Mid-July Vividness

July 13, 2014

Harvesting for market, Jello Mold Farm

Harvesting for market, Jello Mold Farm

“Mid-July comes and the palette of blossoms shifts to hotter colors, as if in their vividness they were reflecting the sun.”
— Verlyn Klinkenborg, More Scenes from the Rural Life

I saw some evidence of vibrancy in the flower fields at Jello Mold Farm this past week.  The deep reds and oranges of the crocosmia, poppies, and sneezeweed glowed in their jeweled presence.  And the sunny yellow sunflowers were starting to burst into bloom.

Poppies

Poppies

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Crocosmia with hummingbird

Crocosmia with hummingbird

Sneezeweed

Sneezeweed

 

 

“Like a fury of iridescence, a hummingbird spends the day at high speed, darting and swiveling among thousands of nectar-rich blossoms.”
— Diane Ackerman, “Mute Dancers: How to Watch a Hummingbird,” The New York Times, May 29, 1994

"A perpetual mania to find food -- hummingbird at work"

“A perpetual mania to find food — hummingbird at work”

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Hummingbird at rest

Hummingbird at rest

I count it a lucky day when I see a hummingbird, and twice as lucky if I happen to have my camera with me at the same time.  With heartbeats of 500 per minute, these little buzz bombs must eat every 15 minutes or so to stay alive.  I learned these facts and more, including how they survive the night, from Diane Ackerman’s “Mute Dancers:  How to Watch a Hummingbird.”

I recommend following the link to this short essay.

 

Handsome Paths

June 12, 2014

“And what a dynamic, handsome object is a path!”
— Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space:  The Classical Look at How We Experience Places

Path in Winslow down to the marina

Path in Winslow down to the marina

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I haven’t been out for a wilderness hike yet this year, but I have been enjoying some urban walks.  I love to go out with an open outlook and see what interesting things cross my path.  These pictures were taken on a recent outing to Bainbridge Island.  I couldn’t resist following this enticing green path down from the commercial center to the water.  And I was rewarded with a rare glimpse of a hummingbird!

Rhododendron

Rhododendron

Daisies

Daisies

Hummingbird and clover

Hummingbird and clover

 

Hummingbird in the crocosmia

Hummers
by Sharon Lovejoy, from Roots, Shoots, Buckets, and Boots

A hummingbird flew past today,
circled my garden and decided to stay.
Its tiny wings made a funny sound,
like zippers going up and down.
It dipped and dived among the plants,
and snacked on spiders, gnats, and ants.
And all day long, for flying power,
it sipped the nectar tucked in flowers.

What a treat to see a hummingbird feeding in the crocosmia!

Crocosmia in bloom

Here comes a hummer!

Hummingbird with blurred wings

Sipping nectar

Hovering hummingbird

Hummingbird in the crocosmia

Watercolor sketch of crocosmia

Another watercolor sketch of crocosmia

Hummingbird enjoying the year's first blossoms

I was enjoying the beauty of the first tree blossoms against a blue sky when I noticed a tiny hummingbird flitting from flower to flower.  I love how poets describe hummingbirds: 

  • “Thou insect bird!  Thou plumed bee!”  — Royall Tyler, “Ode to the Hummingbird”
  • “Enchanted thing,”  “Darling sprite”  — Jess Campbell Rae, “Hummingbird”
  • “Bright whirligig” — Cyrus Curtis III Cassells, “The Hummingbird”
  • “A flash of harmless lightening, A mist of rainbow dyes,” — John Banister Tabb, “The Hummingbird”
  • “A pure vibration” — Arnold Craig, “You Are the Hummingbird That Comes”

The Humming-bird
by Emily Dickinson

A route of evanescence
With a revolving wheel;
A resonance of emerald,
A rush of cochineal;
And every blossom on the bush
Adjusts its tumbled head, —
The mail from Tunis, probably,
An easy morning’s ride.

Hummingbird eyeing blossom

Bright whirligig

Plumed bee

A pure vibration

And then the hummingbird flitted away, and I was left to gaze at "just" blossoms.