Sunday, August 1, 2010

Weekend Updates

Many readers told me they enjoyed the Weekend Updates I posted in late June so I’ve decided to make it a regular end-of-the-month feature.

Blog Updates (from oldest to most recent):

I have not seen a ladybug since one landed on me in March (3/20 post).

It is important to remember that the disaster in the Gulf is far from over (5/6 post).

Although oil has disappeared from the surface of the water in many places, serious questions have been raised about the amount of dispersants used and what the long-term effects of these chemicals might be.

The State Street trees in front of Channel 8 (5/17 post) are doing well despite the heat. Each tree now has a tag listing its species and information on how to request a tree of your own. Urban Resources Initiative (URI) emailed that they had planted 275 trees around the City of New Haven before “switching program gears to focus upon Community Greenspace.” Community Greenspace has assisted New Haven residents with developing pocket parks and community gardens throughout the City. 

The woodchuck wars continue to rage in Beaver Hills (6/16 post). My source tells me that the neighborhood shooter has switched to Havahart traps. He has caught at least one woodchuck baby (lured by some tender greens) and what happened to that unlucky victim remains a mystery. A skunk has been spotted heading under the garden shed, presumably keeping what remains of the woodchuck family company.

Chatham Seals
“Times Are Strange” (7/16 post) spoke of sightings of great white sharks off the coast of Cape Cod. On Friday, July 30, Chatham officials closed South Beach to (human) swimming indefinitely after three great whites were sighted by a spotter plane. One shark was spotted cruising along the shore just 100 yards from a large group (of humans) assembled in a semicircle near a “Happy 30th” written in the sand. Officials advise that people swimming where it is still permitted avoid getting too close to the seals.

“Where Have All the Codfish Gone?” (7/21 post) was tweeted by the Monterey Bay Aquarium and generated quite a bit of interest at several sites dedicated to fishing issues. A blogger in Iceland who promotes the Icelandic fishing industry left a favorable comment. This eclectic blog has stories and videos on a wide variety of themes relating to fishing and fish:

Other News:

The New Haven Independent has listed ontheroadtogreenness as one of its favorites. You can find a link to my blog on their site under Road To Greenness.

Single-stream recycling has come to New Haven. In short, what this means is that you now no longer need to sort your recycling before you set it on the curb — just dump it all into your bin. I know it sounds crazy, but this video explains how this is possible.

But wait, there is even more to the trash/recycling story! A pilot program in which your current largish trash toter becomes your recycling bin and a new, smaller one becomes your trash toter, is scheduled to start soon in the New Haven neighborhood of Westville. You can read more about it at the Independent.

It’s been very hot here. We have had a hummingbird feeder in the yard but have not succeeded in attracting any hummers. The Fat Robin sent out a newsletter advising that you change the nectar every two days during this time of extreme heat, especially if you have located your feeder in a sunny area. During cooler times, twice a week is enough if the feeder is in the shade. The Fat Robin also stated, “If you haven't been very successful with attracting hummingbirds to your yard, don't give up! The BEST time in Connecticut is yet to come (very soon in fact)!”

It is now the first day of August, too early for the statistics for July. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released its State of the Climate Global Analysis for June. NOAA reports that June 2010 was the warmest June on record, and that April-June 2010 was the warmest three-month period for the Northern Hemisphere.

During these exceedingly hot days in the Northeast we heard frequent references to the Heat Index. This site explains what the Heat Index is and how the formula was derived, provides a Heat Index Calculator, and includes a chart indicating that it is dangerous for almost anyone whenever it is over 90° and even the least bit humid.

Finally, on a somewhat lighter note, a friend forwarded this story about a person who is researching and photographing the world’s oldest living things. How old they are will blow your mind. For sure.


  1. As you can surmise from the color of most feeders, bright red attracts hummingbird. So, to increase your odds of visitors, have some flowers running the red gamut near your feeder. Any bright red, bold pink and red-orange blooms will do the trick whether in pots or in beds. Some flowers I've had luck with include lobelia, salvia, impatiens, and, especially, hibiscus. A friend has had luck with her banks of hollyhocks & foxglove.

  2. I have both impatiens and salvia, but alas no hummers yet. And our feeder is a red one. Still waiting patiently. I wonder if we might be too close to traffic.

  3. Thanks for a kind word and a nice update :)

  4. Elaine,
    We spotted our first Ruby-throated hummingbird in our backyard this morning! Thanks to your post last week we got our two feeders out of the garage and set them up in our garden (then we went out of town for the week). Nice to have this little hummer greeting us on our return. When we lived in AZ we used to regularly get three or so different species of hummers to our patio feeders, but I hadn't thought to try to attract any here.

  5. Rod, Glad I could help. You seem very interested in birds. Be sure to visit the Fat Robin if you haven't done so already. You might like to subscribe to their e-newsletter.