Summer flashback

After a mostly gray, soggy and cold week, it was nice to find reminders of summers past in the photo files.  Each year, we enjoy the aerial antics of the ruby-throated hummingbirds who spend the summer with us  following their  yearly migration from central America.  Their quickness of wing is always a challenge for the little pocket digital cameras, but that doesn’t keep us from trying to capture them in pixels.

Hummingbird at feeder.
Hummingbird goes in for refueling. Taken July 19, 2014.

 

He’s back!

Napoleon, the boss hummingbird is back, having made a successful trans-Gulf flight from his winter quarters in Mexico or south Florida. He went right to where the feeder had been hanging the last few summers. Took a few minutes this morning to make some nectar and give the feeder an overdue scrub. Not long afterward, a second hummingbird appeared.

Napoleon surveys his domain in the Arkansas Ouachitas from the bottom half of our flag staff. We took the top half, with flag, inside in anticipation of some heavy thunderstorms earlier in the week.
Napoleon surveys his domain in the Arkansas Ouachitas from the bottom half of our flag staff. (We took the top half, with flag, inside in anticipation of some heavy thunderstorms earlier in the week.)

Local color

Some random shots of local color.

CATERPILLAR - Wandering around the driveway.
SUMMER TANAGER -- He's back and he's red. Hard to miss him in the canopy.
DAISY -- Shadows of taller wildflowers fall across the daisy's face.
ORANGE -- Tiny flower peers up from the grass.
GRAPE EXPECTATIONS -- Grapes ready to bloom.
FLASH OF RED -- Ruby-throated hummingbird shows his colors from his favorite perch in the sumac.

Curious Georgette

There’s one female hummingbird who seems to have made the connection between the people inside the house and the nectar in the feeders. When the feeder is dry, she hovers in front of the windows. Is she signalling us? Or is she checking to see if anyone is coming toward the deck?

Tonight, as I quietly moved to the deck to photograph a deer grazing below among the sunchokes and overgrown poke, this female hummingbird buzzed right up to the lens. Did not have the flash on for this just-before-sunset sequence, but that’s just as well — she might have been startled and a her curiosity dashed.

Hummingbird gets her closeup.
Is she curious, or just making sure the photographer catches her best side?

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.