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Tag Archives: hummingbird

Remember the long warm days of summer? Night skies full of endless stars and a comet too? T shirts, shorts and sandals? Oh yeah. This is the time of winter when it seems that summer will never come. Living under pandemic rules for nearly a year, making each day seem more or less the same, doesn’t help. Well, here’s a memory of summer.

Lewis’s Woodpeckers nested on our hill last year. It was a first for us. The dead trees that burned in 2014 must have finally reached the point of good rot for easy cavity excavating. There were probably four of the colorful woodpeckers but I never saw more than three at a time. There were at least two different cavities that were in use. I photographed them over the course of a couple of days in July til I got distracted by the comet and camping activities. Just yesterday I finally got round to processing those images. There were over 400!

I think it’s worth it to click through all of the images to enjoy the colors and movements of the Lewis’s Woodpeckers. They are an exotic looking bird for this part of the world.


There are up to four species of hummingbirds in our region and I think the Black-chinned is my favorite. It is more slender than other hummers making it appear ‘tall’ but really, it’s no bigger than the other hummingbirds around here with an average weight of .12 ounce. Twelve one hundredths of an ounce! Imagine. The wing span is 4.3 inches.

We are near the most northern part of their range. Can you imagine such a small animal making the long migration from central Mexico? While the chin is black, as you might expect, when the sun hits it just right, there is a vibrant strip of purple on the males. I photographed this one at the feeder last week.

The long hours of dusk in the summer time are some of my favorites. And recently we’ve had tremendous sunsets most every evening. This is partially due to smoke from neighboring wildfires. It doesn’t slow down the hummingbirds. We still see them going to the feeders, sometimes aggressively defending them from other hummers. There are fewer than there were a month ago. They are mostly juveniles now. The adults have moved on, migrating south to their wintering grounds or up in the mountains in search of nectar from wildflowers. I do enjoy warm summer evenings on our deck.

Despite a windy morning, Suzanne and I had a nice hike to the top of Patterson Mountain. The calendar says it is summer and yet the wildflowers still look like spring. I was surprised to see so many alliums in bloom. Some areas were carpeted with them. And still there are lots of bitterroot. In addition to wildflowers we saw a pair of Golden Eagles, a Lazuli Bunting and other birds. We are SO lucky to live here!



Allium and a yellow buckwheat


A tiny daisy, maybe an aster?


Allium and its shadow


A hummingbird visits scarlet gillia to collect nectar with Mount Gardner in the background

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