Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Time to ring in 2009. Our family makes the 25-mile annual pilgrimage to Pasadena to party on Colorado Boulevard at midnight then awaken with a front row seat to one of the most beautiful parades in existence, the Rose Parade.

Morning arrivals to The Boulevard (part of historic Route 66) require ladder seating, while sleep overs require warm clothing and blankets (or a snooze in the ol’ SUV for us wimps;) When my son and nieces were little, we added a wooden plank between our ladders. The little ones sat there with snacks, hot chocolate, and a bird’s eye view of the morning festivities.

New Year's Eve promises lots of activity on the streets near Colorado and Orange Grove! Watch out for silly string and shaving cream pies if you cruise the boulevard in your car; notice street campsites staked out with portable heaters, air mattresses, and chairs; see local reporters comb the area for news stories too; and if you venture south on Raymond around 10 PM, you may get a peek at flowered floats being moved from their ‘barn’ to the staging area on Orange Grove. Last, but never least, make a stop at Jakes. We do! The best sliders, burgers, and homemade chili you’ll find anywhere. Yum!

Colorado quiets slightly a few hours before daybreak, but morning reveals hustle and bustle and anticipation. The Parade will begin with a breathtaking flyover. You can hear a pin drop...just before the roar. Marching bands, incredible floats, beautiful flowers, equestrian units, and celebrity Grand Marshals make a chilly night on the street very worthwhile....

From past parades, I loved seeing the marching Storm Troopers from Star Wars, and Grand Marshal George Lucas...

...watched Kareem Abdul Jabbar talk on his cell phone while riding shotgun on a stagecoach. Must have been a matter of life and death (she says with tongue in cheek;)

...and I always marvel at designer Raul Rodriguez’s creations. He’s a local boy who won a float-designing contest as a teenager, then made it his career. Look for him and his beautiful blue macaw...

Then plan your trip to Pasadena for New Years 2010!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


On Saturday, weather conditions brought wildfires as close to my neighborhood as they’ve ever been. As I walked at the park yesterday morning, the first plumes of smoke from Brea, Yorba Linda, and Anaheim Hills looked as if I could touch them; but they were still singular and separate. Early afternoon, we attended my niece’s softball game in Whittier. Scheduled as a double header, the air quality became too unhealthy to play the second game. Strong winds were blowing the smoke in a westerly direction (toward us) and at one point the sun suffered an eery eclipse. By nightfall, we could see a glow in the east and the car’s headlights created 'fireflies' from the ashes that were whipping around in the wind.

This morning, I took photos of the ash-covered concrete and cars under a haze-occluded sun. Santa Ana winds have tamed somewhat for now, but the damage is done.

I posted the following comment five weeks ago on when we were in the midst of the Porter Ranch fires. Nature always has the ability to humble us, and she has once again.

While I love Autumn, the fall season in Southern California can be deadly. It is the season of Santa Ana winds and firestorms. I grew up here, an LA County Fireman's daughter. My dad has been retired 20 years now, but the last brush fire he fought was in the Porter Ranch area. Fire Fighting technology has improved tremendously in 20 years, but Fire is a tough adversary. The tragedy is that civilization has invaded the canyons and hills; they were meant to be left alone. Wild. Natural. So now Fire threatens not only the wild creatures, but the human ones too.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Halloweeeeeeen!!!!

Halloween! All Hallow's Eve! Dia De Los Muertos! The day of candy corn, jack-o-lanterns, costumes, ghouls, goblins, fun, and generally SCARY STUFF!

How about spiders? They are very active in the Fall. Big garden spiders spin and spin, creating huge symmetrical webs to trap their prey. Daylight finds them in hiding; evening begins the hunt. And watch out for Black Widows too! They seek dark places, spinning rather desultory webs as their signature death trap.

And how scary is a pumpkin? The inside can be pretty darn to a little one, namely mine. When my son and niece were young we carved some pumpkins for Halloween. Each child was to clean-out his/her own pumpkin before the artistic process would begin. My niece dug in happily; my son protested. Thinking he just wanted to skip to the fun part I encouraged him to persist. Not until I heard him say "Mom, I see little white flies in my pumpkin" and "I'm dizzy" did I realize what was happening. My rough and tumble boy was seeing stars! Blood and guts never phased him, but the mushy innards of a pumpkin were definitely his kryptonite!

