Tag Archives: Hummingbird

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #121: Focus on the Subject

This week for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #121, Patti shared “some helpful techniques from the experts that can help us create images that lead our viewers to our subject.”

Using Lines and repeated patterns to bring focus to the subject

At Valencia, Spain, we visited Hemisferic which is a splendid Laserium, Planetarium, and IMAX cinema (over 900 square meters of the screen). It is in the City of Arts and Sciences complex. The building was designed by Santiago Calatrava. The lines and repeated patterns draw the viewers’ attention to the shape of the eyes (one eye opened, one eye shut).

The tour bus arrived at a large parking lot. We entered a 124 m (407 ft) tunnel which leads to an ornate elevator that ascends the final 124 m (407 ft) to the building of Eagle’s Nest in Germany. The lines on the wall and the lights point to the elevator at the end of the tunnel.

Using colors and contrast to draw attention to the subject

The contrast light color of the flower and dark green background bring the attention to the single yellow Daffodil.

Using arches and doorways to frame the image

This is the St. Johns Bridge in Portland, Oregon. The bridge has a 1,207-foot (368 m) center span and a total length of 2,067 feet (630 m). The arches of the bridge towers framed the Gothic cathedral-like image. The adjacent park and neighborhood of Cathedral Park are named after this appearance.

Using freezing the moment to capture the subject

Hummingbirds flap the wings more than 60 times a second. I had fun freezing the moment of the hummingbird flapping the wings. My baby Ruby Throated hummingbird was in a “standing” still position.

Using the eyes to draw attention to the subject

I had fun finding the eyes of the animals for you to fall in love with them. The cat in the neighborhood, the deer, and the monkeys in Nara and Kyoto, Japan.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #121: Focus on the Subject

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #110 – Creativity in the Time of Covid

This week, Tina’s theme for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #110 is “Creativity in the Time of Covid.”

Early in May this year, I spotted the Monarch feeding on the Salvia flowers. It renewed my interest to create a butterfly garden. My hummingbirds feed on the Salvia which attracts many bees. For all these reasons, I bought several Salvia plants and planted them in different spots in my garden.

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Milkweed is the host plants for butterflies to lay eggs. The bright color Tropical milkweed was my favorite, but it grows year-round in California, and interferes with Monarch migration and reproduction.

Several kinds of milkweed are California native plants. They die in the winter to encourage Monarch for migration. They come back in spring with fresh growth. After days of research and learned how to grow milkweed. I bought the Narrow Leaf and Showy milkweed.

Most milkweed seeds in North America need a cold moist stratification to encourage spring germination. Cold moist stratification is a technique used to simulate the real-world conditions a seed would receive outdoors after the frozen winter gives way to a warm, wet spring.

I wet a paper towel to make it damp but not dripping with water. Then I spread the Milkweed seeds out on the damp paper towel and fold it to fit inside the Ziploc bag, then placed it in the refrigeration for 30 days before planting.

The seeds were planted on July 10th and most of them grew into two or three inches in three weeks. The roots grew through the peat pods yet the seedlings were young. I added the extension of the pods with plastic cups filled with top soil and punched wholes at the bottoms for drainage.

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The seedlings continued to do well. I transplanted the five or six inches ones to the soil. It has been hot with 97o F to 99o F the last days. It will be 102o F this Wednesday. I used the chicken wire to create a Cylinda shape around the young plants and put a semi-transparent cover on top with opening for water, air and light, but protects them from the direct heat.

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One major area for most of the milkweed is exposed to the sun all day and the soil dries up fast. A cooler temperature would help the plants to establish. I transplanted some into bigger flower pots while waiting for a cooler weather.

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There are other butterflies in my garden such as this Swallowtail which will benefit from the milkweed.

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This has been a fun and learning creation of my butterfly garden during the pandemic. My hope is by summer next year, there’ll be caterpillars on the milkweed and butterflies fluttering in my garden.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #110 – Creativity in the Time of Covid

 

Thank you for reading this post. I look forward to hearing your comment. Please click the above link to view other posts or join this challenge.

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #93 – Morning

The theme from Ann-Christine this week for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #93 is Morning.

