We experienced some brutally hot weather at the beginning of August, which of course is no surprise in Texas. However low pressure and rain showers made the latter half of the month quite pleasant, by comparison. The temperatures dropped from around the 100's (we had five days of 100+ temps) to the low- to mid-90's.
So Eric and I decided to douse ourselves with bug spray and head out to Kleb Woods Nature Reserve.
They will be having a Hummingbird Festival on September 10th, but we knew there would probably be plenty of hummers at their feeders already.
We weren't disappointed :-) The Nature Center has a nice big shady wrap-around porch and feeders are hanging under the eaves about 10 feet apart, more or less at eye level for viewers on the porch.
It's very pleasant to sit or stand in the shade while the hummers zip around between the feeders and among the bushes in the garden.
As always, you can click on the images to see a larger view. Given the diminutive stature of these little gems, that's probably the best way to see them :-)
I lost count of the total, but there were perhaps 10 or more. Most were Ruby-Throats, which is what we see in our back yard habitat.
We spent a very pleasant half-hour watching them cavorting about and at times there were three or four on a feeder. (We never get that at home, there's always that one who thinks the whole yard is his and sees off all the rest).
As we watched them, I suddenly realized that they weren't ALL Ruby-throats. I kept seeing flashes of russet as one particularly aggressive little hummer dive-bombed his more sedate companions. I should qualify that by saying I meant more sedate by comparison. You couldn't really call any hummingbird *sedate*.
I tried and tried to get a photo of this little whirling dervish, hoping he would settle on a feeder. But he was more interested in making sure the others kept their distance than actually taking a sip of nectar himself.
This was the best I could do. It's a Rufous hummingbird - the first I have ever seen. You can see his victim in the top right hand corner of this shot, LOL.
Finally, here's a short clip of video that I took -- only about a minute's worth.
We're certainly going to try and make it to the Hummingbird Festival as they are a lot of fun and very informative.
If you are in the area from 9 am to 3 pm, on Saturday September 10th, do try to stop by. Here's a flyer with more information.
Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Jayne's Country Garden.