Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Tin Can Cabin - Part I - Who Needs a Garden?

Marsh Mallow
We recently purchased a used Jayco travel trailer and took it to Swan Lake at Two Rivers Natural Wildlife Refuge in Illinois.  I'm going to give it a fabulous makeover and stay there as often as I possibly can. The wildflowers are absolutely beautiful so I have no need to plant a garden.
Orange Jewel Weed
 This Orange Jewel Weed looks like a little orchid - gorgeous!

Partridge Pea
 The Partridge Pea is an extremely beneficial plant for the quail, who eat the seeds.

Verbena-Like Wild Flower & Bee
I tried to capture the honey bee on this verbena-like plant that I could not find the name for. The bees call it yummy.

Yellow Wildflower
This beautiful yellow flower is either in the daisy or sunflower family, I'm not sure. If someone out there knows - please tell me.

I am thoroughly enjoying my new garden, planted by Mother Nature and no weeding necessary!

Thank you for visiting and visit my Pinterest page for lots of ideas on how to remodel a travel trailer.
The Tin Can Cabin on Pinterest

Saturday, May 2, 2015

How to Keep Ants Out of Your Hummingbird Feeder - DIY Ant Moat

Columbines to Attract Hummingbirds
My mother-in-law, who is a very smart lady, told me to put out hummingbird feeders when the columbines bloom. Although the orange columbines in my garden clash with the pink azalea, they are loved by the hummingbirds, so I let them pop up where they will and pull them out just before they go to seed (allowing just a few to go to seed so I will have them to attract hummingbirds next year). 

Last year I had so much trouble with ants in my feeders that I stopped feeding the hummingbirds. I’ve heard that Vaseline on the wire or string helps but it can get on the birds feathers and harm them. I certainly don’t want to use poison of any kind so I decided to try these bird safe moats.

$8.00 ant moat

I’ve seen them at prices all over the map, but my favorite price is FREE, so I made my own version.

You will need:

1 spray paint cap in the color of your choice
1 piece of wire - I used the red wire that came on my feeder

1.         Drill a small hole in the cap;
2.         Thread a piece of wire through the hole and make a hook on each end;
3.         Glue around the wire to seal the hole;
4.         Fill the moat with water and hang it just above the feeder.

I use the Audubon Society approved nectar recipe of ¼ cup plain white granulated sugar to 1 cup of water. Always use plain white sugar. The nutrients that are in raw sugar and honey are good for people, but not so good for hummingbirds. There is absolutely no need to put food coloring in the water and it may actually be harmful to the birds.  

I will let you know if the moat actually works.