Tag Archives: Hooded Orioles

I float on a sea with bangles.

snow peas

Poetry is sane because it floats easily in an infinite sea; reason seeks to cross the infinite sea, and so make it finite. The result is mental exhaustion. To accept everything is an exercise, to understand everything a strain. (This and all quotes in green below are from G.K. Chesterton.)

I had another title for this blog post, something about pollinators, but when I saw the preponderance of green in the images, it made me think of Tuesday’s poem, which could be talking about my own garden that is wild with leaves and flowers popping out at a mad rate. All the glory does make it hard for me to hold a thought, and there are many I should not let go of — starting with all the outdoor tasks that won’t wait: feeding and weeding and trimming and tying….

But going back to the poem, I’ve been thinking about how it describes the way the most common natural occurrences — after all, “the world comes back” in spring year after year — can confuse and even shock us if we really pay attention. In my yard it seems that between the time I walk from the front garden to the back and return again, a new weed has sprouted or an iris has emerged.

Why have I arrived on the path by the salvia? I don’t even take time to ponder, but I immediately start pulling weeds. Then I return to the fountain and see a honeybee on a flower, and must go into the house for my camera and “waste” a few minutes attempting to record one of the thousands of thrilling things happening here, right outside my door.

There is a road from the eye to heart that does not go through the intellect.

This road leads to the heart from other sensory “gates” as well. My garden seems primarily visual, but also the rich scents of osmanthus and daphne and lavender have their own direct routes to my heart, as do the bird songs. I don’t have to think about them or know their meaning. In the poem about the “Deciduous Spring,” sounds of words are used to mimic the visual symphony or cacophony that all this burgeoning creates.

The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens.
It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits.

This week I will be adding more plants to the mix, and several of them will be of the sort that the hummingbirds and bees and other insects like. Last fall I planted five types of seeds that did not sprout: poppies, milkweed, prairie echinacea… So — I found a native plant nursery where I was able to buy two species of milkweed plants, orange Moroccan poppies, and penstemon. Visions of Monarch butterflies fill my head.

In the picture below of the waiting plants, the milkweed is mostly in the foreground, two types that are native to the western us: Asclepias fascicularis and Asclepias speciosa

The perplexity of life arises from there being too many interesting things in it
for us to be interested properly in any of them.

Three varieties of peas, mostly flowers soon to bloom.

To mention a pair of not-green things: The orioles are back! Not in the group that I am trying to attract with certain flowering plants, their preference is sugar water.They are very shy, so I’m not going to try to take new pictures of them. This one is from my great photographic effort last spring.

The snowballs on the viburnum are little green things so far. Green fruits are on the fig tree. I ran into a Painted Lady butterfly over there, and bumblebees, but their interest was the lithodora blossoms.

Jerusalem sage

Even the tiny flowers of the Euphorbia myrsinites are swallowed up in their green leaves.

Nearly every day I fall in love again and try to capture another poppy with my camera.
This time my toes got in the picture. At least they are not green.

The whole order of things is as outrageous as any miracle
which could presume to violate it.

And below, I used a clever jar-vase that Mrs. Bread gave me for my birthday, and made a colorful bouquet that will give your eyes respite from green. It is like a little canning jar with a ring that screws on the top, but into the ring is set a florist’s frog, making it perfect for arranging odd little blooms with their often short stems that one finds in a garden like mine.

That’s my show-and-tell for today! How does your garden grow?

snowball bush



gl Hooded Orioles crp 2016-04-08When Computer Guy and I were sitting by the computer last week, waiting for something to download, he glanced up to say, “Look at that bird!”

I inched over to the window with my camera, while he quickly researched via his phone, and we discovered that a Hooded Oriole was at the hummingbird feeder. His mate soon joined him, and this was my first picture of them. The girl is a bit camouflaged at the top.

As C.G. read to me about this bird, my heart was beating fast. All my vague hopes and plans of attracting birds to my garden were becoming a reality, in the form of a bird I had never heard of, nor dreamed would make a visit.

And to think they were at the hummingbird feeder — how odd! But not at all, because they are known to like sugar water. The info page said to put out some oranges for them, which I promptly did, but they were ignored.

This pair has been coming every day. At the slightest movement I make, ten or fifteen feet away on the other side of the glass, they fly off to the snowball bush. But they aren’t nesting there….gl hooded orioles pair drink P1030963 ed crp NICE

Some hummer feeders don’t work for orioles, because the flower-shaped caps over the holes are too narrow, and/or make the opening too deep for them to get their beaks into. Mine is not this kind, but — neither is it an oriole smorgasbord such as I see you can buy at Plow&Hearth, with jelly dishes, syrup, and a fruit holder!

One evening when dusk was falling, I staked out my spot by the window and rested my camera against the pane, and when the birds arrived and started swigging down the syrup, I took dozens of shots in rapid fire, so that even though the distance was a bit much for my camera’s abilites, I was pleased to capture even somewhat blurry images of them. Now I can relax more and just wonder at these bright creatures, though I don’t think I can ever get used to them.

gl hooded orioles pair M throat P1030945 ed crp NICE