“Although time seems to fly, it never travels faster than one day at a time. Each day is a new opportunity to live your life to the fullest. In each waking day, you will find scores of blessing and opportunities for positive change. Do not let your today be stolen by the unchangeable past or the indefinite future! Today is new day ! Good Morning ” – Steve Maraboli

 

My morning routine these days is about the same as before the pandemic. On any day, I spend an hour to be with myself before getting on any business. There is a family of four hummingbirds in my garden. One of them was born in my backyard in May 2018. Apparently another baby was born this year, but I don’t know where they built the nest. The first thing in the morning when I go downstairs is checking on the hummingbirds. I have one feeder outside of the kitchen window and another one in the backyard. The hummingbirds mostly rely on the sugar water from the feeders, although they also like the nectar from the purple Sylvia flowers.

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After making sure the feeders have plenty of sugar water, I then brew my coffee. My favorite coffee mug has the image of Thomas Kinkade’s painting. It holds 12 ounces. Two cups of coffee would start my day just right.

 

While sipping the coffee, I make my round checking the flowers in the front yard and backyard to see if any spot needs more watering. The two grapevine plants started growing. I usually train the vine before they get all tangle up.


The next thing to do before sitting down at my desk is to feed the birds. There are about twelve to fifteen mourning doves and several house finches coming to my backyard for feeding. Yesterday morning, as soon as I put the seeds on the ground, a scrub jay flew by making loud noises. There are two scrub jays pay me a visit from time to time, but they are not the regular visitors. I was glad to have my phone, so I snapped a few shots. Then a squirrel came by. He is not afraid of me. He even poses for me to take photos. Well, he just stared at me.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #93 – Morning

 

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #61: Precious Pets – Hummingbirds

This week’s Lens-Artists Challenge Tina introduced the theme “Precious Pets.” She mentioned spending time with her brother and his wife in Colorado, watched how they tended the hummingbirds. Tina now has anew found appreciation of the little creatures and captured some wonderful photos.

I started feeding the hummingbirds in the summer of 2014. Did the hummingbirds stay all year round? I had no idea. If they flew south during the winter, did the same hummingbirds come back to my garden? I didn’t keep track of them until June 2018.

The orange tree in the backyard grew big and tall. My husband trimmed it. After trimming the tree, on June 14, 2018, I discovered a hummingbird nest. He just missed it by one branch. Whew!

 

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Baby Hummie poked his head out of the nest waited for the feeding. I grabbed the ladder, climbed up to take a photo. I moved some leaves out of the way to get a clear view, but scared the baby. He flapped and popped out of the nest. It scared me because he was not ready to fly. I quickly got down the ladder, picked him up in my cuffed hand and returned him to the nest. Papa fluttered above my head. I retrieved from the ladder quickly.

Apparently Baby Hummie was hatched days before I discovered him. I only watched him in the nest for four days and caught him flying away. He flew behind the cypress trees. Eventually Mama brought him and showed him the bird feeder. He stayed close to the bird feeder for six months.

 

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Winter came. My research shows a baby hummingbird cannot fly south to Mexico from California in his first year. The mature birds fly 900 miles straight only stop to feed. Mama and Papa stayed until it was very cold. Finally, early January this year, only Baby Hummie stayed. I worried about him every day especially when it was cold and wet. Baby was smart, he perched on the low wire surrounding his favorite Salvia bush next to a three-feet high brick fence. It sheltered him from the pouring rain and open wind.

 

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Papa came back after three weeks. Mama came back a few days later. They were excited about the reunion, dancing and chasing each other. Papa led Baby Hummie fly away from the feeder little further at a time.

 

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On April 7, 2019, I didn’t see Baby Hummie the whole day. I was heartbroken, thinking of all the scenarios. Did the squirrel eat him while he hibernates at night? Was he attacked by other animals? Was he grown enough to be gone? I prayed for Baby Hummie. It was okay if he was gone, as long as he was safe. The next day, I saw him just once with Papa early in the morning. Perhaps Papa wanted him to fly a further distance. He then came back a couple times a day. And it became more and more frequent returns.

