Archives

Wings~

Hummingbirds are the smallest birds in the world. Anna’s weigh about .14 ounce, but they can fly at speeds of up to 60 mph.

Unlike other birds they can fly backwards and upside down, and they are among the 1% of birds who can hover.

Hummers fly upright, not flat like other birds.

Their wings rotate 180 degrees, on their shoulder ball and socket joints,

and can beat up to 200 times per minute!

Despite their petite size, hummingbirds have mega-brains. Their brains constitute 4.2% of their body weight, greater than any other bird, and greater than human beings whose brains are about 2% of their body mass. Hummers remember how to fly thousands of miles, they know and remember which humans can be counted on to feed them, and they remember which flowers have the best nectar.

Cheers to you from the small but mighty hummer~

Seconds~

The most,

hummers get,

to rest,

all day.

Their daylight hours are spent packing on calories,

to survive their torporous nights.

Cheers to you from the resting hummers~

(Click the photos to enlarge if you would like to see more detail.)

Mockers~

I’ve respected mockingbirds since I was a kid when I watched one pick up a snake that was threatening it’s nest and repeatedly dash it on the pavement from high in the sky.

My childhood friend rescued a baby mockingbird and it became her pet. It flew freely about the house and held it’s own with her family’s five cats.

They are feisty and assertive birds and they are talented musicians.

They don’t just mimic the sounds they hear, they also compose, morphing the timber,

and tune, to make their songs more melodic.

Mockingbirds are night singers in the spring and summertime at The Holler.

Juvenile and adult males without mates sing at night to attract females.

I love falling to sleep at night listening to their vocal repertoires.

Cheers to you from The Holler musicians~

Mantling~

The classic osprey glare.

This distant osprey has a fish clutched in his talons.

He lands with his prize,

and spots me.

He immediately mantles to cover his prey from the potential thief.

You can see the nictitating membrane, or third inner eyelid, starting to cover his eye for protection as he subdues the thrashing fish. (Click to enlarge).

Up on the safety of the high wires,

he can ignore me more comfortably.

Cheers to you from the well fed osprey~

Adolescent Ellies~

Just learning,

how to be,

bullies.

The females,

and pups,

take a relaxed approach,

to the budding testosterone,

conserving their energy,

for the often futile battles ahead.

Cheers to you from Piedras Blancas Elephant Seals in Big Sur California~

Clever Critters~

Curious vole in a hole says hello,

while squirrely plots to get his fix.

Forced to ponder,

as squirrels are,

he finally leaps,

to steal his treats.

And stares me down with a squirrely frown.

Cheers to you from clever critters everywhere~

California Coast~

Crescent City, nearing the border with Oregon.

Battery Point lighthouse began operation in 1856.

Coastal Oaks covered with moss in temperate rain forests.

Southern forests are much drier.

Point Reyes National Sea Shore. (Click to enlarge)

Fierce winds have bent the trees at The Point Reyes Lighthouse.

Klamath California (click and see if you can spot the distant grazing elk herd).

Cheers to you from coastal California~