110 record-breaking degrees here today, whew!
Our backyard critters were unusually quiet, save for the Monarch butterflies that drifted through the milkweed, laying eggs, and the honeybees that swarmed the birdbath.
Hummingbirds performed aerial feats against a backdrop of shimmering palm fronds. But they eventually called it quits, and retreated to the leafy shade of our Brazilian Skyflower.
A lizard skittered across the blistering concrete, looking for a dark, cool place to nap.
It was unseasonably warm, and the afternoon breezes did little to cool things down. But the blazing sun is fading now, ever so slowly. A warm glow has fallen over the neighboring hillside, and temperatures are dropping.
Ahhhh, time for a long, cool drink of water!!
It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.” —David Attenborough
Little wings flutter
Morning starts with eyes smiling
Birdbath needs filling. ~Ormond
I had my doubts, but our burbling fountain is already attracting hummingbirds. Goldfinches, too! I snapped these photos through our backyard slider, so as not to interrupt their private bath. Can you spot the bird behind the lemon tree leaves, patiently waiting her turn?
Red’s not my favorite color, but our backyard fountain draws quite a crowd. And lucky me, I have a front-row seat to sweet moments like these, all day long.
As with haiku poetry, simple pleasures really are the best.
A well-tended garden is the sign of a happy heart. That’s what I think, anyway.
It welcomes visitors of all kinds,
and swings wide the gate to our most delicious memories. Juicy secrets, too.
It heralds Spring’s arrival, and the turn of every season.
It’s where the seeds of our wildest dream take root, burrowing deep before they flower.
My own garden isn’t tightly curated, as you might guess. It’s a quasi-random blend of colors and textures–a joyful noise, like this blog, where order and chaos co-exist.
It’s at once a playground and a sanctuary–
home, at the intersection of Elegant,
It makes my heart sing, when you drop by for a virtual visit! If it shows signs of neglect sometimes, it’s not because I’ve forgotten it–or you.
We’re sometimes called to tend a different garden for a while–it’s the rhythm of life, isn’t it? In this case, I was temporarily sidelined by an injury. I can’t wait to feel the grass underneath my feet again! But even from this distance, I can watch the hummingbirds feed their hatchlings. And as the milkweed sprouts new leaves, I can recreate, in my mind’s eye, the life cycle of the Monarch butterfly, from caterpillar to chrysalis.
I wanted to plant bulbs and flowers on Easter weekend, and to gather the first rosebuds of the season.
“Not yet,” my doctor said. So I’m resurrecting my blog instead. Moving ever forward, in joy and without judgment …It’s the gardener’s way.
So tell me: how does your garden grow?
Well now. Looks like mama hummingbird’s granting us another bird’s-eye view of her nursery!
I don’t know when she laid her eggs, but I suspect it was shortly after she put the final touches on this nest–very likely, a few days ago. Hummingbird incubations typically last about 14-16 days, but since we’re having a cooler weather (low to mid-60s), the hatchlings might wait a while longer to poke their beaks through their shells.
We’ve lived at Chez Shore for almost four years now, and in that time, we’ve watched lots of hummingbird mamas build their walnut-sized nests in this sheltered alcove, right outside our front door. Their instincts must tell them it’s a safe place to be. Tucked into the furthest reaches of this “Thalia” Fuchsia, their nests are well-camouflaged. The tile roof is a barrier against winter storms.
Look closely: Can you spot her nest in this leafy nursery?
A quick note of reassurance: I took these photos at a safe distance–at least 10 feet from the fuchsia. The nest is about 10 feet above ground.
Mama Hummingbird’s nest is nearly complete—an architectural wonder that’s built of cotton fluff, stringy palm fronds, sticks, seeds, grass clippings and even paint chips, all of which help provide a cushiony, camouflaged home for fragile eggs.
Bit by bit, she ferried these building materials from our flowerbeds and the neighboring hillside, and then stitched everything together with her needle-sharp beak. Note that she’s lashed the nest to the fuschia with spider silk, strong as steel and stretchy enough to hold up to severe weather and her growing hatchlings’ flight simulations.
Flawless in its own right…Beauty that helps offset the ugliness that spilled out of the Oval Office today, betraying the very principles on which our nation was built. #Resist