26 September 2008

Hurricane Ike Faces Off with a Humdinger!

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Hummingbird Sept 2008 - Copyright 2008 Totem Media, L.C. - formerly Totem Promotions, L.C.

During the hurricane and its devastating aftermath, my attention was split between concern for our friends, home, and businesses in Houston, and this amusing bird. I believe it's a young male ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris). It can't be seen in this picture, but he has a few metallic red spots on his neck.

He decided this feeder was his and would attempt to drive off other hummingbirds who wanted to feed, as well as wasps, and anyone watching through the window. Because he would perch nearby the feeder and puff himself up to look larger than his actual 3" length, we call him Humdinger.

Now that we are back in Houston, after twelve days away, we are completing the cleanup procedure and getting back to business. Luckily, we didn't have any damage to our homes or businesses, so we've been cleaning our stinky fridges and a chest freezer. Our food loss was minimal, but I had to replace all of our condiments and fresh vegetables.

I found a good website with information about deodorizing refrigerators.

Our outdoor red-eared slider, Crimson, survived and stayed in her pond and enclosure. Some large yucca branches fell into the pond, but they didn't damage either the pond or the turtle.

As of today, September 26, over 400,000 Houston homes are still without power, and thousands of Galvestonians are without homes. We ask everyone to pray and keep positive thoughts for everyone affected by the storm and encourage donating to charities helping Texans get back on their feet.

Charities Helping Hurricane Ike Survivors

Houston Food Bank
San Antonio Food Bank
Austin Food Bank
Houston SPCA
Bexar County (San Antonio) SPCA
Associated Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
The Red Cross

Also, don't forget the people on the Caribbean Islands who were devastated by both Hurricane Gustav and Ike. Catholic Relief Services is one of the international charities helping the poor in this area.