The Day to Day STUFF!

In case you missed it, my Photography Page/Blog/Feed is now up and running.  You can subscribe to it here.

I’m hoping all the bugs are worked out with that feed – please let me know if you see something funky so it can be addressed.

I’m currently planning photography-related posts twice a week (I’m aiming for every Tuesday? and Thursday?) on the photography page.  There will most likely be one additional post on that page each week informing readers of any major product announcements/product reviews/sales, etc.  Sometimes the third post will just be one of my photos uploaded with details on the settings I used to take it.  I’ll see how 2-3 posts per week works out as I settle into a routine.  (Yesterday’s photography post provided beginner tips for improving your sunset photos.)

Even better news …?  I’m working behind the scenes with several different companies to bring you some great information/products/sales/deals/giveaways via my photography page.  There’s good stuff on the horizon now that the web design pieces are falling into place.  Stay tuned!

I’m just a few weeks away from a photography trip to Kauai also!

Whee!

Photographing Kauai is something I’ve wanted to do for years.  I’ve been to Hawaii several times both for work and pleasure.  I’ve even (more specifically) been to Kauai, but I’ve never gone to Kauai with time available for photography.  The car accident, of course, put all hopes of a Kauai photography trip on indefinite hold.  When Briefcase asked me, several months ago, what “big” thing I wanted for our 25th wedding anniversary, I was pretty quick to answer.  This trip has been in my heart for many years.  It has also now morphed into a giant family and friends vacation too.  Hopefully I’ll be able to capture some beautiful glimpses of the island to share with all of you.

In the meantime, there’s a lot of THIS still going on at my house:

I have two feeders and they’re both just as “busy” all day.  I’m going through twelve cups of hummingbird food every single day.  (I’m refilling both feeders morning and night because they’re completely empty.)  I’ve never seen anything like it.  When the feeders are empty the hummingbirds hover around my kitchen window looking IN at me.  It’s their way of asking me to feed them.  There’s hummingbird chaos going on at my house!

I have no idea WHY there are so many hummingbirds this year.

Maybe it’s due to the “monsoon” weather we’ve had?

I took this photo from my backyard patio about a week ago:

Thunder clouds are NOT normal here.

I love how dramatic they are.

I don’t like the humidity they bring.

Of course, it’s always cooler if I take a short jaunt out of my (hot!) canyon to the beach.

I took the above photo while sitting under a thatch umbrella at the main San Clemente beach.

It was very crowded.  I vowed not to return to that particular beach until summer is over and the tourists are gone.

Lastly, for today …

I have more tomatoes than I know what to do with right now.

The cherry tomato plant I’m growing has been especially prolific.

I thought this particular tomato I picked looked like “conjoined twins.”

I shared my “twin” tomato photo on Google + yesterday.

Viewers there disagreed with me.

Most of them said it looked like a butt.

One person thought it looked like testicles.

What do you think it looks like?

11 Responses to “The Day to Day STUFF!”

  1. Julie Zickefoose

    That is a pretty astounding shot of the hummers around your feeder. Gone are the days when we got that many. In the early 90’s I’d put out a half gallon of food a day for more than 150 rubythroats, but not since Katrina, which probably wiped out a huge portion of the Eastern migrants, hitting in Sept. on the Gulf coast as it did. Let’s hope it speaks of great nesting success this year, and lots of juveniles finding your feeders.
    I am a contributing editor to Bird Watcher’s Digest, and having written an article on the dangers of artificial coloring, I am wondering (politely) why you’re using commercial hummingbird “food” with red dye #40. This dye is derived from coal tar and is banned in Europe as a carcinogen. A hummingbird drinking from a feeder with commercial hummingbird food is taking in, on average, 17 times the minimum daily RDA for *humans* of red #40. Banders working with hummingbirds have noted an increase in soft tumors of skin and bill and it is thought to be linked to this dye.
    Not wanting to criticize without offering a solution, I’d highly recommend that you do what I do. Boil one part plain white sugar to one part water, until it dissolves. You can make four, five cups at a time. Refrigerate that. When the time comes to refill the feeder, simply put one part of your 1:1 simple sugar solution to THREE parts plain water in the feeder. Voila: 1:4 sugar water solution, easy to store, easy to make, and more importantly better for the birds. Commercial hummingbird food, whatever the claims made, does not contain any more nutrition than simple sugar solution, and it does contain potentially carcinogenic dyes which we have no business offering to wild birds, in my opinion. There are more than ample red parts on the feeder to attract the birds.
    I hope you accept these comments in the spirit in which they’re made–to be helpful. Thank you for caring for so many hummingbirds and sharing it in your beautiful blog!

    • Suzanne

      Julie,
      Hi. I don’t take offense at all to your comment. I don’t use commercial hummingbird food and never have. I make my own. I do put red food coloring in it, and I was not aware it would hurt them. I usually only put in a couple drops for every 12 cups of food I make. (It looks much redder in the above photo because I purposely increased the red saturation when I processed the photo. It’s actually a very light/pale color, but it does have some coloring in it.) I wanted the color red to stand out in the photo. (That’s what happens when you’re a photographer – you think like that!)

      I love your idea of making a syrup “concentrate” and then just adding water to it when I refill the feeders. I will absolutely try it and I will leave also try leaving the coloring out! Thanks for the tip!

      • Suzanne

        Hmmmm …
        Just did some research and it seems a lot of experts don’t think the red coloring causes any harm whatsoever to hummingbirds. I will check into it further ….

    • Suzanne

      I’m amazed by the hummingbirds this year myself, Jan. I just can’t get over it … as you can probably tell because I keep posting photos of hummingbirds! : )

      LOL re the tomatoes!

  2. Gaelyn

    The hummers here don’t show up in such a crowd.
    I’d be making a steady diet out of tomatoes.

    • Suzanne

      I am eating a LOT of tomatoes lately! : )

      I’ve never seen such a crowd of hummingbirds either. It’s been amazing this year.

  3. stacy

    oh, that Farm fresh website had a thing where they told how to roast baby tomatoes and then you put them in a jar with olive oil and have it all year long.

    • Suzanne

      Oooh – that sounds good!
      I am actually planning to roast some of them tomorrow.

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