The many faces of Napoleon

Napoleon, the ruby-throated hummingbird, rules the deck. Except for a lady hummingbird, the occasional wasp, and a dark-eyed junco who took his place on the shepherd’s crook from which the feeders hung*, no one can get close to the nectar.

*High winds in recent storms swung  the feeders so violently, they slung nectar all over the deck, front windows, sidewalk and walls. The feeders are now sitting safely on the deck. It took the birds less than 10 minutes to figure out the new location was OK.

The many faces of Napoleon
Napoleon, the ruby-throated hummingbird, maintains watch over "his" feeders.
Hummingbird hovers off the deck on a foggy morning.
Hummingbird honcho Napoleon stares down intrusive paparazzi.
Napoleon does his best vulture impression.
Napoleon does his best vulture impression.

Stormy weather

We’ve had our share of spring thunderstorms in the urban-wildlife interface.  Among the more interesting phenomena is how these threadlike clouds rise like ghosts from the bottom of the valley and seem to walk in unison along the tree tops until they dissipate.

Clouds rising from the valley
Clouds rise from the valley after a late spring storm.
storm rages overhead
A tree stands silhouetted against roiling storm clouds.

Seeing Red

The blues aren’t the only colors in the urban-wildlife interface. Plenty of ways to see red (and reddish).

This chrysanthemum surprises every year with both spring and fall blooms. A bumble bee stays busy working the thousands of blossoms on the mountain, including this wild blackberry flower. This year we seem to be seeing more honeybees and bumble bees.  This Carolina wren takes a break from parenting. It has built a nest in the deck’s propane heater.

Mum, blackberry flower with bumble bee, Carolina wren
A burgundy mum sprinkled with sand or pollen, a bumble bee working a wild blackberry flower and a Carolina wren basks in the sunshine.

The Ouachita Mountain blues

It’s hard not to get the blues sometimes in the Ouachitas. The pines are peppered with indigo buntings, the flawless blue sky invites all sorts of avian and insect traffic and even the fence lizards get into the act. They show turquoise coloring under their throats and on their bellies during breeding season.

Three photos showing an indigo bunting, blue sky, lizard with blue scales
An indigo bunting tops a pine, a hummingbird heads into the blue and a fence lizard showing his turquoise scales during breeding season.