Back from our walk in the woods, David waited for me in the garden at the rear of our friend’s house… more delightful flowers and a special surprise awaited us here.
A blossom filled hanging basket.
Big and blowsy but how delicate is the colouring of these flowers.
Clematis, perhaps my very favourite of all plants.
A bouquet of rose buds.
Anyone for honey? It’s hard work for bees.
Difficult to photograph… shiny red berries.
Silver grey amongst the green… delightful.
A tiny, put perfect geranium flower.
I always think of the buds of Kalmia latifolia as icing sugar buds.
The buds open into perfect, though tiny, bells.
Birds abound in both the woods and in the garden…
attracted by the feeders no doubt.
And this was our surprise… hummingbirds. Their name comes from the fact that they flap their wings so fast that they seem to hum. Interestingly, each species of hummingbird makes a different humming sound, determined by the number of wing beats per second… some recorded at up to 80 beats and more per second.
These are fascinating birds to watch. If you watch for long enough you can see them fly to the right, to the left, up, down and even backwards… the only group of birds able to do this. When they hover their wings flap in a figure 8 pattern… though this is a bit difficult to see unless you slow down a video of their wing movements.
The tiny feathers on these birds make delicate patterns.
Their feet are used only for perching… not for hopping or walking.
By merely shifting position, the gorget feathers of the throat region can instantly become fiery in colour as the sun hits the prism like layers of these feathers.
The hummingbird’s fast breathing rate, fast heartbeat and high body temperature require that they eat often. They need to eat twice their body weight in food every day. To do that they need to visit hundreds of flowers.. or have generous neighbours like our friends to give them a helping hand. That long, tapered bill is used to obtain nectar from the centre of long, tubular flowers… or, as here, from simulated tubular flower feeders. Their tongues can lick the nectar at a rate of 13 licks per second… try it sometime! Nectar is a mixture of glucose, fructose, and sucrose and is a poor source of important nutrients such as protein, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. To make up for this lack in nectar, hummingbirds also feed on tree sap, insects and pollen.
We could have watched for hours as the hummingbirds darting back and forward to the feeders … but a delicious meal of salmon BBQ’d on cedar boards had been prepared for us… so we left these amazing little birds to their own feast while we enjoyed ours.
We are very grateful to our good friends for allowing us to photgraph their garden and we hope you have enjoyed sharing their garden with us.
Jennie and David
All photographs copyright © JT and DY of jtdytravels
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