Thursday, July 21, 2016

You just missed her!

You know those annoying birders who insist on telling you about the birds that were here last week that you missed?  I have become one of them.  But I do have a good excuse.

Several times this week, I happen to have been home, and to have looked out at the patio about four o'clock.  And to have seen a female hummingbird working over the red lantana plant on the fence.  She stays about ten seconds, tops, so seeing her is a feat, and taking her picture an impossible goal.

So I just wanted to show you this is where she was a minute ago!  she's so beautiful.  Works over every single flower on the red lantana, before swooping away high into the pine tree out back, perhaps to rest or clean her beak.  I'm particularly glad about this, since I'd observed that on the few occasions when I've seen hummingbirds on this street, they have been about five feet from the ground, and in search of red flowers. They used to come to my cardinal flower out front, a wild volunteer not there this year.

So I figured that the planters on top of the fence would also be at the right height, and I got a couple of lantana this year, for the red color. I don't like red in a garden, too hot, but I figured this was a different situation.  She seems to approve, showing up several times already.  I know it's female, because there's no red bib.

And what I see is what seems to be a disturbance in the air, then I focus and realize it's Mrs. H hard at work on the lantana.  

She inspects the whole array usually.  Spiderwort? no, and alyssum, no, then wild phlox, nah, wrong color, but ahhhh lantana, just the ticket.  She reminds me of a picky customer at a buffet.

Speaking of picky customers, I know I swore never to eat squash again, after the glut last year, but oh well, a friend stopped by with fresh summer squash from a farmer's market south of here, and well, steamed, buttered, peppered, salted, it's supper in summer. Just look at the colors, that golden and ivory and touch of green.

Last night was a lively meeting of the Socrates Cafe group, with many interesting thoughts about judgment, whether it's good, and if so when, and what kinds there are, and so on. So today, I simply rested and enjoyed a day of practically nothing, except being so glad about where I am, and how things are, and how luxurious it is to have summer days when you can choose to do nothing.

Not strictly accurate, since I did help a neighbor cut down a huge tree branch that was lying on my roof, and spent  a while lopping off all the small branches once it was on the ground. 

Then I arranged for the friend who brought the squash to take the trunk part home for next winter's fires, cherry being a lovely firewood. And got an incredible number of bites in the process of all this.  I guess the mosquitoes consider me a special delicacy, worth going out of their way to sample. There's probably a mosquito gourmet guide book about this.  And I did go to the library in the next town to get a reserved book before it went back to the main libe.  Other than that, though, quite otiose!

I'm reading one of the Isabel Dalhousie books, by A McCall Smith,  hence the sudden use of an unusual word. She, the professional philosopher,  does this, then agonizes over whether it's fair or proper.  And whether anyone can judge anything, and if so, when. She really should come to our Socrates group, would fit right in.


  1. it's a lovely word!

    I'm thinking your mosquito 'friend' has a food blog: "After the glut of tasty backs-of-knees and upper-arms last summer, I swore I'd never bite Liz again. But she DID linger around the downed cherry for close to an hour, all ivory and a bit of peach, and, well, I couldn't resist."

  2. I hear you about the elusive bird syndrome; every evening in the summer we sit on the porch and listen to small birds with loud voices shrieking at each other. Sometimes its a different voice. You know, the 'what the hell was that..." sound. All of these birds have favorite leaves they hide behind, so while I ruin what's left of my eyesight trying to find them, they sit and chirp or cheep or trill and just as Im homing in on them they fly away to another leaf...

    If I squint very hard I can almost see your elusive hummingbird, hovering just out of camera range. I did find that if you put up a small metal wire stand (the kind that props up floppy flowers) sometimes they will sit on it, giving you enough time to find the camera and actually take a picture


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