Anyway, no hummingbirds have shown up at this new feeder. It's been a week, and I'm told it takes a while for those guys to find it. Still, it's disheartening to sit at my kitchen table throughout the day and stare at that feeder. In the front yard, however, I did see a junco today. They aren't so common in our neighborhood. I used to be quite the bird geek and thought maybe while waiting for hummingbirds, I should start turning my attention to attracting other birds.
The boyfriend is not such a fan of this idea since bird feeders are messy, though I did discover a type of seed that helps with that. And putting in certain plants and trees brings the birds sans seed. Inspired to turn our yard into a woodland bird paradise, I went out to survey it and immediately noticed two things. One is that the KGB yard is completely ringed in these high, boxy, perfectly-trimmed evergreen hedges. I don't know how I never noticed them before, but it's obvious they were installed as a privacy wall, like in a medieval maze. We have a gap through them that views the hot tub, so I think that's why I never realized the rest of their yard was shrouded in secrecy.
Anyway, the other thing I noticed was that my yard was ringed in yellow jackets. lolcatz waged manly chemical warfare on these guys already, but there are still plenty around. In fact, they're the hummingbird feeder's most frequent (and frustrated) visitors. Now, I'm not above buying toxic traps for them, but I thought I'd browse the internet for other tactics. That's when I found this:
This comes courtesy of the Alaska Outdoor Journal's Field Notebook tips and is dubbed "Grandpa Kipp's Sure-Fire Yellow Jacket Trap!" (That's their exclamation mark, fyi). Upon initial glance, it seems straight-forward. I know soapy water is often used in killing insects, and the baiting premise (with what, an onion or wax or something?) makes sense. So, I read further on to see what was required and if it was within my abilities. Soapy water bin, check. String and wire, check. Raw fish and--what?
AHH. Yeah, that's what that is. This yellow jacket trap requires a piece of raw fish as bait, and I can't even begin to explain how totally outside my reality that is. Firstly because putting raw fish in your yard seems like one of those "cure is worse than the cause" things. Secondly because raw fish doesn't really enter my house. Ever. I eat fish at restaurants, but that's it. I can't even imagine myself purchasing some at the grocery store. Buying raw chicken is an ordeal enough. Yet, this person swears by the fish, so who am I to judge? The odd part is that after hearing stories about my southern ancestors, I can kind of see it as something they might have done back in Tennessee. Anyway, the AOJ is full of other wilderness tips, like what to do if your fishing boat gets a hole in it and how to open clams. So, hey, if that's news you can use, go search 'em out.
Me? I'll probably be going to Home Depot.