Morning Scents

I was in the garden earlier than usual one morning and was pleasantly greeted by the strong scents of my blooming gingers. This one is Hedychium hybred “Pink V.

My most reliable ginger that has been with me for many years is Butterfly Ginger, Hedychium coronarium, which I believe has the strongest scent and can be detected from across the backyard.  I had a neighbor that told me she could smell it as she walked by the front of my house. The plants bloom in the Spring and Autumn.

Because it was early morning, I was able to catch the scent of the Four O’Clocks, which bloom in the early evening.  These flowers have a wonderful fragrance and are great to plant near a porch or patio. Oddly, I have never seen hummingbirds or bees on them.  Maybe some night I will stay up and see what pollinates them.

Another night bloomer, is Evening Primrose, Oenothera grandiflora, and was collected by William Bartram.   It has an usual scent that is an acquired taste.  I never really saw any pollinators on this Primrose, until I spotted what I believe to be a green bee, which I hope my reader that is a bee expert will let me know.  Anyway, the bee was really working on the flowers and when I passed by later, it was still gathering nectar.

I look forward to my morning garden tour and being greeted by a scent, new bloom or a backyard critter.


Hummingbird Competition

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Unbelievably, the gang of Hummingbirds are still visiting my feeders.  I have never had this many Hummers for this amount of time.  At times, there are up to twelve birds fighting for the sugar water.  I’ve been spending my days observing the tiny birds and was watching them from my kitchen window, when an interesting scenario began playing out.  I grabbed my camera and started shooting through the window.

It was early in the evening when the feeding frenzy really ramps up and a new visitor appeared.  The reddish brown creature is a Hummingbird Moth, which many mistake as a baby hummingbird. I had an entomologist identify one before and its proper name is Mournful Sphinx Moth (Enyo lugbris).  

At first the moth couldn’t quite figure out how the feeder worked.

Before long it found the feeder’s hole.  Needless to say, the Hummingbird was not happy and it actually poked the moth.  The little Hummingbird Moth was not bothered and fed until it was full.

I took a chance, went outside and managed to get a photo before the moth took off to work on the flowers.

Click on the photo and scroll down to click on full size for a better look.


Angel Trumpet

My Angel Trumpet finally decided to bloom after many years.  I remembered it being a different color, but the bud was yellow.

It finally matured some more and my memory proved to be correct.

Angel Trumpet or Brugmanis is part of the Nightshade family.  All parts of it is toxic and is also call the Trumpet of Death.  It is a plant that shouldn’t be grown in a garden with children or pets.  I waited many years before planting mine.

I thought that was that and was happy with just two blooms.  Days later more buds appeared for a beautiful display.

 

 


Red-Shouldered Hawk

While walking through the house, I glanced out of a window and saw this beautiful Red-Shouldered Hawk sitting on a branch.  It had one leg tucked up and seemed to be resting. The hawk’s feather patterns are a work of art.

I watched for awhile and then ran through the house to grab my camera.  The window I was watching through was a half moon shape near the ceiling.  I stood on a little stool and started shooting.  Surprisingly, these photos are not too bad considering they were taken through a window.


Hummers Part II

A new day and the feeding frenzy has escalated.  Seven or more hummingbirds have descended on the garden.  Another hummer has claimed the second feeder leaving the others to fight for it.

I was watching from a window and saw the hummingbirds acting differently and went out to see what was going on.  It turns out that hummers aren’t the only ones interested in the sugar water.  A green anole was blocking their access.

And the birds were not happy.

The anole eventually climbed up on the stand and encroached on the hummingbird’s perch.  The bird tried going after the lizard with its needle-like bill.

The anole was steadfast.

The hummingbird was not amused.

The hummer sat on its perch for a few minutes trying not to look at the lizard, while the anole may have been wondering if it could swallow the little bird.

In the end, the anole outlasted the hummers who finally met their match.

 


There’s Always One

There is always one hummingbird that decides it will be the bully and guard of the food source. Hummingbirds seem like such cute little birds, but they can be very vicious to each other and even to large birds.  This little bird is spending its days chasing away any creature that comes near the feeders or flowers.

Right now there are 3 to 4 hummers in the garden.  That works out well when the dominate bird chases another away, the third one can grab some nectar.

My garden is filled with hummingbird friendly flowers, such as this Cigar Plant (Cuphea ignea)…

and a Hummingbird Bush (Hamelia patens). Plus beds filled with nectar producing flowers in the back and front yards.  Yet, it is an endless fight all day long with the bully attacking and knocking the other hummers away.

And does the bully feel bad about this at all?  Ppptttthhh, the hummingbird  just sticks out its tongue and continues its reign of terror.


Patch is Back

My favorite wild rabbit, Patch is back.  I haven’t seen her for months and there are two reasons I know it is her.  First, the patches of missing fur on her back.

And she chased me into the garage when I came outside to give her sunflower seeds.