Tag Archives: ruby throated hummingbird

Summer 2014

The weather forecast is 4 C for Saturday. Was the summer here for real? I spent most of my time in the garden,  working around my flower beds or simply watching the hummingbirds, or any other birds, insects and butterflies. Trying to copy all of the summer’s garden  life into my memory to have it back during the winter days.

The hummingbirds are still here, this summer I had three adult males from May until late July and the last one left mid August. Little gorgeous birds, they made my days better.

 

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New Year and old pictures

Forget the frigid temperatures, the ice rain or the snowfall… it must be something – somewhere to warm up our spirit. I am ready for a new gardening season, until then…. lots of pictures to watch and smile.

Happy New Year! may the Spring come soon!

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Cuphea for hummingbirds

There is no secret the tubular flowers are mostly liked by hummingbirds. The shape of the flower is just perfect for the long bill and the nectar can be reached easily. Also, so many flowers count on hummingbirds for pollination.  Cuphea’s flowers are so beautiful and so much liked by hummingbirds.

pagecupheaI have three Cupheas in my hummingbird garden. I like all of them and I sit nearby with my camera ready to catch the magical hummingbird dance hovering around the flowers.

This one is Mexican Cigar or Cuphea ignea and probably the hybrid named David Verity (c.ignea x c.micropetala). The small tubular flowers in red-orange color are tipped with a thin withe-silver rim and two very tiny purple petals that suggest a lit cigar.

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It is an annual flower for my zone 5, and winter hardy for zones 10-12. Awesome flower, easy to grow from seeds, plant in full sun, moderate water. It will tolerate some drought but it will do the best with regular watering.

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I was so happy to found them at the nursery and I’ve got three nicely grown plants almost ready to bloom. However, I have started a few from seeds and I planted them in a flower bed out in the garden. I may say that the ones in pots didn’t grow so tall and bushy like the ones in the ground.

To make the plant bushier pinch the stems as needed to maintain a good shape. They can grow as tall as 30″ or more in warmer areas.

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This is one hummingbird enjoying the Mexican Cigar and for sure it’s a good hummingbird flower, from how much visited it was.

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Cuphea Ilavea, another magnet for hummers, in two shapes: one looks like Batface and the other one with smaller petals I would call Mouseface, because I didn’t get the name tag when I purchased it. Anyhow, doesn’t matter, for the beauty and joy it gives away, for me and the hummingbirds.

The flowers are obviously different, the same tubular shape but the petals are bigger and bright red with a purple center . They need the same sunny area and water with moderation.  Hummingbirds are so happy around them and some of them were guarding the area very carefully.

DSCN1562Can you see the one hummingbird there?

DSCN7041Cuphea can become a little bit leggy so pinch the stems to keep them in good shape.

DSCN3333I planted the in a sunny place together with a few annual Salvias and they made a great playground for the hummingbirds.

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The other Cuphea Ilavea might be a Batface hybrid and from the look of the flower it really look line one batface 🙂 The petals are visible larger than the other one. I noticed they they self-seed and the seeds were very well alive after the cold winters in Ontario. I have plants from the seeds I saved in fall. I have this plant in my garden for two summers already.

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This bumble bee is too big for such a small flower… is this a hug???

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Plant Cuphea where ever you want a nice and bright color all summer.  Plant a mass of plants near a window or the patio where you can enjoy the hordes of butterflies and hummingbirds sipping the reach nectar. of these beautiful flowers.

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How pretty am I???

Watching the hummingbirds is always amazing.  I spend lots of time waiting for the big -wonderful shot, and I always have my camera ready. But these little birds are so very fast, and my camera clicks a second late almost every time.  I didn’t get “THE” picture, but some of them are really funny.  Browsing through the summer’s photos brings me back to the sunny days.

They come back at the feeder almost every 15 minutes; some of them fly back very quickly, others are taking time for resting and guarding.  Perching at the feeder is not very often,  but they will fly somewhere close and watch the feeders from any intruders.

