Sunday, May 23, 2010

Make Your Own Hummingbird Feeder

All you need to make a hummingbird feeder is probably already in your kitchen. Clean an empty spice jar with red lid. Make a hole in the middle of the lid using a drill or knife. Hole should be big enough for a hummer beak. 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch in diameter. (I just did it by eye) Make sure there are no rough plastic edges by trimming the opening with fingernail clippers or file. Take a rubber band that you saved from your store-bought vegetables or newspaper and a twisty tie also saved from your store-bought veggies. Attach to the spice jar as shown. Fill with nectar made with 1 part sugar to 4 parts water. Make sure sugar is dissolved completely before filling jars to the brim. Replace caps. Hang your feeders by a window so you can watch the birds visit. You might like to buy suction cup hooks that can attach to a window for even closer viewing. Be sure to clean the jars and replenish the nectar weekly. If you experience heavy traffic, then replenish nectar as needed.
See a larger photo here.

Here is the hand made feeder in my hand. If you place the feeder on an deck chair. Once they get used to feeding there, all you have to do is get comfy and hold the feeder and sit still. You may get a nice surprise like this...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Romp Game Completed

A year after the first Mother's Day gift of Romp game pieces, my son Brenden designed the playing field. It is a poster sized lithograph that he created during his last semester at SF State University. The game is called "Romp! A Springtime Adventure in the Land of Der Zoo" There are 4 game pieces. Bean the Parrotlet, DeDe the mini holland lop, Rooster the cockatiel and Zoop the call duck. Brenden still wants to add color to the playing field. But we can still play the game as it is.

1. Players place their pet at its start location

2. Roll die to see who goes first. The die has 0,1,1,1,2,3 printed on each side.

3. Take turns rolling die and moving your pet the number of steps on the die. If you roll a 0, you do not advance. Collect the stepping stones as you go.

4. Players may only hold 10 stones at a time. If you land on a step with a stone, an exchange must be made. Strategy - you can swap out a stone that has a better point value for your pet.

5. The first player to make it back to their start location with ten stones gets 5 additional points. The rest of the players get 3 additional turns and then the "Romp" is over. Everyone adds up their points by using the chart in the upper right corner of the board.

6 The pet the wins the round gets immediately cuddled.

For more pictures see the set on flickr.
What is underneath the stones?
worms, chicken, millet, carrot, calcium, cilantro, and nesting material
Here are the point breakdowns for each pet.

0 Bean
0 DeDe
1 Rooster
3 Zoop

3 Bean
1 DeDe
2 Rooster
0 Zoop

2 Bean
1 DeDe
3 Rooster
1 Zoop

1 Bean
3 DeDe
0 Rooster
2 Zoop

4 Bean
6 DeDe
4 Rooster
4 Zoop

3 Bean
5 DeDe
1 Rooster
0 Zoop

Nesting Material:
0 Bean
3 DeDe
5 Rooster
5 Zoop