I came to Portland, Oregon in the US as a graduate student some forty years ago. It was November that year when I saw snow for the first time through a high ceiling window in the hallway of a meeting room. I jumped up and down and shouted, “It’s snowing. It’s snowing.” The local students walked by me and grinned. They might think, “What’s so exciting about snow? Silly.”
A month later during the winter break, I went with a group of students to Los Angeles and sat in the sun on Christmas day.
After graduated with my first master’s degree, I went to Seattle Pacific University to do my second master’s degree. That winter, Seattle welcomed me with 7 inches of snow. I was so excited and made a snowman with my leather gloves on my hands. Nobody told me that the leather would turn hard and stiff when it gets wet. I ruined the nice leather gloves.
I don’t do too well in cold weather, the weather in southern California seemed to agree with me and that is where I have stayed since finishing my study in Seattle.
My daughter is living in Portland, Oregon. She knows I love snow even though my body feels better in a warmer place. There was a heavy snow two years ago. The first thing she did was taking photos and sent them to me.
As far as southern California, it feels like summer is the longest season year round with a teasing winter and hair line period of autumn and short and sweet spring. The weather has been moderate besides the thunderstorm a couple weeks ago. I took photos of my garden today and have some beautiful flowers to share with you. Before I do that, just want to show you my baby hummingbird.
The baby hummingbird is eight months old. He is doing well and flying further away from the kitchen window. I know that the baby is not able to fly 900 miles straight to Mexico for winter, but I wasn’t sure if the parents were going. It’s December and the parents are still around. It seems like the family will stay for winter.
The ruby-throated baby hummingbird in my garden is doing well. He prefers nectar from lavender flowers, but there are not enough flowers to give him the amount of nectar he needs. Mama and Papa feed exclusively from my feeders.
There is a small potted ficus tree in front of the kitchen window underneath the hummingbird feeder. The lavender bush is about five feet from the ficus tree. Baby Hummi flew to the lavender flowers to get nectar. After feeding, he flies to the ficus tree and perches on his favorite spot of the branch until the next feeding. Papa flies around and swoops him up so he gets to fly one round of the palm trees. He quickly comes back to the ficus tree and perches on his spot.
Two days ago, he tried the sugar water from the feeder and liked it. He goes back and forth between the lavender flowers and the feeder. Papa comes by every twenty minutes to take him on flying lessons.
There was a baby hummingbird last year did the same thing. He perched on the ficus branch most of the time and the parent came by to take him flying. When the parents went south for the winter, the baby stayed behind to feed on my feeder throughout the winter.
I was curious about the migration of the hummingbird. I did a research this morning and found out that I will have the baby stay with us for the winter. The website also describes the colors of the birds.
The Colorful Hummingbird
The ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) is a species of hummingbird that generally spends the winter in Central America, Mexico, and Florida, and migrates to North America for the summer to breed. It is by far the most common hummingbird seen in North America.
The adult male has a throat patch of iridescent ruby red bordered narrowly with velvety black on the upper margin and a forked black tail with a faint violet sheen. The red iridescence is highly directional and appears dull black from many angles. The female has a notched tail with outer feathers banded in green, black, and white and a white throat that may be plain or lightly marked with dusky streaks or stipples.
During migration southward in autumn along the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico, some birds embark on a nonstop 900-mile journey. Some older male and female birds were better prepared for long-distance flight than first-year birds by having higher body weights and larger fuel loads.
Cee posts excellent questions in this week’s Share Your World – June 4, 2018.
A piece of clothing from your younger childhood you still remember?
I came to the US 40 years ago as a student. I checked in 2 suitcases to my flight. I had one carry on, and my purse. I wish I had brought more sentimental items, but I couldn’t. In fact, my carry on was too full that the security people asked me to take out something to leave behind. The problem was that I packed them very tight. After I took out something and repacked them, the bag was bigger than before. If you like camping and roll every piece of clothing tight to make your packing compact, you could visualize how I packed my bag.
During my three years of studies in Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington, I moved 9 times. In 1980, I drove from Seattle to Los Angles, California by myself. It was 1,1 75 miles with 18 hours of driving. I stopped overnight in San Francisco. Next day I still arrived Los Angles after dark. The freeway was very intimidating to a new person in town.
Even if I had brought a piece of childhood clothing, it couldn’t have survived with so many moving. Fortunately, my sister had scanned some of my childhood photos and I made copies of them. The first one was when I was six years old. I wore a Chinese style top and matching fabric pants. The second photo was when I was in third grade with the school uniform, a white shirt and a blue skirt with straps.
Regardless of your physical fitness, coordination or agility: If you could be an athlete what would you do? Remember this is SYW, dreaming is always allowed.
I would like to be a competitive swimmer. I learned swimming in the ocean when I was in Hong Kong. After I graduated from college and started working, it was hard to find time to go to the beach. I went swimming in an outdoor pool in a park. During one swimming, I slipped and almost got drown. Ever since then, I was afraid of water. I still swim, but only in shallow water.
The photo was taken when Mercy, Will and her friend participated in the Triathlon.
In a car would you rather drive or be a passenger?
I had driven long miles during my working life. I stayed in the same school district for 25 years even though we moved three times. The furthest distance was 30 miles with heavy traffic. The longest time it took to go to work was two and a half hours. The driving put a lot of stress on me, so we moved closer, but it was still a 21 miles drive.
After I retired, I don’t like to drive too much, especially at night. If I had a choice, I prefer to be a passenger.
What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.
I appreciate that I could spend the time to do gardening, trim the grape vines, watching the Red Throat Hummingbirds, the House Finch birds, and the Mourning Doves.
Frank’s Tuesday Photo Challenge the prompt for this week is: Future
Weekly Photo Challenge is: Smile
I hope to see some baby birds successively hatched in the near future – summer 2018. Watching and feeding these birds put a smile on my face.
I have been feeding many kinds of birds. The Mourning Doves came back to my garden for the third year. The first year, the female dove laid eggs, but the eggs were stolen. 1) Last year, the female doves laid two eggs and both the male and female took turns to incubate the eggs. The eggs were successfully hatched to two healthy baby doves. I’m hoping the mourning doves will have chicks again this year.
I also have many House Finch in my garden. They had the same misfortune two years ago and lost their four eggs. 2) Last year, the female Finch laid three eggs and hatched four eggs. One must be twins. 3) The birds watched their chicks from the nearby tree. There are many pairs of House Finch in my garden. One pair checked out the old nest. I hope they would use the same nest to lay eggs again.
I feed them bird seeds every day to get them to be healthy and ready to be parents.
I bought a new Hummingbird Feeder. The Red Throat Hummingbirds seem to like the feeder. There are not too many blooms around yet. So, the Hummingbirds come every twenty minutes for feeding. They seem to be a pair, I don’t know where they would build a nest.
I just identified the White Crowned Sparrows in my garden. They may have been coming for years, but I didn’t pay attention to their features and I just googled and identify them as White Crowned Sparrow.
I may not see the Hummingbird babies, but I do hope to see the Mourning Dove’s chicks and the House Finch’s chicks. That is my hope for the near future – summer. In the meantime, I’ll feed them well.