I'm a spider fan and was surprised by a favorite today. The Phidippus audax or Daring Jumping Spider is a harmless, fuzzy, black & white cutie. Prompted by the season and my little friend, I decided to re-post Halloween 2008. Happy Halloweeeeeeen!!!
How about spiders? They are very active in the Fall. Big garden spiders spin and spin, creating huge symmetrical webs to trap their prey. Daylight finds them in hiding; evening begins the hunt. And watch out for Black Widows too! They seek dark places, spinning rather desultory webs as their signature death trap.
And how scary is a pumpkin? The inside can be pretty darn to a little one, namely mine. When my son and niece were young we carved some pumpkins for Halloween. Each child was to clean-out his/her own pumpkin before the artistic process would begin. My niece dug in happily; my son protested. Thinking he just wanted to skip to the fun part I encouraged him to persist. Not until I heard him say "Mom, I see little white flies in my pumpkin" and "I'm dizzy" did I realize what was happening. My rough and tumble boy was seeing stars! Blood and guts never phased him, but the mushy innards of a pumpkin were definitely his kryptonite!
Notice that the feeder (above) has an ant barrier cup attached to the top. Fill the cup with either water or mineral oil to keep ants from invading the feeder.
Many years ago, I found an injured hummingbird at our local Towne Center.... A spot of glittering, iridescent green caught my eye as I rushed to complete some errands before heading to school to get my son. The tiny bird (barely alive) was laying motionless on a cement sidewalk on a very hot day. I believe the bird had probably flown into one of the plexiglass panels which enclosed an outdoor area near the movie theaters. I scooped it up, headed to my car, and placed it in some Kleenex tissues stuffed into a cupholder. We drove to school, then home.
At home, the little hummer was able to swallow some homemade hummingbird nectar. We were hopeful! I contacted a local veterinarian specializing in birds (but not wild ones). He gave me the number of a "hummingbird lady" who rescues injured hummingbirds. Since transporting the bird to her home was not an option, she diagnosed a possible head injury and told us how to treat the tiny animal. We followed her advice and by nightfall, the hummingbird was flying in our house. In the morning, we set it free:)
If you find an injured hummingbird, the Hummingbird Society wants you to keep these points in mind:
• Hummingbirds fed on a diet of sugar-water alone will die, and a full-nutrition formula for them is not available to the general public. You must seek competent, licensed help to assure a bird's survival, and you must do it quickly.
• Keeping a hummingbird in captivity is a felony offense in the U.S., as is possession of a nest or any part of the bird (such as a feather)--all of which is another reason to transfer the hummingbird to a rehabilitator.
• Mother hummingbirds rarely abandon a nest, although it can and does happen. Never assume that abandonment has occurred; you must watch continuously for at least an hour, sometimes more, to be sure she is not returning. In general, if the chicks look healthy, the mother is taking good care of them. Feedings can be extremely quick and surprisingly infrequent in some stages of the chick's development.
Hummingbird Rehabilition Facilities in Southern California (approved by the CA Department of Fish and Game)
LA County (Anaheim) Hummingbirds/Helen Bishop 714-635-3368
San Diego County (Chula Vista) Hummingbird Rescue Center 619-420-5156