Archives

Convocation of Cardinals~

Of the red-capped woodpecker kind,

is happening at The Holler.

Normally intensely shy and skittish,

they have decided it’s time,

to show their best profiles,

and pose for portraits.

I am most happy to oblige,

even though one stuck his tongue out at me.

Cheers to you from your foto-friendly-feathered-friends~

Female Grosbeak~

Holler birds are out in record number this year!

We have a mated pair of Black Headed Grosbeaks (and a pair of Blue Grosbeaks!).

This is the black head female, who seemed most pleased with the treats we have on offer,

at least judging by the quantity she wolfs down daily.

You can see whole sunflower seeds with shells in her beak!

She must be expecting and eating for two, or four, or so.

Cheers to you from the very hungry grosbeak~

Rare Locals~

White Faced Ibis are large and imposing birds.

They are residents year round in Southern California,

although I rarely see them.

Finding this nesting colony,

was quite a treat.

White Faced Ibis have a migratory range that extends from Canada in the north, to Chile and Argentina in the south. I have seen and photographed them more in South America than I have here!

Cheers to you from the gorgeous and iridescent White Faced Ibis~

An Uncommon Fellow~

Look who’s been posing like a model,

at our local ponds lately,

Wood Ducks, which are uncommon in Southern California.

I need to go back and photograph the females,

who are not quite as show stopping as the males,

but are beautiful none the less.

Cheers to you from the uncommonly beautiful California Wood Duck~

Mind your Mother~

“I’m watching you!”

This Night Heron spent some time watching me intently,

and then went back,

to catching crabs!

He caught a few,

and then hopped down,

and joined me on my picnic table.

I think he hoped I’d share my lunch.

Cheers to you & Happy Mother Earth Day from the people watching heron~

Tree-top Dancers~

Snowy Egrets,

in full courtship display,

dance on the top of tall thorn trees,

and sing their peculiar courtship songs.

They seem to get ignored a lot,

but their efforts must work,

judging by the hundred or so tree-top nesting females.

Egrets dance, sing, and nest, on trees with formidable thorns, to keep less talented predators away.

I found this recording on you tube of the egret’s most peculiar courtship song. It is much louder in person with many birds courting, dancing and singing, at the same time. ( Thank you Kim DeGiulio Goecke, who I do not know, who accurately recorded their songs):

Cheers to you from the dancing and singing tree-top birds~

Bloggers Rock~

Look what I received in the mail from my blogging friend Leslie. She painted this and did a post about it which you can see here: https://swo8.wordpress.com/2021/03/10/the-go-go-boys-by-l-martel/

Leslie, like so many of you bloggers, is multi-talented. She is a Canadian musician, artist, writer and so much more.

You may remember the photos of my twin grandsons that I posted awhile ago.

Leslie saw them and felt called to paint the twins because they reminded her of her sons at this stage, who were close in age and used to crawl into each others cribs. Here is a post about Leslie:

https://swo8.wordpress.com/about/

The reason I love blogging is very simple.

I love blogging because of my blogging friends.

I love being part of a community of talented, creative and genuinely kind people.

A creative community of all of you!

Thank you Leslie for your kindness. You have touched the heart of my entire family. Your portraits have pride of place on my wall, and will surely be passed down through the generations, like the precious heirlooms they are.

And thank you bloggers. You brighten my day, everyday.

Bloggers Rock!

Cheers to you from The Holler~

Blooming Holler ~

The Holler spring bloom is on, and I am home to photograph it for a change, so I am going to post a series on Holler spring flowers, starting with these beauties. The Cup of Gold flowering vine grows prolifically, and the blooms are humongous, about eight inches in diameter.

Hong Kong Orchid Trees have stunning blossoms that blanket the trees in spring.

Matilija Poppies are one of my favorite flowers and are Southern California natives, with huge fried-egg blossoms, about eight inches in diameter.

Reliable African Iris propagate beautifully at The Holler.

Wild Stinging Lupine cover bare areas, are beautiful to look at, but not nice to touch.

The Californian Fuchsia is native to Southern California but I didn’t know what it was. I thought it was in the fuchsia family but was stumped with identification. So my talented blogging friend Eliza Waters, who has a degree in horticulture and is a Master Gardener, helped me out. If you don’t know Eliza, and you like things that bloom and grow, you may want to check out her blog: https://elizawaters.com/about/

Bougainvillea are touch and go at The Holler due to frost. This one is definitely a go!

Cheers to you from the Blooming Holler~

Holler Oddities~

Ghost ranches, buried old cars, coyote packs, a former free range Ankole Watusi bull, The Holler is definitely an odd place, which is why we fit in so well!

Take this thorny tree for example. It is a Silk Floss tree and is about 50 feet tall.

This time of year it is covered in plate sized cotton poofs.

The poofs develop from large seed pods.

In the fall, the tree drops its leaves and devotes all its energy to producing masses of beautiful blooms.

The Holler abuts a large nature preserve and is built on very old orchards. Back in the day, orchard workers lived on site and indulged in their love of exotic plants and trees, many of which are still thriving and producing today.

I often wish I could tell them how much we appreciate living with the beautiful results of their talent and effort.

Cheers to you from the very odd Holler~