Allen's Hummingbird (female), Selasphorus sasin. These breed throughout coastal California in a general scrub habitat and Winter in Western Mexico. They are small but energetic, feisty hummingbirds. The female lacks the bright scarlet gorget, has a white-spotted chin and chest with a bright red spot in the center of the chin. There are a lot of hummingbirds at the feeder this year, often six or more sitting at the feeder at any given time. It could be due to the severe drought and the lack of wildflowers in the coastal scrub habitat. While I feel bad for the little guys, I certainly enjoy their company. Perhaps we'll go out to the nursery and buy some hummingbird-friendly, flowering shrubs.
Allen's Hummingbird (male) in the backyard. They're a little shy compared to the Anna's. I've been trying to get a decent picture for a while but they typically move before I can auto-focus the lens.. They pass through San Diego on their migration down to and back up from Mexico. This Summer, I have a little family of them in the back yard. There is also a year round colony of them in the Channel Islands, Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. It could be, with all the feeders in San Diego, that some of them decided to stay here as well.
Stanhopea inodora 'Pt Loma' HCC AOS blooming outdoors under shade cloth. These are native to Mexico, Belize and Nicaragua where they grow at around 2000-5000 ft. They like water and, if happy, quickly grow into specimen plants.
Brassavola tuberculata blooming in the greenhouse. These charming little orchids put out sprays of 8 or 10 flowers at a time and hail from Brazil, Paraguay and Bolivia. They can be stubborn bloomers until the plant gets reasonably large.
Hibiscus Georgia's Pearl. Found this little beauty in bloom yesterday! I bought two hybrid Hibiscus in a little bout of missing Hawaii... I haven't decided yest if I will leave it in pot or if I will plant it outside and risk the Winter temperatures.
Stanhopea embreei, a lovely Stanhopea species from western Ecuador and Peru where it grows in Andean cloud forests. This particular clone, however, is missing the eye spot on the lip (for you Stanhopea afficionados) which was initially misleading. I bought it years ago as a seedling of Stanhopea wardii x self from Carter and Holmes Orchids (a wonderful nursery with a wide variety of orchids at reasonable prices). After some discussion in the orchid groups on Facebook, the consensus is embreei, both because of the lip & column shape and also because my other embreei is also blooming right now.
Hoya pubicalyx blooming in the back yard. The leaves turn reddish in the sun with little silver flecks like a small dusting of glitter. This species is an easy grower and makes a wonderful display when in bloom. This one is a division from my friend Renate (I call it Renate Red!).
Encyclia alboxanthina is one of my favorite Encyclia species, with long branching spikes of fragrant green, yellow and white flowers. This species is found in Bahia, Brazil and is not seen in cultivation very often, probably because it gets quite large.
Encyclia Cashen's Chocolate Rose 'Smokey' AM/AOS. Summer is Encyclia blooming season and the greenhouse is awash in colorful sprays of fragrant, Encyclia blossoms. These guys like a lot of sun, moderate water and want to dry out between waterings. This beauty is a hybrid of Encyclia cordigera and Encyclia Orchid Jungle, which is a primary between Encyclia alata and Encyclia phoenecia.
Marine Blue Butterfly, Leptotes marina, at Big Bear Lake, California. The caterpillars typically live off of legumes including the many native species of Lupine and, in the city, sometimes you will find them on Plumbago.
The group of us hanging out at the Big Bear Rescue Zoo. They had a broad assortment of rescued animals including wolves, golden eagles, mountain lions, lynxes, bald eagles,black bears and grizzly bears!
Brandy, one of the zoo keepers brought out the cutest hedgehog for the crowd.
Western Blue Flag, Iris missouriensis, is found is moist, open, montane meadows in Southern California. This one was in a meadow adjacent to the Timberline lodge in Big Bear, California. I wandered over to the meadow to investigate the flowers while checking into the lodge and just caught the tail end of what was probably a glorious blooming of a field full of Iris. I could still see the seed pods the dried flowers on most of the plants and the last few still had flowers.