Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Pitch the Tents!

Winter was long in the High Sierra this year. Well into late spring, high country lakes are frozen and trails are snowbound. The passes (Sonora, Ebbetts, Monitor) were finally cleared of snow just before Memorial Day. The first week in June, Tioga Pass was still closed.

Life above 9,000 feet is on hold for now, but life below the snow line is thriving. Lupines and snow plants are in bloom; lizards adorn warm rocks; rattlesnakes slither sneakily; and tent caterpillars live communally on bitter bush. Little silk tents are everywhere. Branches of kite spools house worms feasting on tasty spring growth....
moths to come:)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dinnertime at the Stenbergs

Just look at those hummingbirds! Ralph and Dayle's sugar solution must be really high octane to attract so many hummers to one feeder. Ralph is one of my dad's favorite golfing buddies and a fellow hummingbird fan so when he shared this photo of Dinnertime, I asked permission to post it. The Stenbergs are originally from Frazee, MN. Located in a beautiful area near Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, Frazee is famous for turkeys rather than hummingbirds. The town celebrates Turkey Days every year in July and is home to the world's largest turkey too!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Rufous Red Baron

The sun was shining bright today, so hummingbirds came out to play:) Rufous hummingbirds have invaded my space, swooping, diving, making lots of noise, and using the nearby birch tree as a resting place. There were even numerous 'dogfights' resulting in contact (and flying feathers too). Think I'll name these guys Snoopy and Rufous Red Baron!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

I Love Orange(s)

While Southern California's orange groves are fast disappearing, orange trees live on in suburban yards. Our navel orange tree loves its sunny, south-facing location and is busy all year. Fruit ripens between October and January becoming sweeter with time spent on branch, so if you like your orange juice sweet, have patience! By February, pretty white blossoms begin to appear producing a fragrance like no other (talk about aroma therapy!). The orange tree's cycle overlaps so blooms can exist with mature fruit from the previous year. Orange trees are natural hummingbird havens too. Hummers hide and nest in the dense foliage; bathe in leaf-cupped rainwater; and feed on the many spiders and bugs living there.

This year January 1st was Mimosa Day. Fresh (from the tree;) orange juice and champagne in equal parts made for a tasty start to 2010, post Rose Parade of course!

Cheers and Happy New Year!