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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Battle of the Ruby-Throats

Just the other day I commented on Ursula's blog on Houston Grows that I hadn't seem hummingbirds fighting in my garden.  I saw one at the feeder most days, but I hadn't witnessed any territorial battles.

Well, it turns out I'm just not usually there at the right time.  I'm home today, after an early doctor appointment for which I ended up taking the entire day off work.

I love not having to work during the week.  If I could retire tomorrow I would, but unfortunately I'll probably be working till I'm 90!

Anyway, since it was relatively cool this morning, I went out and did a bit of weeding and as I did, I got buzzed.  At first I thought it was just one hummingbird, but then I realized there were two and they were zipping around the garden one chasing the other.

I went into the house to get my camera and managed to snap some blurry photos.  Please excuse the poor quality.  The action was pretty fast paced and I was standing indoors, about 15 or 20 feet away from them.

Look closely at the following pics and see if you can see them...

Double clicking on the photos will bring up a larger sized version.
Can you see them?  Both in the top half of the photo, above the feeder.  One on the left apparently sitting in the tree and one flying on the right.

I put the camera down then, and of course, when I did, they called a truce for a moment and both of them took a sip before flying up and perching in the pine tree.

Another thing I got around to doing was repotting some plants thatI have been meaning to repot for ages. I was careful not to disturb them too much, they basically slid out of one pot and into another, slightly larger one and I filled in around them with organic potting mix.

First is the Hamelia patens I bought a couple of weeks ago, although you can't actually see it's new container in this photo...

And the other is a hydrangea that Ursula passed along...

This hydrangea seems to like this spot on the patio, out of the direct sunlight, and has been putting out some new leaves. Hopefully next year I'll see some more growth and possibly even blooms.  My dad just sent me photos of his hydrangeas that he's growing in his garden in England and they are huge!

Now that the wren family has left the nest, I took the opportunity to give the plant that hosted them a good watering, trimmed off some leaves that had brown edges and removed the nest.  I've never seen a wren's nest before and was quite impressed with their work.
I got a couple of these Homestead Verbena from Ursula but this is the only one that is thriving.  I love the purple color.

Along the fence in the side yard -- the best five bucks I ever spent was on this evergreen (I think it's a cypress of some type).  I got on sale in Walmart and it was the most puny thing when I put it in the ground.  it's doing nicely now, and I wish I had got more of them.

In the bed by the garage, milkweed by the dozen and a couple of very enthusiastic sweet potato vines!

Oh well, back to work tomorrow. Things are about to get busier in my second job as well, so I hope I can continue to find time for gardening and blogging. 

Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.


maiaT said...

Those little birds don't want to share he sugar water, probably.
You had a busy day on your day off but your all your garden plant are thriving.
Lovely photos!

Jayne said...

You're right, maiaT. They're very territorial. I'd love, one day, to get a pair of them nest in our garden. That would be wonderful!

Kathleen Scott said...

I love firebush--it's a three-fer with nectar for hummers and butterflies and seeds for winter birds.

Ruby-throat migration is in full-swing. I duck when I go out on the porch now.

Fun to see how much progress your garden has made in the last year!

Corner Gardener Sue said...

My parents had hummingbirds when they lived in Arkansas. I remember them fighting over the feeders.

That nest is pretty cool. I have a friend who gave me some verbena similar to the Homestead this spring, and it is doing well. I had some a long time ago that died after a number of seasons. I've tried Homestead, but it doesn't seem to be hardy here.

I need to repot some things, too. I am behind in everything I do.