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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Wonderful Weekend

Wow - what a great weekend this has been! OK - for some reason I've been feeling puny for part of it, but the good definitely outweighs the bad.

First of all, Eric and I went to the Hummingbird Festival at Kleb Woods.  There was a good turnout of people, not so much from the hummingbirds.  As I said yesterday, I think they are all in our garden!  

There weren't many hummingbirds to be seen, but there were a couple, to the delight of the eager crowd with binoculars focused on the feeders. And the organizers made sure there was plenty to do, even in the absence of hummingbirds (like last year). There were demonstrations and lectures in the Nature Center, and out by the Kleb house and garden, there were tables set up with various wildlife-inspired games.

The most notable event happened as we went for a walk through the woods.  It RAINED! It started out as a gentle rain and then got steadier. By the time we got back to the car, we were pretty wet, but it was such a welcome relief from the endless days of drought, we laughed as we dripped.

When we got home, we could tell it had rained there too.  I took a stroll round the garden and could almost feel the relief.

And look who came to visit...

 This is the first Monarch I have seen this year.  The garden is certainly ready for them - we have some impressive stands of milkweed.  

This was still visiting the milkweed on Sunday (and I hope she laid some eggs).  She wasn't, however, the only butterfly enjoying the milkweed.

This Pipevine Swallowtail enjoyed an afternoon nectaring on it as well. I wonder if she laid some eggs on the Dutchman's Pipevine I have growing underneath the Southern Wax Myrtle?

On Saturday afternoon, I got up close and personal with a hummingbird in the garden.  You could call it a rescue mission.

Since it was cloudy, and not blisteringly hot, I was determined to get some decent photos of the hummers by getting closer to the feeders, rather than taking photos from in side the house.

There were several hummers buzzing around the feeder under the crepe myrtle, but I was shocked by what I saw when I got closer...

One of them had got stuck!!!

I have no idea how she managed to get stuck like this, but after snapping this photo, I carefully put my hand underneath her and lifted her up so she could free her wings and fly out. It was amazing to touch her, she felt so tiny, light and delicate.

Once she was free, she hovered six inches in front of my nose for a few seconds, as if to say thanks, and then took off over my shoulder.

After that, I took lots of photos of them on the feeder, and another short video clip.  I wonder if the little one I rescued is among them, or if she is wary of the feeders now? One of the hummers has been enjoying the Dallas Red Lantana, and the milkweed - perhaps that's her.  I guess I'll never know.

I think the photo below is my favorite photo:

Looking at these photos, it occurred to me that most of my hummers are girls.  There are a couple of males out there, but they are way outnumbered by the females.

So all in all, it was a great weekend. With yesterday's rain and the cooler temperatures, it's easier to believe that fall isn't too far way.

At least I hope it isn't too far away.

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

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Hummingbird Haven

Eric and I are going to the annual Hummingbird Festival at Kleb Woods today.  We went last year, and although we had a great time, there wasn't a hummingbird to be seen!  This year seems to be a bumper year for hummingbirds, so there should be plenty of them at Kleb Woods.  

Although, come to think of it, they may all be in our garden.  How many hummers can you see in the photo below? (click the photo to see the enlarged version).

Now see if you can count them in this video I took this morning.

I have to apologize for the out of focus video - not quite sure what happened, but I think it still gives you an idea of what's going on in Hummingbird Haven :-)

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

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Rosemary and Thyme

I got a catalog from AcornTV in the mail the other day.  I've never ordered from them before, but I probably got the catalog because I have purchased DVDs of British TV shows from other outlets -- you know how that goes.

Anyway, I was  browsing through and came across a British TV detective show called Rosemary and Thyme.  I wasn't familiar with the show, since it originally aired from 2003 - 2009 and I moved to the U.S. in 1982.  

How's this for the premise for a show?

"Glorious gardens and classic whodunits combine in this hit British series seen on public television" (apparently I missed it there too). "Rosemary Boxer (Felicity Kendall) is a former professor, Laura Thyme (Pam Ferris) is a former policewoman. They share a passion for horticulture and a talent for sleuthing. Filmed in location in English and European countryside settings."

That sounds like something I would enjoy watching, I'm off to order it now!

Rosemary and Thyme - AcornTV Online

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

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Winged Wonders III

 While I have some uncertainties going on in my life right now, I've been rather distracted and haven't blogged in a bit. 

But one thing that has brightened my days recently is the fact that our garden is full of hummingbirds.  I've posted about them twice already this season, but I'm just so amazed at how many we have this year.

Here's a minute and a half of video I took of them earlier today, on the patio.  

I hope to get back to my regular posting schedule next week.

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