Wow - what a great weekend this has been! OK - for some reason I've been feeling puny for part of it, but the good definitely outweighs the bad.
First of all, Eric and I went to the Hummingbird Festival at Kleb Woods. There was a good turnout of people, not so much from the hummingbirds. As I said yesterday, I think they are all in our garden!
There weren't many hummingbirds to be seen, but there were a couple, to the delight of the eager crowd with binoculars focused on the feeders. And the organizers made sure there was plenty to do, even in the absence of hummingbirds (like last year). There were demonstrations and lectures in the Nature Center, and out by the Kleb house and garden, there were tables set up with various wildlife-inspired games.
The most notable event happened as we went for a walk through the woods. It RAINED! It started out as a gentle rain and then got steadier. By the time we got back to the car, we were pretty wet, but it was such a welcome relief from the endless days of drought, we laughed as we dripped.
When we got home, we could tell it had rained there too. I took a stroll round the garden and could almost feel the relief.
And look who came to visit...
This is the first Monarch I have seen this year. The garden is certainly ready for them - we have some impressive stands of milkweed.
This was still visiting the milkweed on Sunday (and I hope she laid some eggs). She wasn't, however, the only butterfly enjoying the milkweed.
This Pipevine Swallowtail enjoyed an afternoon nectaring on it as well. I wonder if she laid some eggs on the Dutchman's Pipevine I have growing underneath the Southern Wax Myrtle?
On Saturday afternoon, I got up close and personal with a hummingbird in the garden. You could call it a rescue mission.
Since it was cloudy, and not blisteringly hot, I was determined to get some decent photos of the hummers by getting closer to the feeders, rather than taking photos from in side the house.
There were several hummers buzzing around the feeder under the crepe myrtle, but I was shocked by what I saw when I got closer...
One of them had got stuck!!!
I have no idea how she managed to get stuck like this, but after snapping this photo, I carefully put my hand underneath her and lifted her up so she could free her wings and fly out. It was amazing to touch her, she felt so tiny, light and delicate.
Once she was free, she hovered six inches in front of my nose for a few seconds, as if to say thanks, and then took off over my shoulder.
After that, I took lots of photos of them on the feeder, and another short video clip. I wonder if the little one I rescued is among them, or if she is wary of the feeders now? One of the hummers has been enjoying the Dallas Red Lantana, and the milkweed - perhaps that's her. I guess I'll never know.
I think the photo below is my favorite photo:
Looking at these photos, it occurred to me that most of my hummers are girls. There are a couple of males out there, but they are way outnumbered by the females.
So all in all, it was a great weekend. With yesterday's rain and the cooler temperatures, it's easier to believe that fall isn't too far way.
At least I hope it isn't too far away.
Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.