Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I'm an Enabler

Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird looking to score.
I gave up refined sugar a couple of years ago, yet I’m buying more than I ever did as the cookie-cake-pie-cupcake baker that was the former me.  I buy 10 pounds at a time and it’s not unusual for me to go through 40 pounds over the course of five months.  I haven’t fallen off of the wagon; it’s not my habit I’m feeding.  The fact is…I’m an enabler.  I’m providing the sweet junk in unlimited quantities to a flock of hooked hummingbirds.  This stuff is so good, hummingbirds cross the Gulf of Mexico get a taste.

It started out innocently enough.  I’d seen some hummingbird feeders around town and I figured there was no harm in putting up one, just to see what happened.  Sure enough, mid-April, there was a male Ruby-throated hummingbird sampling my homebrew.  As the days passed, more hummingbirds arrived looking to score, but the original hummingbird was guarding his stash with the ferocity of an unhinged, jealousy-addled lover - dive bombing, cursing and sometimes resorting to stabbing.  Male or female, he didn’t care which was the recipient of his drug-fueled wrath.  The situation couldn’t hold, so I bought up another four feeders, filling them to the brim and hanging them around the yard and garden.  Soon each feeder was being mobbed and the insanity, the mayhem, the bulk sugar-buying ensued.  There are now seven feeders out there and heaven help me if I’m a little slow in keeping them filled.

Remember us?
The flowers that I planted with hummingbirds specifically in mind - the bee balm, the Russian Sage, the coneflower and hibiscus - are in the main, neglected and ignored.  The birds crave the high-octane, instant high of the pure white stuff.  The thing is, I get it.  I was there once, not too long ago - a sugar junkie - but now I'm feeding their habit, not mine.  And I realize I’m in too deep to get out now.  These tiny, seemingly sweet and charming, delicate birds – and their unending thirst for sugar water – have taken over my life.    


  1. hahaha, I know how you feel sister. I too have addicted hummers hanging around my house. but I love watching them. it can dangerous sitting on my back deck when they start chasing each other (our deck has a roof) and we have to duck. do you make your brew at a 3 to 1 ratio?

  2. I can't think of anything in the world more exciting than a flock of hummingbirds!!! Yes, I know I should get out more!

  3. Seven feeders!!! We barely keep up with one. Our humzinger brings in these little guys by the droves. We love watching them. Like your birds, ours also ignore the hummingbird-friendly flowers we planted all over our deck. At least they add some color...


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