10/14/10: Way to shame me into updating again by commenting, people who comment! (Seriously, though, hi, welcome, and pull up one of the splintery old orange crates that we use for seating 'round these parts seein' as we can't afford no fancy chairs.)

The rules from
here still apply.

Friday, September 05, 2008


Looked like the backyard hummingbird feeder needed a refill again. Well, that was easily enough done.

Ben stepped outside to grab the bottle from the feeder, then carried it into the garage, humming idly. He rinsed it out in the sink by the clothes washer, letting the hot water run for a couple minutes before adding a bit of bleach to kill any mold. Once the bleach was rinsed out, he stood the bottle on an old towel while he fetched his nectar solution from a shelf.

His ma had used a homemade mixture of sugar and water, boiled and stored in the freezer till needed; for a while after she'd died and left him the house and its hummingbird population, he'd tried various commercial solutions. Eventually, though, he'd tired of the results those gave him. After a few tries he'd come up with the mixture he used now, which had the benefit of being easy to whip up while also managing to not attract any bugs along with the birds. Ma's old sugar-water do had always wound up getting pillaged by ants.

Ben half-filled the feeder bottle from the gallon jug of nectar solution -- almost empty, now, he'd have to make some more soon -- then put the jug back and carefully carried the bottle back out to the backyard. Still humming, he screwed the bottle back onto the feeder, then stood back and admired his handiwork. He turned to go, and something went "crunch" under his shoe. He looked down.

"Heh," he said, scraping dead hummingbird off his shoe. "Guess you just couldn't help yourself, huh, little guy?" He surveyed the lawn around the feeder, where maybe a dozen dead hummingbirds lay in various stages of rot. "Was it tasty, fellas? I sure hope it was." He sneered. "Little bastards."

He went back into the house, careful to take off his shoes before entering. "Almost out of nectar..." he muttered to himself as he walked into the kitchen. Stuck to the fridge with a magnet shaped like a cow was the beginnings of a grocery list; eggs, milk, toilet paper, Hamburger Helper. Ben rummaged through a drawer until he found a pencil, then walked over to the list.

Antifreeze, he wrote.

Ben grinned. "Little bastards," he said again.

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