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A good and healthy meal: catching small flying insects will provide the protein needed. Look at that tongue! good for sipping the nectar and fly-catching as well.

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Preening, scratching and stretching…

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A nap after a good meal? I don’t know if they really nap, but those eyes are closed for sure 🙂

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My last thought: aren’t they so pretty??? The delicate body shape, those dark eyes with a small white spot in the corner of the eye.  And the shiny emerald like green… totally addictive.

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Who is she?

Remember Fuzzy,  the friendly hummingbird from last summer? She liked to perch on top of a tomato stick support. From there she could guard the garden and protect it as her territory.  This year, a hummingbird as “fluffy” as Fuzzy was, perches on the same stick, and behave like my dear Fuzzy. Is it possible? Is Fuzzy back???

Look at these pictures, this one is Fuzzy, October 2012. The red area is the feeder I had in my hand… she let me fed her 🙂

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This picture is from a few days ago, not the same position, but… looks familiar.

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Fuzzy last year, below:

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And this year…is it Fuzzy? or not?

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First row is Fuzzy, last year. Second row is my girl this year. She is not shy, she likes the flowers and the feeders and she comes  so close to us… no fear.

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Whoever is she, is a beauty!  I can see her  almost every time, around the flowers or in the trees or on top of the bamboo cane.  Hopefully more pictures to come!

Enjoy the rest of the summer!

Surprising Shrimp plant

After a long waiting, with only to males as rare visitors of my garden;  finally the action began.  For two weeks now, one juvenile male and two females are the most precious residents of the garden. They hover over the flowers, the youngest are so curious and they are testing each one. They love  Agastache, Bee Balm,  Zinnia, Weigela, Penstemons and more others. This year I extended my hummingbird flower collection, with new Agastaches and Salvias, Mina Lobata, Major Wheeler Honeysuckle, Cobaea,  Cuphea Ignea.

But the surprise came from the two braided Shrimp plants (Justicia brandegeana). They just love it, and they pick every flower again and again. It’s just wonderful to watch them.

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May 2012: The Arrival

The 2012 hummingbird season was so different in so many ways. I didn’t have to many hummingbirds, maybe two or three in the same time. I was quite sad for a while, but the end of the summer brought me the best hummingbird gift.

The first hummingbird arrived earlier, on May 3rd. I have seen him late in the evening at my million bells hanging basket. What a delight!

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He wasn’t too friendly, and for sure didn’t like me taking photos. With some luck I was able to get a few photos.

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My boy became a regular at the feeders. It was a bit cold and rainy, and only a few flowers in bloom, and the feeders were at the most used.

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Every morning I looked at the window hoping I will see him. In the sun, his beautiful gorget was shinning like a flame.

One day, another male showed up, I recognize him after the white spot in his wing. And the fight over the feeders begun. I place the feeders far away from each other,  so they can’t see each other and have a good nectar snack any time.

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Spring time, hummingbird time, a wonderful show to watch.

 

It’s a boy!

The first hummingbird of the season finally arrived Saturday, May 8th, around noon time. The waiting was so long. By the end of April I wasn’t patient at all, looking on the window with the hope they are back.  That day,  I left the feeder on the table  just for a few minutes.  And here he is: waiting on top of the bottle, amazing beautifully.  The quality of the picture is not good, it was taken through the door screen, but this is one of the most important pictures of the season.This day was the beginning of joy, a summer of hummingbird watching and the appreciation of the beauty.


My first Hummingbird photos

This is one of the first pictures taken this summer, July 2010. I tried so many times to capture the image of this beautiful birds. I am so thrilled to see them at the feeder, that I simply forget about the camera. And they are so fast, it takes only 6 seconds and they are gone!That day, I took a few shots one after another, and I was so happy! Finally, the hummingbirds are here and we can see them at the feeder. First days I learned about two of them: one was  Bossy and the other one was Shy… it is obviously why this names, eh?