Monday, August 06, 2007

Birds, bees and flowers

Hello! I must be going!

I found myself uninspired to do aught today but watch hummingbirds and play with potting soil. (It helps that Caitlin is at Camp Grammy for another week.) So I potted up two more bowls of flowers before I ran out of potting soil. Again, the bowls look terribly scraggly to start with, but they should fill in over the remainder of the summer. The bowls I worked on here have all filled in nicely.

On with the show!
Watching the hummers is my favorite activity these days. They whip along through the yard, stopping to sip at plants or feeders, buzz over and around my head (I had two that were chasing one another split up and go around my head, one on each side!) and chase one another constantly. Also I've noticed that they only seem to speak in Hummer Curses. Their tiny chirps always sound like they're telling the others hummers to Back up offa my food! I have no idea how they sound when they're trying to meet girls....
I'm in ur tree, thinkin' 'bout nectar!

Here is what Peppermint Pink portulaca should look like. Unlike the apricot photographed on Sunday.
Here is the rose colored form that I mentioned as well. It mixes nicely with the Peppermint Pink, even though it (like the apricot) wasn't supposed to be in my seed mix either.

Is this a juvenile Rufous? Or do the Broadtailed look like this underneath? Seemed very coppery in color to me, but I couldn't catch a matching fanned tailed image of the other little ones. There are actually two hummers at this feeder, but the other is behind the feeder itself. Looks like they were able to share!
This little one is feeding on the 'Apricot Sprite' agastache that I had just potted up this morning. I clipped off most of the other flowering shoots, hoping that they'll fill in better, but left a few on to attract some attention. Looks like it worked!
Hand holding my long lens and shooting through my screen door are not an optimal way to photograph these birds.

Here is what the 'Heather Queen' agastache looks like up close, along with a honey bee.

I don't know about you, but I'm kind of worried about them. From all reports I've heard, their populations are in serious decline and we humans who get the benefit of their work will be in big trouble if we don't halt their destruction. I'm doing my part to keep my yard organic and pesticide free. Filling it with flowers also helps. By the way, bees aren't picky, they'll take a field of flowers, a yard's worth of flowers or even just a pot of flowers. If you've got room, sun and some time, you should plant something for the bees. Here's a good article that talks about how to build a "bee-friendly garden". Worried about getting stung? Read this.

Now go forth and sniff some roses!

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