I’ve coddled two climbing roses for almost 5 years, now, and have been rewarded with about as many blooms. I almost gave up on them, truth be told, because they don’t didn’t seem all that happy in my backyard. But they’re finally taking off: arching outward and growing taller. We’re growing on each other, you might say. Behold the Zephirine Drouhin–a bright spot of color in the pelting rain.
Treat yourself, why don’t you, to our hummingbird hatchlings’ pre-fledge antics. Watch as Rain helicopters above the nest, hovers mid-flight, and manages a graceful landing on a twig beside the nest. Beau’s feathers get ruffled, but he looks on with rapt attention. Aryana chirps in the distance, as if to say, “Come into the garden, kids–let’s play!”
Not long after I filmed their playtime, Rain zipped off to join Aryana in the flowerbeds. Beau surfed the ocean breezes, hanging ten on the rim of the roomier nest.
See the shadowy “beard” on Beau’s chin? That’s a simple way to differentiate a juvenile hummingbird male from its female counterparts. Rain has white-tipped tail feathers, instead.
I revisited the nest before dinnertime, and voilà!
The nest is empty now, but my heart is full. I’m grateful for Aryana’s mothering instincts; thankful, too, for the fuchsia that camouflaged and provided shelter for three successful broods.
I also appreciate everyone who gathered around Aryana’s nest with me, watching her tiny eggs crack open, revealing featherless hatchlings that grew overnight, it seemed, eventually sprouted gossamer wings and needle-shaped beaks.
And yes, I’m glad for this schoolbus-yellow ladder. I’ve climbed it again and again with my camera, over the past several months…
…receiving firsthand the gifts that come of observing up close those tiny jewels of the sky.
Rainbows, flights of fancy, shimmery magic, and Mother Nature’s sensibilities: I’m grateful for this embroidered tapestry, stitched on my heart by a charm of hummingbirds. You, too?
Serendipity: That midnight moment in which you're first awakened from a pleasant dream and find yourself wishing you were a poet because there aren't enough gorgeous words in your vocabulary to help describe the rain that's splashing on the tile roof pattering on the sidewalk and soaking into the parched earth and neither can you find the right rhythm and cadence to help capture the sounds of the wind that's whistling through the chaparral and whooshing through the palms. So you just stand at the open window and drink it all in.
As dark gives way to light, the rainclouds drift from west to east.
The pre-dawn downpours are replaced by sunshowers, and then sprinkles.
The birds are chirping, the fresh-washed foliage is sparkling.…and the hillsides are once again bathed in sunshine.
We've had unrelenting sunshine for months now. But — huge surprise! — I was awakened by a pre-dawn thundersttorm this morning, accompanied by streaks of lightning. And then raindrops, thrumming on the roof.
On the whole, I prefer sunny weather. But I'm grateful, too, for this cleansing rain.
We’re smack-dab in the middle of a serious deluge–nigh unto biblical proportions, and I’m not kidding.
Dude, don’t mock us. This is serious stuff. We’re talking mudslides, and craaazy drivers skidding all over the oil-slicked freeways. Storm Watch, film at 11:00.
I welcome the rain, don’t get me wrong. I love that it clears the air and waters my thirsty garden. But it’s falling faster than the hard-packed earth can absorb it. Our storm drains are working overtime, and predictions are that the streets will soon be flooded.
Still, in honor of our long-overdue drought relief–and to provide a little comic relief–I give you Bill Cosby’s "Noah."