No MATTER that summer failed to arrive in OUR own eyes before July….things ARE happening…. For my diary to reference NEXT year (and I often do check prior years season observations)……here’s the happenings now in this little rainforest yard:
I thought of Rufous Hummingbirds as I finished today’s cookup:
1). HUMMINGBIRDS. I guess I need to call Audobon….maybe find out just WHY the Rufous migration THIS year didn’t seem successful. Peak feeding volume this summer in June prior to the males leaving hit 2.5 quarts daily and held steady about 4 weeks that way. I observed the males suddenly vanish…..gone! Finally, I’ve seen most adult female Rufous to be gone….Feeding volume is down to 1.4 quarts a day, and will VERY soon drop more as the juvies all leave together, migrating back to Mexico EXACTLY on the SAME Calendar time they leave EVERY YEAR even THOUGH…..the migration ARRIVED here this year 3 weeks late, and small in number. I suspect the stormy blustery coast weather in California this spring hurt their survival rates on the way up…….and NOW, their nesting season seems to have been only ONE group of babies instead of the 2 they can raise in a good summer. Here I’m ready to make more hummer food, but….am also putting away the LARGE quart feeders as they empty…..we’re back to the 2 cup size now….. SIGH. These little guys add a lot of life to our yard, and they’re loved while they’re here, missed for 8 months while they’re gone:
2) The elderberries out front are LOADED with fruit and NEVER since we started them about 10 years ago have they been loaded with birds in the mornings….now it seems grosbeaks, pigeons, finches, and yes, finally, a TANAGER are out there eating…I MUST learn how to get out there hidden and see how this is working.
3) A CROW family roosted in this neighborhood this year, first time we’ve noticed that happening. It IS FUNNY to listen to the parents constantly “caw caw caw cawing” to this kid, and then you’ll hear a blustery throated “caw” back, but it continues until the kid flys closer to them, then they fly off further and start it all up again…. THIS is something NEW to see for me… I KNOW these crows are smart birds, and this training’s like NO other bird we’ve seen.
4) EVENING GROSBEAKS! Successfully finished the 2nd nests, 2nd families, and have finally GONE! Sigh. We won’t see them again until next April likely, and will miss their cheerful whistle calls….
5) The back yard is now FULL of birds in the mornings: American & Lesser Goldfinches, Black headed grosbeaks, doves, misc sparrows, robins bathing, nuthatches, chickadees, towhees, ALL it seems with families……..It’s HARD to believe it has peaked already and that MOST of the songbirds will be GONE in about 3 weeks……. as OUR summer just begins to PEAK in August. I know…they have a long trip ahead of them. Whew
6) BERRY SEASON in OREGON is PEAKING. OFF tomorrow for the beginning of some jammin’. Tomorrow likely some Sylvan Blackberries, a bit more Cascade Delight Raspberry, and later this week, the new crop of Boysenberries. Next week some mixed jams with the Bluberries….ya know, the gay ones: “Black and Blue”, Blue-Mari, etc….. yep, it’s started.
7) GARDEN NEWS! We have a few PINK tomatoes. EVERYTHING out there has literally exploded in growth the last 2 weeks…… WHAT a relief! Slugs GONE! We’ll be eating corn early September, heirloom tomatoes in 2 weeks… my favorite time of year.
8) In Forest Park, ONE native plant is always watched for carefully, and with this strange damp prolonged spring, they grew, budded, and just SAT THERE for WEEKS. They sat there SO long, that when they finally bloomed, seems they were gone in a week instead of the usual 3. We LOVE these little miniature TIGER LILIES, native to the NW Rain Forest:
9) GUESTS! We had some company! Jeff is 1st cousin to one of my oldest dearest friends I’ve known for 40 years…we met through a mutual friend in Salt Lake back in 1970, BUT…. had quite a common thread. I ended my Mormn Mission as Mission Secretary and Secretary to the Mission President…. Jim T arrived in the field after I’d left, had heard of me, but strangely, ended his OWN mission in those same jobs I had performed….. we had lots to talk about over that little mission time in Louisville, KY. Anyways. NOW, because of that history (and continuing friendship), we met his cousin JEFF and partner Britt who’d been out to Alaska on a cruise and elected to pop into Portland for a mini-tour at the end of their journey. We had a fabulous time with them, and are hopeful, this new friendship blossoms over time:
I DO want to see them at their home…..they are proud parents of an African Gray Parrot named Superstar who’s about 2-3. To this day, I think of our dear departed JOCKO in very FOND terms and hear him chattering away in my head often:
**I STILL miss him getting himself down the cage stand, strutting across the floor and calling to us on barstools, “HELLO…”…he’d be picked up, put on the island, and soon be laughing every time WE laughed, which made the laughing louder and longer….He was a joy to know.
And I gots to run………..summer is not forgiving about the “to-do” list.