red flannel pantry

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Archive for the tag “hummingbird”

flora, fauna and fabric in LA

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My husband, Daughter #2 and I visited Los Angeles last weekend and had a fabulous time. D#2 and I had never been there before, so traveling from our freezing temps to sunny and unseasonably warm (even for there) southern California was a bit surreal. At Griffith Observatory we spied this little hummer buzzing around plantings at the base of the Astronomers Monument. I think it was an Anna’s hummingbird. See the dusting of pollen on her beak?

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Also at Griffith Observatory, this wee hummingbird paused long enough for me to snap a quick photo. My guess is that it was a black-chinned hummingbird. Like the other, she also had a pollen smudge on her beak.

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While at Venice Beach, we visited with fauna of the domestic variety at Small World Books, a quiet intellectual haven in all of the craziness. Conan is the resident cat librarian; he gladly assumed a studied casual pose for us Midwestern tourists.

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The Getty Center stunned us with its gardens and architecture (we bow down to you, Richard Meier).

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It felt like we were at Starfleet Academy.

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On our last day there, my husband and daughter indulged me in visiting Sew Modern. We arrived before official opening hours, but the door was propped open because some renovation work inside the store was in progress. The owners kindly welcomed us in and let me prowl around while I wished I had a huge empty suitcase to cram full of fabric.

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However, showing a great deal of restraint, I walked out with only these lovely pieces.

lion’s tail

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Every spring I visit my favorite nursery, where my friend, Anne, works. As a knowledgeable gardener who enjoys indulging my garden experimentation, she points out a few unfamiliar plants that she promises will deliver. This year she steered me to a plain Jane in the herb section called lion’s tail, Leonotis leonurus. I tended to it all summer, and it has finally rewarded me with these incredible blooms. Its tubular flowers are attracting both butterflies and hummingbirds.

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The blooms emerge from these spikey balls. Being a South African native, it is considered an annual here. It’s a member of the mint family and is supposed to have all sorts of medicinal qualities, hence its herbal/pharmacologic classification. Given my fondness for orange, lion’s tail a new favorite. Thanks, Anne!

hummingbird at rest

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I spied this little hummer taking a well-deserved rest at the feeder among the canna lilies. Her moment of repose serves as a good reminder on a hot day.

garden visitors

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In the summer I often feel pulled by the simultaneous siren calls of the sewing room and the gardens. When the weather is cooperative, I usually succumb to the gardens’ more urgent needs as was the case today. While in the vegetable garden weeding, I came upon my old friend, Mr. Toad. He was enjoying the shade and the bugs beneath some lettuce that had bolted. He didn’t seem too pleased when I removed his temporary shelter and meal source.

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He kept me company for awhile, tucked into the shade of the garden hod. The midday sun soon became too much for him, and he shimmied beneath the raised bed board into the cool soil.

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While picking cucumbers, I spied a black swallowtail butterfly on the dill. I watched her for awhile, thinking I might get to see her lay eggs, but she was a tease and just flit about.

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This hummingbird and I startled each other as I approached the pots of lantana. She quickly recovered and continued with her lunch at the lamb’s ear. I have always thought these blooms were ugly and so have been quick to cut them back, but now I might wait, knowing that both bees and hummingbirds are fond of them.

hummingbird showdown

The hummingbirds are in combat mode around here, dive bombing one another to protect their turf.

This little female ruby-throated hummingbird took a break from her high-speed pursuits to feed.

Another female quickly let her know that she needed to retreat!

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