I’m happy to let you know that the last three months, Hummie stays in my front yard and the backyard all day. Papa and Mama come to visit, do their acrobat dance several times a day. As for Hummie, he perches on many favorite spots.

Besides the bird feeder, his favorite nectar is from Slavia and other purple trumpet flowers. I make sure the feeder is full and his favorite flowers grow well.

 

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Lens-Artists Challenge #61: Precious Pets – Hummingbirds

 

 

 

 

 

Colleen’s Poetry Challenge – Spring Dance

It’s the first of the month! Happy April! Poets choose their own words!

 

 

I visited the nursery this morning to get new flowers. I brought a list with plants that attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

The bees have been working hard to pollinate the plum and orange blossoms. The apple trees just budded. I want to have different flowers to attract the bees to stay around. Besides the fruit tree blossoms, I’ll plant sunflowers for the bees.

For the hummingbirds, there are two feeders, one in the front yard and one in the back. Yet I wanted to get flowers with nectar enjoyed by the hummingbirds. I only have Salvia flowers they like. So, I’ll make hanging baskets with petunia and hang them by the bird feeders.

There were Monarch and Mourning Cloak butterflies flying by my garden, but they visited the flowers in my next-door neighbor. I would like to have flowers attract them to stay longer. For the butterflies, I bought marigold and delphinium. I’ll get milkweed on my next trip.

 

Bitter cold is gone

Fresh fragrance drifts in the air

Chirping, fluttering

Answered the invitation

Creatures joined in the spring dance

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Colleen’s Poetry Challenge – Spring Dance

Lens-Artists Challenge #24 – Seasonal

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.

Baby hummingbird used to perch on the palm tree in the center of the photo. A month ago, he started to fly further from the feeder to the eucalyptus tree on the left. 

Here are the flowers in my winter garden.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #24 – Seasonal

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #11: Small Is Beautiful

For this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Amy chose ”Small Is Beautiful” for the theme.

I have some wonderful small creatures in my garden. They are all beautiful and keep my life cheerful year round.

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I was surprised by the visit of this beauty. This is Mourning Cloak butterfly by its Common name. The scientific name is Nymphalis antiopa. A very distinctive and charismatic butterfly, best known for its conspicuous activity in late winter, flying and acting territorial before any trees have leafed out or any wildflowers are active.

Read more

Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge – 100th Challenge

Congratulations to Colleen’s 100th Challenge celebration! As a special treat, she gave everyone to pick their own words this week.

This Tanka is about my baby hummingbird which was born in my backyard in June 2018. I took photos of five days before he started flying. Here are the first post and the second post about the baby hummingbird.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Soft Feathers

During our trip to Portland, Oregon this year to spend Mother’s Day weekend with my daughter Mercy, Will and baby Autumn, Mercy took us to Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden. There is a green patch by the lake for the Canada Geese to raise their young. The goslings still have the soft and fluffy feathers. The fallen seeds provide a fest for the geese and their goslings.

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The Laguna Lake by our house is home to different ducks, geese, and birds. These seven newborn ducklings with feathers as soft as hair swam closely to mama duck and other ducklings together.

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Soft baby ducklings

The first baby hummingbird in my garden took his first flight in the first photo. He has a white spot of the soft feather at the bottom. He is now six weeks old and his wings are not strong to fly too far yet. There are three of his favorite spots where he perches on most of the time. Every twenty minutes, papa swoops around to give him an airlift for a ride around my house. He then comes back to perch on the needle of the Date Palms or a small branch of the potted fica tree. I have fun watching him every day.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Soft Feathers

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Guidelines for participation:

  • Lens-Artists Photo Challenges are published every Saturday at 12 noon EST by one of our moderators. Post your reply any time before the next challenge is announced.

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Week 1 – Patti of https://pilotfishblog.com/

Week 2 – Ann-Christine aka Leya of https://lagottocattleya.wordpress.com/

Week 3 – Amy of https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/

Week 4 – Tina of https://travelsandtrifles.wordpress.com/

Missed our initial challenge announcement? See details here.

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Colorful Hummingbird

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.

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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.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruby-throated_hummingbird

Frank’s Dutch Goes the Photo: Tuesday Photo Challenge – Colorful Hummingbird

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