Be afraid! Be very afraid!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sentimental Journey

My folks had a road trip to Oregon planned for this Fall. A sentimental journey of sorts to enjoy long overdue visits with relatives and old friends. When my dad broke his ribs in early September, I had some concern about them traveling alone. (Besides, I’ll dig for any excuse to do a road trip;) So with vacation time available from work, I offered to be their chauffeur and travel agent:)

Dallas and Doris (my parents) have been married for 58 years. They were wed on June 25, 1950, a date familiar to US History buffs as the day the Korean War began. My mother had not seen my father for a year when she arrived in Honolulu, Hawaii where he was stationed as a member of the US Navy. They were married with no relatives present, only friends: Mac was Best Man. Lil was Matron of Honor. They, too, were newlyweds (of only four months). Mac was in the Navy. Lil worked at Ship Service.

Ah, the twists and turns of fate. My dad needed to find an apartment before my mom arrived, so Mac mentioned that the one below he and Lil was available. Thus began an enduring friendship of four people, born in different parts of the country within 10 months of one another. An Iowan, Missourian, Idahoan, and Hawaiian became friends and neighbors on Palani Street in Honolulu, Hawaii.

My parents have always remembered and appreciated the kindness of their friends. Mom had no wedding dress for the marriage ceremony, so Lil borrowed one from another friend for her to wear. The couples socialized and celebrated holidays together for the two years they were neighbors. My dad spent an extra year in the Navy because of the war. Mac signed over and became a career man. Our family ultimately settled in Southern California. Their family lived in Washington, Oregon, California, and even Cuba for two years. We kept in communication mostly through letters, lost touch for a number of years, then, with the aid of the internet, began communicating again.

This past weekend I watched four people who hadn’t seen each other in 37 years reminisce without missing a beat. Names, places, and stories from the past were discussed, photos shared, and gaps of time brought up to date. I thoroughly enjoyed witnessing every moment of this event but must say that one particular discussion stood out above all others.

The day prior to our visit was Lil’s 80th birthday, making her the first of the four to reach that milestone. Always beautiful inside and out, sweet too, she still has that sharp little edge that makes her so interesting to talk with.

Lil was born and raised in Honolulu in a neighborhood near Diamond Head. When Pearl Harbor was attacked, she had just turned 13 years old. I felt so privileged to hear about this event from her perspective! A child’s point-of-view, so different from the military strategies of history books:)

She recounted that she remembered seeing the smoke rise from the harbor for days and also mentioned that they feared ground invasion from the Japanese. (Looking back, we know that the attack was only aerial, but if you are experiencing it in real time, how could you be certain?) Everyone was issued gas masks. She noted (as a 13 year old girl would;) that they were UGLY, heavy, and had a huge filter canister on them. Required to tote them everywhere, she gave up carrying a purse, and piled her belongings into the mask. Children are wonderful! She also noted the required blackouts in the days following the attack. Absolutely no light was allowed to leak from the houses at night. Her father was the warden in their neighborhood, too. He patrolled to make certain it was “Lights Out!”

On behalf of Dallas and Doris, I would like to thank Mac, Lil, Sharon, Debbie....and Mollie;) for their hospitality. This was a road trip like no other......

*Note: Photo Number 4 was taken at the Punchbowl Cemetery on Christmas Day 1950.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Smashing Pumpkins!

.....she said in her best British accent. No, not the alternative rock group (formed in Chi-town, BTW). It's October showcase time for the versatile pumpkin!

Our pumpkins got an early start this year. After the seedlings were planted, vines took off across the yard and even up the fence. During the morning hours, bees were ecstatic over the blooms, showing no discrimination between male and female flowers. Soon tiny pumpkins appeared, then grew and grew till harvest time....

My friend Jordi from Missouri (or Missoura, like my mom, a Missouri native, says) loves pumpkins (and gourds too). She occasionally looks to Martha Stewart Magazine for fun ideas, and discovered the Pumpkin Owls this year. They are quite easy to make, especially if you leave out the miniature lights.

Jordi and I both get a giggle out of Martha (often the definition of perfectionism and its negatives). Martha did a televised special many years ago with Julia Child as guest. Watching loosey-goosey Julia frustrate Miss M (almost to the point of homicide) was incredibly entertaining. Someday Jordi and her sister will take over the Martha Stewart empire;) I hope it's hostile....

