Monday, April 14, 2014
I absolutely LOVE when the Indigo Buntings are in town. They are so intensely blue and are so small and sweet.
When they first arrived a few weeks ago, some were still in molt and looked like this.
But now they're all blue and I love seeing them flit around the yard. Bright dashes of blue go flying by. They like to hang out in the Bougainvillea bushes as it's great cover for them and nearby to where I put out the white millet. There's five of them at least, including a couple of females that get short-changed in the color department, but that's okay - they've got an important job of staying unnoticed to protect their nest.
The Painted Buntings are still here as well. In my book, they are the Holy Grail of North American songbirds and I'm so grateful they like my backyard!
Well, this is quite the lousy shot, but it's the only one I have of the male Indigo and Painted Buntings together. I have a hard time photographing these guys as they move fast and zoom in and out of the bushes. I consider getting good photos of them a big challenge that I look forward to improving upon.
The Redbellied Woodpecker has of late been eating some of the seed that I put out. Usually he and the Mrs can be found in the Giant White-Bird-of-Paradise digging insects out of the flower heads. I love the chattering they make. I don't think some of my neighbors share my enthusiasm though...
The Grackles gorgeous iridescent colors are accented by the purple Bougainvillea. Not a favorite bird for most people, I don't think, but I like them. But then, I like all birds.
We've got Passionflowers galore.
I think we have so many now because the vine has grown up into the Ficus hedge which is way above the fence line where the Passionflower is planted, and the deer can't get to them. I'd always see so many buds before and then the next day they would be gone and I'd get just a few blooms from time to time. I don't have any proof the deer are eating them, but we live against a preserve, have a ton of deer in the yard and I've seen them eat lots of other plants - soooooo, I'm just guessing that's what happened to the buds.
Anyway, the Sambac Jasmine is blooming like crazy. We've got it planted all around the pool cage and the fragrance is so intense lately. Especially in the morning after the sprinklers have been on and then again later in the evening. It'll be even more fragrant when the humidity sets in. Which will be soon.
Oh, just in case anyone is interested, here's a recent shot of Chirpy the Cardinal. He still comes every day to the breakfast nook window and chirps for seed.
And here's a recent shot of his wife, Mrs. C. Last year they had three offspring, and we're waiting to see how many kids they have this year. They've been such fun to watch!