Hummingbirds and Blooms – May 25, 2013

Some hot, humid weather moved in a few days ago.  The day the front arrived, the sky was blue but the clouds started rolling in late in the afternoon.  The photo below shows a beautiful white cumulus cloud with a lower dark cloud.  The dark cloud was moving very quickly; the cumulus was barely moving at all.  Shortly thereafter, the rain started.

Storm Clouds

Storm Clouds

Rain Drops on Hosta

Rain Drops on Hosta

The next morning, the drops of rain were still evident.

Rain Drop on Daisy

Rain Drop on Daisy

The daisies are starting to bloom and I caught one with a drop of water right in the center.

The yellow peony blossoms are starting to emerge.  The rain has beaten them down some as the flowers are so lush, large and heavy.  So I grabbed a photo while I could in between the rain drops. 

We do need this rain, I only wish it wouldn’t fall in torrents for days on end.  But, believe me, I’m not complaining!  It could be worse!  It could be snowing, as it is in Vermont!

Yellow Peony

Yellow Peony

The yellow and red tree peonies look wonderful next to each other with multiple blooms.

Multiple Blossoms on Red Tree Peony

Multiple Blossoms on Red Tree Peony

I have several different varieties of daylilies and the first to bloom are starting to bloom now.  These are a goldenrod color and extremely vibrant.  From my research, I believe these are Hemerocallis Middendorffii.  I’ve read that some “day lilies” actually last a day and a half to two days.  Well, so far, these daylilies have lasted two days.  At first I wondered if they were truly daylilies but they are and they do look like the Middendorffii variety.

Daylilies

Daylilies

These iris are in the bed opposite the patio.  The color combo of lavender and white really makes them pop in the landscape.

Iris

Iris

The huge rhodendendron is starting to flower.  Again, not knowing how this rain will affect the blossoms, I took this photo while I could.  That’s a wild dogwood flowering to the left.

Rhododendron

Rhododendron

The hummingbirds are using the feeder I moved by the kitchen window.

Male Hummingbird

Male Hummingbird

This is a photo of the male hummingbird.  You can just make out the green feathers on his back but you can’t see the “ruby throat”.  I’m lucky I caught him at this port on the feeder.  I continued to try to get more photos the next morning, but he moved to the port at the back where I can’t see him and he’s been going there ever since!  But I’m extremely pleased to captured a photograph of him.

The female has been coming and going as well; quite often in fact.  She sits for a while on the feeder…takes a sip and looks around, takes another sip and looks around.  She looks kind of chubby to me and I think maybe she is due to lay her eggs soon.  The male hummingbird does not share in the responsibility of building the nest or care and feeding of baby hummingbirds.  The day I took the photo of the female, the wind was whipping and you can see the feathers on her wing ruffled by the wind.

Female Hummingbird

Female Hummingbird

And I swear another male is using the feeder, too.  But he is much smaller than the male in the photo.  I thought he might be a young male but from what I’ve read, the juveniles emerge from the nest larger than their mother as her body weight has been reduced from the stress of caring for her young.  So I don’t know if this really small male is new in town or what (I could just be imagining things).  I haven’t seen any aggression between any of them at the feeder thus far.

In The Catbird Seat

In The Catbird Seat

If you look very closely at the highest twig of the obelisk to the left, you’ll see the Catbird sitting on it.  (I was sitting with camera ready trying to get a photo of the hummingbird and happened to see the Catbird land here.) The Mockingbird hasn’t been here for a while and the Catbird is now the boss of the yard in his absence.  He is the boss of not just the other birds, he is the boss of any critter or human that wanders into his territory. But I love him!

And you’ll see in this photo that the Veronicastrum has now grown beyond the second to last cross bar from the top of the obelisk.  I have to go out there almost every day and tuck the top shoots inside the structure.  What you’re seeing to the left that looks similar is phlox.

At this point I think some of them will continue to grow and drape gracefully outside the obelisk and some will grow straight up through the top.

It will be interesting to see how this works out.

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