Choose yer weapon, Martha! Spatulas it is!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Fangorn Forest

When a college student’s laptop takes it’s last breath and there’s a 7-cent balance in his checking account, life isn’t good. Fortunately, a loaner-laptop was available for use; unfortunately, it was at home, not school. For the second weekend in a row, Mom’s Delivery Service to the rescue (and another trip to the Fangorn Forest as reward!)

Remember the Lord of the Rings (Movie) Trilogy? Definitely a favorite, funny how an unexpected trigger can bring back fond memories. My son was in his early teens when the first LOTR movie was released. He saw it with friends then insisted that I see it too. Instantly hooked, I could hardly wait to see the next two movies. The characters; wonderful acting; interesting images; classic good vs. evil; Sam, my favorite hobbit; how could I possibly forget?

After stopping at the University on Saturday, this Pixie headed uphill to fish and to enjoy the Western Junipers. Thick and twisted with age, these trees are able to survive flash floods while protecting the soil from erosion. Jeffrey Pines are tall, majestic, and favorite homes to Western Gray Squirrels. (Smell the bark to enjoy a delicious aroma of vanilla.) Pinyon Pines, California Black Oaks, and Willows round out my version of the Fangorn Forest.....

Notice too, the smile:-)

A felled tree once blocked this trail, so forestry workers removed the offending portion. Exposed ends were turned into opposing seats (resting places for weary hikers). The worker with a sense of humor (and creativity) carved a happy face on one seat (not quite Treebeard of The Two Towers fame, but cute!). Yes, the forest can be magical....

Let us not forget the Monty Python song either....LOL

Monday, September 22, 2008

Take a Hike!

Normally, Moms get a little frustrated when their college-student children are forgetful or disorganized (especially in regards to moving back to the dorm). This year I was kinda glad when my son forgot some items, because I got to take a hike;)

Mom’s Delivery Service made the trip to Redlands early Saturday morning. Hugs and kisses for my little one, here’s your stuff, let me use your bathroom, and then See Mom Run! Highway 38 (aka the back way to Big Bear) was calling me!

Fifty-plus miles of scenic driving from Redlands to Big Bear Lake (which the City of Redlands owns, BTW). The road makes a fairly steep ascent once it passes the turn-off to Forest Falls, and climbs to over 9000-feet before dropping into Big Bear City (6700-feet). This stretch of highway passes through Angelus Oaks and Barton Flats, with a side loop to Jenks Lake, and many campgrounds, dirt roads and hiking trails to be found along the way.

The Big Bear area has lots to offer, but today we visited the Discovery Center then donned the hiking boots to search for critters. The Acorn Woodpeckers were busy, as were lizards, squirrels, and even a couple of Gray Foxes. I was hoping to see hummingbirds, especially the Calliope Hummingbird. It’s North America's smallest bird and is usually found at the higher elevations of the western mountains. We heard hummingbirds, but as we approached, they became quiet. (Mountain hummingbirds must be shyer than their urban cousins.) Obviously there for the flowers, Hummingbird Trumpet was in bloom everywhere!

Summer is waning and ski operators are probably praying for early snows, but this trip to our local mountains was perfect. Hmmmmm. Wonder what the child will need delivered next weekend? ;)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Tomato Summer

While I’m not one to be a loyal planter of veggie gardens, every Spring I plant tomatoes (except the few years that “volunteers” have saved me;) It’s tradition. My ritual. Home-grown ‘maters to eat and share. Yum!

In the past, we have grown various varieties, but lately my choice has been Grape tomatoes, namely, Roma Grapes. No knives needed, they are the perfect size for salads or snacks. This year produced a bountiful harvest, so I’m trying this roasted tomato recipe. The aroma in the kitchen is wonderful....

Our little section of Southern California stays pretty mild year round, so tomato plants can be wintered over with some luck and plastic “pup tents”:) Kinda cheating, don’t you think? Turn, Turn, Turn. To everything, There is a season.....A time to plant, a time to reap.

Soon I will join Autumn for some house-cleaning. Her winds will strip the trees of leaves while I empty the planting beds, say goodbye to the stragglers, and store the cages till next year...

Come Spring, I will ritualize...once again;)

Friday, September 5, 2008

One Tough Old Bird...

My Daddy;)
He will celebrate his 80th birthday in January of 2009.....

“Johnsons” are tough....especially the ones from Northwestern Iowa. The eldest of six children, he lost his mom when he was only 14 years old. The family struggled financially so he had to work on neighboring farms for his room and board while finishing high school.

