Saturday, September 5, 2020

I'm Going Batty ....

The hummingbirds have been out in full force.   I thought maybe it was the cooler (in the 90's) weather, but yesterday kicked us in the butt again at 107.  It's okay though, because Quartzsite and Indio were 117.  YIKES!!!

These guys can drain a feeder pretty fast.  In fact, I've been making up 2 quarts of "juice" a day.  That tells you just how many hummers have been hanging out.  As for the bats, I fooled them and now bring the feeders in every night. 

Google still seems to be messing with the blog.  Honestly, I don't know why they can't leave well enough alone.  Now all my pictures load as tiny images that you have to click on to get them to size.  The spacing is uneven and everything is centered rather than left aligned, which also requires changes.
The other really annoying thing is you cannot load more than one picture at a time.  Oh you can click on them all at once, but after you add one and return to add the rest, they disappear.  Maybe it's just Firefox, which is the only browser I can use with this new programming.  They don't like Apple's Safari any more.
So ... between boiling up hummer food and trying to get organized (a hard task for me), Mr. Chance offered his repairman services one last time before he's off on a trip.  I took him up on my let's-replace-the-light repair.  This one is halogen, throwing out a very nice light in the back next to my rig.  

To save on electricity, I purchased an LED dusk to dawn version.  We did the usual "click" ... is the light off? ... NO ... "click" ... how about now thing, until we thought we had it.  Nope ... that's when I discovered I have a separate breaker in the outside panel, just for the garage.  Well that's good to know!!
Dan of course did an amazing job and VOILA!!!  I have a new LED light that works like a charm.  It came on last night and kept the pack rats off the property.  They are a real problem in this area, causing everyone to put bright lights under their vehicles to keep them away.  Otherwise they get inside and chew up all your wiring.  I use strings of flashing lights under my rig both front and back.
 Once that was done, I rushed off to an appointment at the Vet with Mr. Cooper.  It's no big deal, he has just decided his feet taste better than my cooking ... no surprise!!  He's been licking and chewing every day no matter what I change.  It's one of those "what the heck" times.

They found absolutely nothing, but trimmed his toenails and cleaned his ears just because.  What a great Vet.  It could be anything from anxiety (he's a poodle after all and he lives with ME) to the laundry detergent that washes his blankets.   We shall see if it improves when we leave on our next adventure.

 Speaking of me going batty, which is pretty much a daily occurrence, I thought I might catch a bat or two with my regular camera.  That of course didn't happen because one, they are VERY fast ... and two, it's too dark outside to capture them.  Wasn't I surprised when I found THIS on the game camera.  Apparently they picked up the electrical impulses or maybe the infrared lights.  Who knows.  It's short ... he flies away and does not come back.

Am I taking this game camera with me?  You bet ... If that dang skunk is still hanging around, I'm going to have pictures!!  In the meantime, I'm nervously packing for an RV rally in Colorado.  Anyone want to go for a ride???


  1. You'll notice lower Electrical Bills with the LED lamps. Lights that stay on don't bother the Pack Rats but the Flashing Lights scare them.
    Hoping Cooper starts feeling better.
    Something you don't want to hear but wear a Mask. It seams that all the large events that have taken place outdoors lately have produced hundreds to thousands of new cases. Better Safe than Sorry.

    It's about time.

    1. Yup ... just got my electric bill and it's up there. Will be nice to see it go down next month.
      Maybe someone should tell all the rioters and looters about the mask thing.

  2. You will LOVE your LED lights. I wonder if you did leave the Hummingbird feeder out one night and placed the game camera near the feeder if you would catch good pics of the bats?

    1. My thoughts exactly Dave. You'll hear about that today! LOL

  3. Where are you going to paddle a kayak in AZ?

    1. Surprisingly, there are several small lakes around this area and many places at my other house in California.

  4. If you have bats and you don’t wanna bats in the belfry Here’s a simple solution if you have a hummingbird feeder heres another simple solution
    Bats not only aid the agricultural world, they can have a large positive influence in residential areas as well. ... Bats, just like humans, can't see infrared light so if you can put an infrared light and infrared sensitive camera inside the bat house you can see what is going on inside the bat house.

    Mint methanol mothballs
    Another strong-smelling scent that repels nuisance bats is mint. You can purchase mint vapor rub, spearmint extract, peppermint extract, or mint leaves. Then simply mix it (grind mint leaves) with water, and place it in a bowl outside of your home where you have spotted bats. You may even so cotton balls and mint extract and place those in a bowl outside of your home as well. This is a bit stronger, and may be more effective for large colonies of bats. You can also do this with menthol extract.

    Here is an article by Penny Elliston, a licensed hummingbird rehabilitator, about the dangers of relying too heavily on commercial mixes.
    Please, do not put honey, Jell-O, brown sugar, fruit, or red dye (also known as food coloring) in your feeder! Honey ferments rapidly when diluted with water and can kill hummingbirds. The effects of red dye have not been not scientifically tested, and it is not necessary to color the water to attract birds to your feeder. Further, there are unverified reports that red dye can cause tumors in hummingbirds; this may or may not be true, but why take the chance?

    Here's the recipe for artificial nectar (syrup):
    * Use one part ordinary white cane sugar to four parts water. 

    * It's not necessary to boil the water. The microorganisms that cause fermentation don't come from the water; they are transported to the feeder on hummingbird bills. 

    * Store unused syrup in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
    This mixture approximates the average sucrose content (about 21%) of the flowers favored by North American hummingbirds, without being so sweet it attracts too many insects.
    What about stronger (or weaker) solutions? Stronger than 1:4 can cause an osmotic gradient that results in dehydration. Weaker than 1:4 makes birds consume more water, which flushes out electrolytes as the excess water is excreted, especially in cold weather when insects are not readily available to replenish these vital nutrients. All of these potential issues are avoided by following the tested 1:4 ratio of sugar to water.
    Distilled water may be used instead of tapwater. However, some researchers are concerned that distilled water lacks minerals that hummingbirds need, and believe it would be prudent to add a pinch of sodium-free salt, which contain potassium chloride, to feeder solutions made with distilled or demineralized water. This should help bring the salt content of artificial nectar back in line with that of natural nectar and help prevent electrolyte deficiencies. Do not use table salt (sodium chloride). Adding salt is not necessary if well or tap water is used.
    Any syrup solution will spoil eventually, regardless of temperature, so strict maintenance is required

    1. I've been feeding hummers for years. No problem with the recipe, just the bats eating it all.

  5. WE want to go!! We're hoping to head out from here on the 13th for 10 days or least we have a leave date :) Love your videos! Those bats are fast aren't they? That's a lot of syrup, but I guess you get a lot of birds to watch! Happy packing!!

    1. Hoping it will be cooler in Colorado. Glad you are hitting the road too. Have fun!!