01 June 2006

The Year of the Hummingbird

It’s June! And I forget what year it is in the Chinese calendar, but at our house it’s the year of the hummingbird. We’ve never had so many; and they’re voracious, dining on both the feeders and the flowers for nectar sources. And they’re saucy to each other, zipping back and forth, swearing at each other “back off! Get your own feeder!” and zooming all around. They even hover a few inches from me when I’m working in the garden, especially if the feeders are getting low or I’m wearing something bright. They don’t regard me as any threat…and they’re mightily amusing to the cats, who line up in the windows to watch bird television….
Mangotango Babycat and Toby Soprano squish into one window to observe the festivities...

In another life, I’ll be able to just sit happily reading blogs of friends, longtime and new. I’ve mentioned Ami McKay’s blog a number of times, and thanks to so many of you who have helped to keep Ami’s book on the bestseller lists for many weeks! I heard from a friend that the book has been nearly impossible to actually pick up in Toronto; it keeps selling out and having to be ordered in again by bookstores. Go, Ami, you’re a star in all our books. (and a dear friend besides being a stellar writer.)

Then Mary Ann Archibald emailed me about her weblog, and wondered could she link to mine. The answer of course was sure—gardeners gotta stick together, always.

And last night, a welcome note came from a longtime acquaintance, newly met in Ottawa during the PWAC national conference; Charmian, fellow writer and gardener and ranter. She’s located in Guelph, and her blog is a hoot; at once funny and tender, as the most recent posting about her uncle Lindsay demonstrates.

Charmian gave me grief, in a good hearted fellow gardener’s way, for my ability to grow blue poppies—not just to get them to survive, but also to flower. I’ve been trying to locate a local to her source of these little finicky darlings, but so far no success. So for now, I’ll just link to her weblog, which for those of us who enjoy food is a delightful thing, and also tease her by saying, guess whose blue poppy is putting up flower stalks?

Yup. It’s going to flower shortly. The first stalk shot up out of that plant like there was no tomorrow—it wasn’t there, and then it was. Tonight it was showing colour in the bud; this is nearly three weeks earlier than last year. Mind you, this particular plant is in the sun where the others are in more shade…

Had a little plant-buying frenzy yesterday at Springvale Nurseries production site, when I was there for meetings. Somehow, a Katsura tree, a dawn redwood, a Middendorf weigela, a golden plumose false cypress, and a serviceberry climbed onto the back of my truck…and of course my dear longsuffering spouse wondered where all these new trees and shrubs are going to go…but already he’s decided that they’ll do just fine. He’s a quick study, my sweetie, and also a great builder of birdhouses and windowboxes and trellises too.

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