Now he’s a retired LA County Fireman who plays golf twice a week in Chino Hills, California with fellow retirees. Last week he was finishing the back nine, pulled the flag pin for a fellow golfer, and passed out. Initially, the other golfers thought he had fallen, but he knew otherwise. In pain, he played four more holes (including a bogey on a par 4) and rode the last two. His reasoning to me: “Terri! I had such a great front nine, I just couldn’t quit!”

The pain became unbearable the last couple of holes and his friends wanted to summon help, but he refused. His friend John wanted to drive him home. No! He would drive himself, and did so....the entire 35 miles. When my mother arrived home, she found him in excruciating pain and wanted to call 911. No!

He took his carotid pulse and noticed a flutter, so finally agreed to go to the Emergency Room. Diagnosis: Four broken ribs, numbers 5, 6, 7 & 8 with indications of heart issues and a collapsing left lung. He spent two nights in the hospital.

Initial tests indicate that his heart is good, but he’ll have a chemical stress test next week to see how it reacts under a load. Partial blockages in the subclavian artery will need to be dealt with too.

My dad is my hero. He gave me the Johnson-gene of exploration and adventure; an appreciation and respect of nature and the outdoors; a love of birds; and, hopefully, he shared just a little bit of his tough gene too;)

But right now, he's just itchin' to play a little more cow-pasture pool!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sunflower Cycle

Our sunflowers began in spring as seedlings in terracotta pots. A good transplant location caused them to respond in kind, shooting up tall, straight, and proud. A roadtrip through South Dakota in 1994 convinced me to be a sunflower fan. We were traveling the highway to Mount Rushmore (the rustic version, prior to the facility remodel). Suddenly, a huge field of mature sunflowers appeared beside the road! The flowers lined up in perfect formation almost like soldiers, countenances turned upward toward the sun. It was an image I’ve never forgotten..but not to be duplicated in an urban backyard!

So we plant just a handful of backyard sunflowers. They stretch and shine, then droop with age and weight. The stalks have been cut and are drying now, reminiscent of old curved walking sticks. The seed pod faces, gnarled and textural, will provide food for the sparrows and mourning doves this winter. Nature always offers a wonderful cycle:)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Summer is coming to a close and my little bird will be leaving the nest. He heads back to school this weekend, a College Senior, University of Redlands, Class of 2009. Time flies painfully fast sometimes, and though I miss him as a child, I love the adult he has become.

He is a proud member of the Kappa Sigma Sigma Fraternity too. He is a Bird. Fraternity Headquarters "The Birdhouse"...

How appropriate;)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Peak Migration

Peak Migration Time for Hummingbirds begins in August and can continue into October. Fortunately, we see them all year long in Southern California, but even here, peak season means increased 'squeaks and humming' and more 'aerial combat' near the feeders. In the early 1970’s, Seals and Crofts sang about Hummingbirds. While their hit referred to the Baha’i Faith, the lyrics in simplest form can express feelings of loss when hummingbirds leave. Loss of a friend, maybe; but we are forever changed...

Hummingbird don't fly away, fly away.
Hummingbird don't fly away, fly away.
In you I've found a fragrance.
I'll love you 'til I die.
I just love you, love you, love you.
I don't even know the reason why.
Hummingbird don't fly away, fly away.
Hummingbird don't fly away, fly away.
The sweetness of your nectar has drawn me like a fly.
I just love you, love you, love you.
I don't even know the reason why.
Hummingbird don't fly away, fly away.
Hummingbird don't fly away, fly away....

Friday, August 8, 2008

Morning Blooms

Up early, I tilted the blinds of the computer room (which faces the backyard) and discovered the blooms of my Peruvian Apple Cactus still open. So pretty! I noticed lots of bees too, so I grabbed the camera and headed outside. The cactus was alive and literally humming with busy, intense workers who could care less that I was watching. I'm glad they're back though:) In the 1980's, California had an infestation of Medflies which threatened fruit crops. During that time, state government decided to attack the little pests by helicopter. Malathion sprays were conducted at night, and though deemed "safe" for humans, we stayed indoors and protected our cars from the paint-corrosive chemical. The bee population dropped considerably during that time and numbers were slow to increase for many years...but now a change has come. Welcome back, bees!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Raven Trilogy

Ravens are pretty smart. Their intelligence is likened to that of a dog. We see lots of cousin crows in the city, but not many ravens. Crows tend to be very social and travel in groups; ravens are loners.

