All day yesterday was clear and sunny. For the first time in a long time the night sky was cloudless and one thing we have at the stone wall garden is an amazing overhead view of the sky. I turned off every light in the house, even the computer. It is "country dark" here, so we used a flashlight to find our way to the bench on the patio. The dark sky was filled with so many stars it was hard to pick out familiar constellations. We stayed in the garden, gazing up at the ocean of stars, until each of us saw a meteor. It was spectacular!
Today was another sunny day. I had been waiting for a dry day to gather seed heads from my pink poppies. I collected a lot of seed, but a whole lot more had already been spread in the garden. Once the pods open, every breeze scatters a little more seed until the pods are empty. It was while I was busy cutting poppy seed heads that I felt the breeze and heard the buzz and chatter of a humming bird right there next to me. I had the camera in my pocket but I didn't bother to try to get it out. With the hummingbird so close, I wanted to watch her.
It's a rare chance to observe one of those little birds with their gorgeous green iridescent feathers right under your nose. Yesterday Ed weeded the bed next to the stone wall where these cardinal flowers grow. I watched as she flew from red flower to red flower sipping nectar. The drooping flower had been accidentally uprooted and she took special care to get any nectar she could from that stalk. She even perched on the stem to gain access to some of the more hard to reach flowers. I stayed there transfixed until she eventually flew past my head speeding to another part of the garden.
You would think having such a wonderful experience would be enough for me, but after lunch, I decided to take the camera and sit in the shade of the smoke bush, hoping that the hummingbird would make another appearance. It did not take long for me to hear the familiar buzz of hummingbird wings, but this time with the camera at the ready, the beautiful little bird stayed on the other side of the wall visiting the cardinal flower there. You can see her there, three stones down from the top of the wall, sipping nectar from the stalk of cardinal flower on the left. Don't forget to click on the picture to make it larger!
After that she flew even farther from me all the way to the opposite side of the stone square. She sits perched on a wire cage near the center of the picture. Her little white tummy is just visible among the red cardinal flowers. She doesn't stay perched for long. She will spend her whole day sipping nectar or chasing other hummingbirds at incredible speed. In a flash she was gone. It was a such thrill to have her spend a few minutes of her speedy day with me!