Wednesday, September 28, 2011

An Indian Summer!

Normal temperatures appear to be topsy turvy everywhere at the moment and the UK is no exception!  Starting at a 10 degree hike on temperatures normal for this time of year we are thoroughly enjoying an ‘Indian’ summer.

So, what is this term, Indian summer?  Here it is described as period of unseasonably dry, warm and calm weather which follows colder weather in late Autumn.

“The term Indian summer reached England in the 19th century, during the heyday of the British Raj in India. This lead to the mistaken belief that the term referred to the Indian subcontinent. In fact, the Indians in question were the Native Americans, and the term began use there in the late 18th century.  The English already had names for the phenomenon - St. Luke’s Summer, St. Martin’s Summer or All-Hallown Summer, but these have now all but disappeared and, like the rest of the world, the term Indian summer has been used in the UK for at least a century.

Why Indian? Well, no one knows but, as is commonplace when no one knows, many people have guessed. Here are a few of the more commonly repeated guesses:

  • When European settlers first came across the phenomenon in America it became known as the Indian's Summer.
  • The haziness of the Indian Summer weather was caused by prairie fires deliberately set by Native American tribes.
  • It was the period when First Nations/Native American peoples harvested their crops.
  • The phenomenon was more common in what were then North American Indian territories.
  • It relates to the marine shipping trade in the Indian Ocean (this is highly dubious as it is entirely remote from the early US citations).
  • It originated from raids on European settlements by Indian war parties, which usually ended in autumn.
  • In a parallel with other 'Indian' terms it implied a belief in Indian falsity and untrustworthiness and that an Indian summer was an ersatz copy of the real thing.”

“…” quoted from The Phrase Finder

Anyway, since I am staying with my husband at our bolt hole in Devon we were told about a small cove that would warrant a visit and it is called Blackpool Sands.  This is not to be confused with Blackpool in the north of England!

We have been told there are restaurant facilities and the crab salad is to die for!  Oh joy, food again!!!!

Some things we might see at the beach!

Sea Spray original watercolour by Yankeegirl


Mousepad – under the sea by Scottieacres


Almost there … an original painting by Heronkate


Aye there matey by VanFleetStreetDesign


Follow the Leader black and white print by BethPeardonProds


and cheekily … Under the Sea Caves by Onawhimsey


Check out further wonderful items from the BBEST team, ENJOY!!!


Monday, September 5, 2011

Hum, hum, hummingbirds!……… Pam Todd

Just peek outside our front door, and hanging on the porch is a hummingbird feeder, and another, and a third one on a shepherd’s crook in the yard.  These little birds are amazing!  Their wings beat so fast, and they fly from the trees to the feeders and zoom around in the air, trying to keep each other from the nectar.  And, my goodness, they can eat a lot.  My husband puts out our feeders early in the spring.  But, few hummingbirds stop to eat until the flowers start to disappear later in the summer.

hummingbirds fourteenSince August, the numbers have been increasing until there may be 15 to 20 hummingbirds merrily drinking their fill every day.  Right now, we are making more than a gallon of hummingbird nectar daily, and filling the containers several times.hummingbirds thirteenHummingbirds seem to be attracted to red, and their favorite feeder is the one that hangs by the hanging flower pot filled with red petunias.

hummingbirds twelve   According to the website,, these little birds like their nectar to be made with one part sugar to four parts of water.  If they are sipping from a flower, they will reject the nectar unless it is at least 12% sugar!  Now, that’s what one might call being a finicky eater.  The birds need this high energy drink because their wings can beat up to 80 times a second.  Their wings go in a circular motion, and this allows them to fly backwards and also upside down!  Mostly, they are flying right side up at our house, zooming down at each other to be first (or the only one) at the feeder, and zipping right back to the big maple or walnut trees for protection.

hummingbirds oneThese little guys and girls are plentiful near our front porch this month, and we expect to see them the rest of September and maybe into October. We are never sure when to bring the feeders in until we don’t see them anymore.  On the website noted above, I learned that hormonal changes in the birds tell them when it is time to head South.  The ruby-throated hummingbird, which is the one that breeds east of the Mississippi River, may travel from South America to Canada in a season, migrating over 2000 miles!  Many make a non-stop trip across the Gulf of Mexico, as well, a flight of over 500 miles.  You can learn many interesting facts about hummingbirds, as well as watch lots of videos (including one of baby hummingbirds being fed by their mother) at the website above.

hummingbirds six

Right now, we get to enjoy watching them come and eat.  They are so accustomed to my husband  that they often fly around his head and stay close by even when he is filling the feeders.  They are delightful to watch and well worth the sugar it takes to keep them stopping by.  And, if you should spill red food coloring on your clothes while making nectar, just zoom a message to me, and I’ll ask my husband to tell you his laundry secrets for getting half a bottle of red coloring out of my favorite blouse!! ( – Contact me)

Hummingbirds love red, and if they could shop, I’m sure they would be attracted to these red creations from the Boomers and Beyond Etsy Street Team!

chris1 trinket bowl

fantasycreations1 earrings

magdalene knits red sweater

glitznglass glass

sixsisters red flower

eversodear necklace

the creators palette tulips

yankeegirl - cardinal

zuda gay heart

stitches by julie slippers

nonnie62 lantern

jstinson necklace

vanfleetstreetdesign sunflower

mysticsilks scarf

meredithbead2 feather earrings

ccvalenzo heart pendant

blazingneedles - coaster

butoondivas earrings