Three personal connections come to mind when I think of the Raven.

Raven Number 1: A favorite author, Edgar Allan Poe.
Tell-Tale Heart, Murders in the Rue Morgue, Cask of Amontillado, and Pit and the Pendulum were my favorite scary-fun reads in school. The Raven symbolizes Poe:
Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling...

Raven Number 2: An April camping weekend at Joshua Tree National Park twenty-five years ago. Magazine Publishers are ‘different ducks’ and I’ve worked for a number of them as a Production Manager. One Publisher in particular was an absolute crazy woman. The editorial staff and I often noted that she had at least seventeen different personalities and could display them all within a span of five minutes.

After working long hours and meeting April’s issue deadline, I was looking forward to a camping weekend at Joshua Tree. Springtime in the desert...abundant wildflowers, critters, hiking, and relaxation. Our primitive campsite was comprised of tent, table, and fire-ring with a pit toilet nearby. Friday night’s dinner was chicken, veggies, and spices wrapped in foil and cooked on the campfire. A little star-gazing, then off to bed for an early start the next day.

I was startled awake by noises at the sun’s first light. My groggy ears heard: Work! Work! Work! Still half asleep, I remember telling my husband that Carole (the Publisher) was HERE! She had followed me HERE to take me back to the office! As I peeked outside I saw her too. She had morphed into a Raven! Work! Work! Work!

Raven Number 3: Mystery Lodge at Knotts Berry Farm.
Amusement Park seeds were planted in Southern California during the 1950’s. Disneyland and Knotts Berry Farm were among the resulting sprouts, each evolving and expanding to this day. One of my favorite attractions is the Mystery Lodge at Knotts. Indian lore is told in a very fascinating way and yes, the Raven does do tears. Bring your tissues....

Thursday, July 17, 2008

An Ornate Hawk-Eagle

While visiting The World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise, Idaho, I snapped this photo of an Ornate Hawk-Eagle. He was on educational display the day we visited and is a magnificent animal. His normal geographic range is Central and South America, but we were able (and fortunate) to admire him from only a few feet away. During our visit, we signed the computerized guest-book with a request to receive their newsletter by email. It's very informative with lots of good info and photos. Sign up at the Peregrine Fund website. It's free.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A 'Soft' Place to Land

Little 'Allen' is our resident guard-bird. He's ever vigilant. Always watching...and both feeders too! Front AND back. He warns, scolds, and regulates which birds can visit or drink. It's stressful being a guard-bird, so sometimes respite in a loving place is just what the doctor ordered.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Night-blooming Cactus Flower....Cereus-ly!

Cactus flowers are often night-blooming as protection from the extreme heat of the desert. Pollinators of cacti include bats and hummingbirds! This is an old Peruvian Apple Cactus (cereus repandus) growing in our backyard. These flower buds will continue to develop, open for one night only, then drop to the ground. A smooth-skinned, edible, red fruit (pitaya) will result containing white flesh and many tiny seeds that sparrows and garnets enjoy. This particular cactus is over 30-feet tall.

Monday, June 30, 2008

An Amusing Evening

One June evening, the hummingbirds were particularly active at the backyard feeder. Not only was manufactured nectar available, but Lily of the Nile and Penta blooms had the natural stuff. I decided to sit quietly in the midst of the action, camera in hand. "Feeder photos" are pretty easy to get, so I tried for ones with flower feeds. It wasn't to be that night. The resident "guard bird" was pretty diligent so "air traffic" became very regulated. A couple of opportunities slipped away and night began to fall. Suddenly I was discovered, and a curious little hummingbird "posed" right in front of my face. While attempting to snap the picture, I heard my camera shut down. Dead battery. Darn! Oh well. Just picture in your mind a hummingbird exploring this Lily of the Nile flower and know that dead batteries and the "guard bird" at the feeder conspired against me;)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

California Seagull and Mono Lake

This California Seagull was photographed in Lee Vining, CA. He isn't far from his probable birthplace, Mono Lake. About 85% of California Gulls come from the rookeries located on the islands of Mono Lake in the Eastern Sierra. My first (childhood) glimpse of the lake was in 1964 from Conway Summit to the north. Even as a nine-year-old, I was in awe of the beauty of the area, desolate and lunar-esque. Though still very large in the 1960's, the lake had already begun to shrink due to the diversion of water (via the Los Angeles Aqueduct) from feeder streams. Many years later after the completion of the second LA Aqueduct (adding transport capacity) the lake's water level dropped so low that the islands became peninsulas and coyotes were able to access seagull nests. Through the efforts of the Save Mono Lake movement (in the 1970's), DWP allocates water to the lake so Negit and Paoho are islands again and seagull rookeries are safe from coyotes. The lake also serves a wide variety of migratory birds.

