Clean those hummingbird feeders, folks

Published 11:30 am Friday, July 22, 2022

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“I discovered a long time ago that writing of the small things of the day, the trivial matters of the heart, the inconsequential but near things of this living, was the only kind of creative work which I could accomplish with any sincerity or grace…” ~ E. B. White


Sunday morning, I was watering porch ferns, enjoying a breeze that lifted the green fronds, just puttering along while thinking about brunch. Looking down, I spied a hummingbird on the railing, moving a little, but definitely in distress. Putting the watering can down, I gently, oh-so-gently, picked the little fellow up to see what the problem was. 

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Tenderly, I carried him inside to see if a few drops of sugar water might perk him up. Putting glasses on, I did a more thorough examination for injury, and finally figured out the issue. His tongue would not retract: once that happens, the bird will die. That means the bird got a fungal infection from moldy nectar from a feeder it’s visited. 


I held that little jeweled creature in my hands as it died, Dear Reader–my heart broken, tears dripping off my nose. Over a tiny bird. 


So, once again, I’m begging folks to please, please keep those hummingbird feeders sparkling clean. In this kind of heat, when it’s hot and humid, that means cleaning them daily (no soap that leaves a residue). During cool weather, you can let it slide for several days, but not now. Just add 1/4 cup white sugar (not honey) to 1 cup of boiling water, and cool. I’ve read that a drop of colloidal silver solution will keep the mixture fresh longer. 


In the past week, I’d taken down someone else’s feeder while they were out of town. The water was thick and moldy. It’s better to leave a feeder down if you’re away, just to be safe—lots of flowers are in bloom for our little friends to visit. 


Many of us get such delight when we watch hummingbirds at our feeders. They bring magic and lift our hearts. Please, keep them safe! 


Saluda Tailgate Market is every Friday at the west city parking lot located off Main Street, 4:30-6 p.m. 


Enjoy another free Top of the Grade Summer Concert with Lazybirds on July 22, 7-9 p.m. at McCreery Park on the Ella Grace Mintz stage (if it rains, bands will move to the pavilion). Concert-goers are encouraged to bring chairs/blankets. 


Saluda Pop-Up Pantry is Tuesday from 1-6 at Saluda Presbyterian Church, 54 Carolina Avenue (behind Saluda Library). Donations of paper goods are always welcome and needed. To volunteer at the Pantry, call Saluda Church of the Transfiguration, at (828) 749-9740. You can mail tax-deductible donations to Saluda Pop-Up Pantry, P.O. Box 428, Saluda, NC 28773 or donate online at; or through Amazon Smile. 


There’ll be a Saluda Open Stage event at McCreery Park on July 24. From 6-8 p.m., folks can bring their songs, jokes, magic acts, poems, skits, and other talents for others to enjoy. Just about anything goes;  it’s free to the first 23K that show up! Sign up at the event; call Dori at 808-8334 if you have questions. 


The next community table dinner is July 27 from 5:30-7 at McCreery Park’s pavilion. Bring your own plate, utensils, and cups. 


Happy July Birthday to Debi Thomas, Rheta Foster, Nancy Weinhagen, Lisa Obermiller, Kathy Thompson, Bill Jameson, Emily Rose Ford, Jeremy Ford, Mike Cass,  Nathen Honeycutt, Melissa Justus, Hunter Justus, Alyssa Justus, Lin Savage, Doug Taylor, Amanda Anderson, Gail Slaughter, Diane Ballard, Amber Grant, and Marianne Blazar. Add your birthday to the list! 


Feel free to contact me at, (828) 817-6765, P.O. Box 331, Saluda, NC 28773, Facebook, or visit