Friday, May 22, 2015

My Little Buddy...

Male Anna's Hummingbird, Calypte anna, taking wing.  I dare say I'm pretty attached to these little birds.  Each morning, after their evening torpor, they swarm the feeders and again, as the sun sets, to store up enough food to survive the cool evenings.  Some nights there may be 15 or more of them.  They're smart enough to recognize the guy who fills the feeder (aka, me).  They will actually come up and look me in the eye and chirp at me.  Fascinating little birds.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Gotta Love those Anna's Hummingbirds

Male Anna's Hummingbird, Calypte anna, perched on an apricot branch. I really do enjoy watching these little guys. Two of them came up to say hello, face to face, yesterday! Very curious, vocal and amazingly smart.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Male Allen's Hummingbird, Selasphorus sasin

Male Allen's Hummingbird, Selasphorus sasin, showing off his amazing, irridescent gorget!  These are my all time favorites!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Allen's Hummingbird

This little Allen's hummingbird (female), with a bit of pollen on her nose, was taking a break on the apricot tree in my back yard.  Allen's hummingbirds used to be restricted in range between Santa Barbara northwards through Southern Oregon.  However, some of these lovely and very feisty hummingbirds have since colonized Los Angeles County,  Orange County, and San Diego County, likely due to the presence of hummingbird feeders and human floral plantings, providing ample food for both the Allen's and Anna's hummingbirds in the area.  I used to only see the Allen's Hummingbirds as they migrated through the area during the Spring and Fall; however, several of these lovely birds have settled into the neighborhood and provide many moments of joyful viewing.

Silly Signs

Every now and then you see a sign or a t-shirt or a slogan that's just so silly and outlandish that you have to chuckle...  Perhaps the secret is to be so outlandish that nobody will take it seriously.  This one was posted outside the Fathom Restaurant on the pier at Shelter Island in lovely, mostly sunny San Diego, California.

On another note, we have received 2.25 inches of rain so far, this May, making it the second wettest May on record.  The 2015 May rainfall was exceeded (so far) only by May 1921 with 2.54 inches of rain!  Ironically, relatively little of it is caught for human uses, the area being largely dependent on mountain snowfall over the Summer months.  This Winter was warm and dry, thus still leaving the area in the grips of the drought, less a little May reprieve for our gardens, canyons and wildlife, all of which clearly needed the water.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sealion Aces Out the Pelicans

This cleaver California sealion jumped up into the air and snapped up the fish mid-stream before the pelicans could!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A Beautiful Pink Dragonfly

Roseate Skimmer, Orthemis ferruginea, perched on a reed.  Anza-Borrego.  One of the first pink dragonflies I've ever run across, and native to Southern California at that!

Birds of Anza Borrego and Borrego Springs

Costa's Hummingbird, Calypte costae, feeding on Chuparosa nectar.

Costa's Hummingbird on a dried out Ocotillo branch.

Yellow Warbler, Dendroica petechia, leaping off of Desert Willow.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Greater Flamingos Coming Hither

A short flamingo video.  I really enjoyed watching them stroll through the shallow water, following each other around, as if in a conga line.  It's strangely hypnotizing.  I also discovered that they appear to like duck food, as they all started to congregate for food as I was feeding the ducks.  Go figure!

A Quick Visit With the Hummers

The hummingbirds are back in full force, particularly in the evenings when there can be whole clouds of them surrounding the feeders.  The dry weather has probably made it tough to find regular food sources.  I'll need to head out to the nursery and see if I can find more drought-tolerant nectar bearing flowers for them.  Of course, I haven't had any grass for years, having eliminated the grass in favor of succulents and shrubs.  Much lower maintenance and much prettier, IMHO.  But then that's just me.

Male Anna's Hummingbird

Male Anna's Hummingbird

Male Allen's Hummingbird

Monday, April 13, 2015

Phalaenopsis stuartiana

Phalaenopsis stuartiana, still in bloom after about a month.  Aren't Phalaenopsis wonderful!  This species is originally from the Philippines.  However, this one is a line bred variety that is much fuller and larger flowered than the original species.

Anna's Hummingbird on a Fence

Anna's Hummingbird, Calypte anna, on a fence

Friday, April 03, 2015

Phalaenopsis philippinensis

Phalaenopsis philippinensis.  This orchid is native to Luzon where it grows pendent on the trunks of large trees and where it is somewhat protected from the elements.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Anna's Hummingbird on Chuparosa

A female Anna's Humingbird, Calypte anna, feasting on Chuparosa (Justicia californica) nectar.  The chuparosa is one of the finest nectar producers in the desert, refilling fairly rapidly with nectar.  The hummingbirds, having learned this tidy little fact, do rounds from chuparosa flower to chuparosa flower, coming back to each flower in intervals, giving each flower time to refill with nectar!  Studies have shown that hummingbirds will seek out the flowers that offer the nectar with the highest sucrose content (not fructose or any other sugar, just sucrose!).  Yep, they have a discriminating sweet tooth!

San Diego County Orchid Society Show AOS Awards

Cymbidium Hazel Fay 'Amber' AM/AOS

Epidendrum goodspeedianum CBR/AOS

Epi Pacific Classic 'Duke' AM/AOS

Epi Pacific Classic 'Orange Julius' HCC/AOS

Epi Pacific Darling 'Firey' HCC/AOS

Lycaste Chita Impusle AM/AOS

Paph (Shin-Yi Surprise x rothschildianum) HCC/AOS

Phalaenopsis lobbii 'Jenny' AM/AOS

Phalaenopsis lobbii 'Jenny' CCE/AOS

Zygopetalum New Era 'Windflower Too' AM/AOS