As a side note, the water issues of the Eastern Sierra were dramatized in the 1974 movie, Chinatown, with Jack Nicholson. The movie was based on William Mulholland's attempt to gain control of water rights in the Owens Valley and the resulting construction of the original LA Aqueduct. Cadillac Desert is a documentary fim, portions of which chronicle the fight over water in the Eastern Sierra.

Friday, June 20, 2008

World Center For Birds of Prey

We recently visited the Boise, Idaho area. Pretty place (great for bird-watching and fiddling contests;) One of our stops was the World Center For Birds of Prey. An experienced volunteer is holding a 13 year old male Peregrine Falcon. This falcon was not released into the wild or used for breeding because of poor vision. He is currently part of the educational program at the Center. The organization has worked to save the Peregrine population and is now working to increase the numbers of California Condors in the wild. Visit their website for more info.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Happy Father's Day, Henry!

One Christmas, years ago, my dad gave me a pair of button quail (a fully-grown button quail is about the same size as a newly-hatched chicken). My pets (Henry and Henrietta) eventually produced a clutch of eggs and the eggs hatched into teeny little chicks. Unfortunately, mother hen was stressed, didn't keep them warm, and they died before we could rescue them. So Henry and Henrietta tried again. When the second clutch of eggs began to hatch, there was chaos in the aviary. Mother hen and her little chicks ran wildly around the cage until the chicks became cold and lethargic. I quickly took them inside and placed them under my art lamp to warm. When they were active enough to return to Mom, she would not care for them. Ultimately, it was Dad, Henry, who tucked seven little baby chicks underneath his body and kept them warm. He raised them to adulthood plus a few more broods thereafter. You were a great Dad, Henry!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Old Days....

I worked for many years in magazine publishing. Not many 'behind-the-scenes' photos exist, but did find one from the early '80's. This little chick was very tired when the sun went down (and I don't mean the bird;) On that particular day, the office studio was overrun with baby chickens.
It was fun!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Birdie Playground

These two doves are about to eat from the seed tray. Always wary, they are still brave enough to pull rank on the garnets, who are aggressive enough to pull rank on the wild finches. Most definitely, there is a pecking order....

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Why Hummingbirds Only Drink Dew

"Hummingbirds like to build their nests near water. The tiny little fellows like to skim over the surface of rivers and ponds and throw spray on themselves with the tips of their wings. They also like to flutter around in the first light drops of a rain. Yet hummingbirds do not drink the water in which they bathe. They sip nothing but the dew which sparkles on flowers and leaves. Why they are so careful about the water they drink is told in a legend:

Once a hummingbird and a great blue heron owned a lake together. It was a long lake which ran through the low country for many miles. Around the edges of this lake were moss-covered trees and low bushes which hung over the water. In the shade made by the trees and bushes the hummingbird liked to hover and drink the cool water.

Like many people the hummingbird and the heron had the bad habit of gambling. They liked to bet, and they bet about many things. One day the hummingbird bet the heron that he could fly from one end of their lake to the other faster than the heron. The one who lost the bet was to give up drinking in that lake and also in all others. Both birds agreed. They went to one end of the lake and started off together.

The hummingbird thought he would surely win the race, for he could fly much faster than the big heron, but he didn't know that he couldn't fly across the lake in one day. They flew on and on. The heron was left far behind, but still the hummingbird was a long way from the other end of the lake. Finally it began to get dark, and the hummingbird could not fly in the darkness. At last he had to fly to one side of the lake and spend the night in a tree, but the heron could fly at night, and he kept coming after the sun went down. The hummingbird didn't know it.

Early the next day the hummingbird jumped out of his tree and started on his way again. He expected to reach the end of the lake long before the heron, but when he got there he found the heron sitting in a cypress tree and laughing at him. By flying all night the heron had won the race. The hummingbird kept his word and never drank from that lake or any other lake or river again. That is why he sips nothing but dew today." ...from When the Storm God Rides, by Florence Stratton, collected by Bessie M. Reid [1936], at