Thursday, August 25, 2016

Angry Birds!

Well, I wasn't expecting a surprise like this in our little backyard hummer paradise.... the plot has officially thickened! 

Now there are TWO male hummingbirds squabbling over the nectar feeder.  There's a tiny new male "outsider" that showed up this afternoon, and he's trying to muscle in on the resident males territory.  They had an epic skirmish at the feeder, and I was thrilled to have a front row seat for this tiny little micro event.  For me, it was even better than an MMA fight.  The two little farts were very quick to throw-down.  They started buzzing and dive-bombing each other fiercely, and there was some tiny little angry trash-talking chirps, and basically they got right up in each others faces to lay the smack down.  It lasted a grand total of about a minute and a half.  I wanted to make popcorn and grab a chair, but I thought I'd miss the whole damn thing if I even blinked the wrong way for a split second.....

The challengers.

The stare-down, followed by some brief trash-talk on who's feeder it actually belonged to.

Mid-skirmish.  They're both in this picture, but it was so quick the camera could only capture one of them.

The 10th round was still undecided...

But then there was a winner.  I have no idea if it's the original male that was here first, or if this is the challenger.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The male hummingbird managed to sit still long enough for me to get a picture of him this morning!  It was a rare opportunity, because he usually never stays in one spot for very long.  He's a pretty little bird with a metallic green back and white tips at the end of his tail.  I guess that I'll have to come up with a name for him too...

My "el cheapo" Walmart camera strains and groans to get very clear photos when it has to zoom in such an enormous way

I'm glad that he felt comfortable enough to perch in the lilacs for awhile this morning.  Such a cute little handsome fellow.  =:)

And while I was taking photos of the male, Humma stopped by the feeder to grab a drink.  I'm bummed out that the iron rod that holds the feeder up was in the way... it would've been a cute shot of her

I think that these two probably have a nest somewhere, but it would be a miracle if I was ever able to find it.  They are so tiny! 
I found this stock photo on the internet of the actual size of a hummer nest with a size comparison to a penny:

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Humma Kavula

We have a resident female hummingbird that likes to hang out around our yard.  I love these tiny guys! 

I started noticing her buzzing around last year when I was outside gardening, so I purchased a hummer feeder at the local store and have been keeping it freshly stocked during the spring and summertime ever since.  This year a more brightly colored male also showed up, but I haven't gotten a chance to get a picture of him yet.  He likes to quickly buzz around and only stays for a few minutes before taking off like a little rocket.

And yes, I did name our little resident female hummer...  Her namesake is from a character on the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.  It seems to fit her.   =:)

These photos were taken from our kitchen window before the afternoon sun hit the back porch.  For the sake of Humma's health, I like to mix my own nectar formula (minus any red food dye).  She seems to enjoy the simple mixture, so I guess I must be doing something right

I've noticed that during this time of year Humma gets fairly thirsty and she'll perch on the feeder and guzzle nectar for awhile.  The flowers are mostly done blooming and the weather is really hot, so she'll come and sit at the "mini-bar" for a refreshment.  I love watching her from the window as I drink my morning cup of coffee.
It's the smaller things in life that make it enjoyable.  =:)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A gift for a friend.

I sculpted this foal medallion, (in what seems like eons ago), in 2006.  I cast around 25 of these little guys in polyurethane resin as live show donations.  I used to get several requests from show holders to donate stuff for their live shows, but I just didn't have time to paint a bunch of mini models to oblige their requests.  So, to come up with a solution I sculpted this little medallion so that I'd have a blank copy to send to show holders when they contacted me.  It worked out great!

I thought that I'd distributed all of these medallions, but I found two of them hidden in the bottom of a box that I had put away.  A friend of mine is having some health issues, so I painted one of them to send to her in hopes of cheering her up and maybe lifting her spirit a bit.  =:)

I gave this chestnut fellow a gloss finish and put a magnet on the back of him, so he's a perfect little fridge ornament.

Friday, August 12, 2016

My second gigantic batch of freezer jam for the year.  I've made about 3 gallons of jam so far.  At this rate Craig and I will be eating toast for the rest of our lives!  Luckily this stuff keeps in the freezer for a long time.

The first batch that I made earlier in the year was a "mixed berry" from the garden consisting of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and rhubarb mixed together.  (It's really yummy tasting jam with all of those ingredients.)  This second batch pictured above is wild blackberry, cherry, and rhubarb. 

My rhubarb plants did really well this year, and I was able to get three cuttings from them.  The first cutting went to a friend to make her own jam batches with, and the last two cuttings were for our own freezer jam.  I love gardening!  It's so rewarding making your own food.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

A newly completed Cantrell resin "Nitro" that I painted to a sunbleached bay overo. I gave him the nickname "Pyro" when I was painting him, because the ends of his mane and tail have some firey sunbleached metallic red shades. He's owned by Diane Finazzo of Minnesota.