It was hot, it was cool, it was Fire & Ice

The cool 10th Annual Fire & Ice sizzled. It exuded “community.” The tasting competition made for an experience in itself, and Roland’s tasty burgers were delightful. The sounds of conversation and laughter and music by the band filled the air. The vendor show offered an assortment of goods, including honey from a Mountain City bee hive (how sweet is that?)

Submit evaluation comments to lovingmountaincity@gmail.com or make a comment on the Facebook page of Loving MountainCity. Too, see a full set of photos on the Facebook page and share any that you might have.

Next up on the Mountain City events calendar: National Night Out, Tuesday, Oct. 1. In cooler states, this event takes place in August. In Texas, it’s the first Tuesday in October.

In Mountain City, the venue each year is Beth and Everett Smith’s front yard on Cedar near Mountain City Drive. Bring a lawn chair. Beth says, “This year we are going old school … come by and enjoy an old fashioned root beer float and meet your neighbors!”

On Mountain City’s Facebook, you can join others who say they’re going or they’re interested.

Many Facebook pages and apps and websites make communication easier now than ever before.

I recently found the Facebook Page “Hill Country Bird Watchers.” It’s a small group now. Primarily, these “local” birdwatchers share photos of birds in their yards.

Laura Craig joined “Hill Country Bird Watchers” and posted several photos from her yard. RonTom says her photo of a Rufous Hummingbird, from a recent winter, is the best he’s every seen.

Yes, friends. Mountain City has wintering Rufous Hummingbirds. When the swarms of migrating hummers stop coming, keeping out one or two feeders with always fresh syrup (1 part sugar, 4 parts water with no red coloring) can provide food for the Rufous. Best chances of seeing the Rufous come on cold blustery days.

For those who wondered about trash pickup on the day it did not show up, there was value in being a participant in NextDoor.com and having established a “like” relationship with the Mountain City (city government) Facebook page. The garbage truck’s tires were slashed (vandalism).

With a camera and the iNaturalist app, the identification of plants becomes a snap. In June, I submitted an observation of a young vine, wondering whether to keep it in the flower bed. The next morning, the identification came back “Balloon Vine” or “Love in a Puff.” It sounded interesting, so it stayed. Now, sure enough, the vine is lined with little puffs. And, now, with a closer read on the details, I see that it is not a native plant. So, out it will go.

A short plant with no blooms … “American pokeweed,” iNaturalist reported. That little baby stayed. Birds love ripe poke berries. And, I love the sweet chortle of Eastern Bluebirds as they devour the berries.

I love tidbits related in any sort of way to Mountain City. Please send to ptom5678@gmail.com, subject “Tidbit.” Thanks! Love to you, PTom

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