Hornets & Hummers Part 2

A couple of days ago, I asked for help regarding deterring hornets from a hummingbird feeder. A friend posted a possible solution on my Facebook page. (Have you “liked” it yet? You should, you know. We have fun conversations!) I had a chance to try it out Monday afternoon.

Success! (I think.)

Here’s what I did:

3 drops each Clove, Cinnamon, Lemongrass & Lemon essential oils in one dram of fractionated coconut oil as a base. You don’t have to use coconut; just one that has little-to-no scent of its own. I just happen to have a lot of the fractionated coconut around.

NB: This is strong and not to be used on skin! It could probably be lighter but I wanted to ensure it smelled so gross to the apian-types they’d make a U-turn. (If you have any sensitivity to EOs, please use a cotton swab for application rather than your finger.)

Following what Laura did, I smeared it on the bottom & top of the feeder. Less than five minutes later, one of the huge hornets just made himself at home. So, I smeared it all over the base, taking care to avoid the holes the hummers use & their perches. Then I came back in and stared out the front window at the feeder.

A couple of minutes after that, the hummingbirds happily gurgled their sugar water down. So far, so good. The birds don’t mind it. One small bee (probably a honeybee) came within five feet and made the hoped-for U-turn. One of the huge guys came back, did one turn around one of the feeder holes, stepped onto the smeared portion and left.

Then the sun went down and everyone went to sleep. I was out of the house most of yesterday and it rained, so I couldn’t tell if it was working. (Bees don’t like to fly on overcast days, much less in the rain – they use the sun for their sense of direction.)

But this afternoon, the sun is shining, the hummers are feeding (in between chasing each other away), I’ve been able to watch out the window for over an hour and I haven’t seen a single bee/hornet/wasp/nasty-apian-type anywhere near the house, much less the feeder.

Thank you, Laura!

Of Hornets & Hummers

I (we) have a problem. Hornets have found the hummingbird feeder. These guys are damned near as large as the baby hummer and our normally aggressively-territorial hummers are being chased away.

Problem is, they both like the same thing … sugar! If I take away the feeder the hornets go away, sure, but so do the birds!

Did a wee bit of research on the ‘Net and found that Wormwood or strongly aromatic Mints are hornet deterrents. It’s a little late to plant anything but I’d just cut some Wormwood for drying so hung that along the porch to either side of the feeder. Yep, hornets don’t like it and it doesn’t seem to bother the birds. Problem is, the hornets just go around it & back to the feeder.

I’m running on empty for ideas. Their nest is somewhere in the woods rather than around the house. I hate to kill them but on the other hand, they’re not allowing the hummers to feed.

Anyone out there got any ideas?

This, That ‘n T’Other

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted anything here so thought I’d catch y’all up on what’s been happening (which ain’t much):

My surgery went fine and I’m recovering nicely (at least according to the surgeon and the professional torturer, aka physical therapist). Rehabbing a shoulder is no fun and I’m still working on getting all my range-of-motion back. It’s painful work but in this case, no pain no gain holds true. If I don’t push it, my shoulder will freeze again and I only want to go through this bullshit once. So, I’m self-torturing in between the agony of PT visits but on the bright side, I haven’t yet killed anything small & furry or punched out my therapist – and I’m even off the pain meds!

While I’m told I’m getting better, this pain fog really limits my brain power. I’m saving that for the accounting work and there are days it’s tough to get that done. So, I haven’t written a word on either one of my works in progress in quite awhile. (I’veĀ stared at this page without any idea of what I’m looking at, too.) It’s frustrating. I’d like to be able to think. According to the doc, I should be right as rain in about a month. I’m looking forward to it.

On the other hand, my ointment of calendula-infused olive oil, cocoa butter & Vitamin E oil is doing wonders on the surgery sites (three tiny holes … arthroscopic surgery is amazing). Just three weeks out from surgery and ten days from having the sutures removed, the two smallest are almost completely healed with nice, pink skin and I don’t think the scars will be noticeable. The largest of the three is coming along nicely. The ointment also cured the icky skin I got after having to use solvent to get all the (I swear) industrial-strength bandage adhesive off.

My garden is a disaster. I finally got out there for a couple of hours last week – first time in several months I’ve been able to do anything but helplessly stare. For the most part, I have beds of grass & other unwanted plants … the herbs I planted aren’t visible. Of 26 beds, 21 are “pull ’em up and start over next year”. Le Sigh.

//beginrant I feel I have to weigh in on the Ebay controversy about banning potions, spells and the like. (And the fact that Etsy may follow suit.) While there are a lot of folks putting out a good product/service, there are so many more that are scams. (If you haven’t read Amethjera’s take on the subject, you should. It’s hilarious.) It’s another case of protecting the gullible from themselves, which is sad because it hurts legitimate folks. As I said in a comment on Facebook, how can Ebay resolve disputes of this kind? Spells, potions, what-have-you don’t always work, or work as intended, even for the most seasoned of practitioners. (But I doubt anyone’s booty enhancement spell ever worked … er … as expected.)

I have a couple of suggestions for which I’ll probably be vilified: seek out those who have their own websites for your needs. Yep, you’ll probably pay a little more. They have extra expenses those on Ebay don’t. Get the ingredients and make your own potions. And write your own damned spells! Personalization goes a long way towards success.

Legitimate vendors: there are dozens of sites out there that will allow you to have your own website for a minimal amount of money. They’ll even walk you through the whole process. Raise your prices to reflect the additional expense. It won’t be much. Then put in a little advertising effort. Scam artists: good riddance!

And then there are those crying “Pagan discrimination” because, as far as I know, they haven’t yet banned religious items like “blessed” Christian amulets. I’ll probably be vilified again, but I’m rather over that cry. It’s business. They banned the magical/metaphysical items/services because they’ve had too many complaints. If they get X number of disputes on the religious stuff, they’ll ban those, too. //endrant

On a final note, the Joe Pye Weed is already blooming and the Dogwoods are just starting to turn their gorgeous red. Around here, that’s a harbinger of Fall. Although I love to be warm, I think I’m ready for Fall … love snuggling under the warm covers with my exposed nose cold!

This has gotten over-long. TTFN.