Hummingbirds - Jewels of the Air

Written by Tammy Clayton

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Now years later I have split off several other clumps and planted them alongrepparttar outside ofrepparttar 113330 fence, she is allowed to drink from those Beebalms. She never ventures near HIS CLUMP. The second summer after they came to dwell here, I was honored withrepparttar 113331 presence of their offspring. In awe I watched her teachrepparttar 113332 tiny gold baby aboutrepparttar 113333 size of bumblebee to drinkrepparttar 113334 nectar fromrepparttar 113335 Phlox. Pushing its head intorepparttar 113336 bloom with that needle sharp beak of hers untilrepparttar 113337 babe gotrepparttar 113338 idea of how to feed itself. Standing there witnessing her repeatedly jabbingrepparttar 113339 tiny head with that sharp needle beak, I had to rub my own head imagining how that must feel. Is it any wonder thatrepparttar 113340 little thing quickly caught on and was drinking without assistance?

The same pair returns every summer to dwell inrepparttar 113341 flowers and raise their young. I am treated with watching them perched onrepparttar 113342 patio trellis in earlyrepparttar 113343 evening shadows, drawn there forrepparttar 113344 Delphinium that waves beside it.

It is common knowledge thatrepparttar 113345 Ruby-throated Hummingbird is attracted torepparttar 113346 color red. Truth be known, they enjoy any scented flower from my observations of their behavior. Plants that they feed on here include Sweet Alyssum, all colors of Tall Phlox and Beebalm (monarda), perennial and annual Salvias, scented Roses, geraniums no matter what color they are and Delphiniums. I am sure that a lengthier list of plants one can add torepparttar 113347 garden to keeprepparttar 113348 hummingbirds well fed and returning year after year.

Throughrepparttar 113349 gift of a book about Hummingbirds, I discovered that though there 150 different types of these tiny jewels only one,repparttar 113350 Ruby-throated Hummingbird, flies as far north asrepparttar 113351 eastern United States. The smallest Hummingbird is only two inches long, andrepparttar 113352 largest measures eight and a half inches in length. No matter their size, as a species they wears feathersrepparttar 113353 color of every brilliant jewel tone known to man.

The reason that their feathers are so brilliant is because they are not colored with pigment as any other bird’s plumage. For some reason this particular breed’s feathers are black and filled with a substance known as “melanin”. The feathers are only colored asrepparttar 113354 white light reflects off them. This isrepparttar 113355 reason forrepparttar 113356 colors to change whenrepparttar 113357 sunlight shines from a different direction.

If a Hummingbird feather is crushed, it turns black and is never irridescent again. Even after death their feathers retain their ability to flash color inrepparttar 113358 sunlight forever unless mangled or smashed. Other breeds of bird feathers lose their color slowly after death asrepparttar 113359 pigments face over time. Many stuffed examples of birds in museums must have their feathers painted after a while to show visitors what they look like. Hummingbirds require no such treatment so long asrepparttar 113360 feathers are not damaged. The brilliancy of their feathers lasts forever, much likerepparttar 113361 precious gems whose colors they contain, making them a very special bird indeed.

Raised by a highly respected & successful landscape contractor in the metro Detroit area, Clayton wanted a career in anything but landscaping! Now an award-winning landscape designer, Clayton runs Flowerville Farms, a mail-order nursery in Michigan. Read more of her articles at

Geranium Plants

Written by Linda Paquette

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•Scented geraniums are used for making tea, potpourris and sachets. They are deceptively sweet and carryrepparttar fragrances of lemon, apple, rose, nutmeg, and peppermint. Althoughrepparttar 113329 flowers are small and some might say insignificant,repparttar 113330 scented geranium is a wonderful way to add fragrance to your patio, porch… or kitchen!

•The mosquito geranium is also a scented geranium. Even if you haven’t grown it, chances are you have smelled its insect repelling scent. The mosquito geranium was hybrid especially for production of oil of citronella and frequently is sold at nurseries asrepparttar 113331 mosquito plant.

Geranium flowers come in white and all shades of pink and red. Many hybrids have bi-colored flowers and some hybrids bear salmon colored flowers. Easy care, in addition to being a favorite addition to your garden, geraniums also make an inexpensive and lovely gift for Easter, Mother’s Day and other special spring occasions.

Linda is author at Gardening Guides

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