Friday, April 27, 2012

Hummingbirds and Smoke Alarms

So, this morning I noticed that the new little hummingbird was spending a lot of time at the feeder, trying to get those last few drops of hummingbird juice out. I'd seen it and another (presumably its parent) at the feeders yesterday, where it seemed to be following the other around. Usually two hummingbirds together do a lot of helicoptering and chasing about; not this time. Today there was only the one, and at one point it even hunched itself down on the rail, v. un-hummingbird-like, as if it were brooding like a tiny chicken.

I'd forgotten to put sugar on the list for last weekend's grocery run, but my conscience got to me and I decided to sacrifice the remaining sugar cubes for the cause, there being enough to make up a small batch. Accordingly, I got things started, and then sat down to have breakfast.

Coming back into the kitchen side of the house after breakfast, I wondered why it looked like a scene out of 'Fog on the Barrow-Downs'. Ah, I thought. Not fog. Smoke. Sure enough, the pan with the sugar-water I'd left simmering and forgotten about was giving forth a considerable plume of smoke, great swaths of which were hanging in the air. I got the pan off the burner and turned the burner off. Only then did the smoke detector, which yowls more often than not when we use the oven, decided to give voice.

I took the pan outside, onto the balcony, and found a place to sit it down where it cdn't do much harm. Then I went back in and started opening up windows and getting the fan going. Luckily there was a strong breeze today, and I soon had it gusting through the apartment, upstairs and down. Taking stock of things afterwards, I discovered that the cats were all calmly sitting upstairs, clearly aware something was amiss but not worried about it. When Janice came home, hours later, she reported that yes, there was still a bit of smokiness she cd smell.

As for the pot, despite some efforts at salvage I think it's a goner. The stovetop is fine. I found four little sugar-packets I'd picked up during my trip, mixed them with a little water, microwaved it, and put it in one of the feeders; the hummingbird came at once (while I was still there at the feeders, which showed how trusty/hungry it was) but didn't seem to like this makeshift-made hummingbird juice. Tough. I've now picked up a box of sugar and will make up a regular batch in the morning.

New resolution: only make hummingbird juice when I'm going to be in the kitchen throughout the whole process, start to finish.

--Despite all of which I had a pleasant and v. productive day. Go figure.


1 comment:

Anne Therese said...

Dear Mr Rateliff,
I am looking for a good literary agent as I have a Tolkien calendar ready to go. Can you reccomend(and give me their name)your own agency?

Thank you,
- Glen McDonald