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!