An Unexpected Treasure at the Nursery

On a recent visit to SummerWinds Nursery, I rounded the corner to find this:

potted ficus with do not move tage

Potted Ficus carefully tied to a cart

They’ve pushed a shopping cart against a sheltered exterior wall. Resting on top is a potted Ficus, attached to the cart with twine. The warning is clear: Do not move!

So what is all the fuss about?

Potted ficus

Potted Ficus

Come have a closer look.

nesting Anna's hummingbird

Nesting Anna’s hummingbird

It’s a nesting Anna’s hummingbird, native to this part of California. She must be resting on eggs, generally two. The eggs incubate for about two weeks, then the young spend another three weeks in the nest.

There is something about a mama bird in her nest that makes my heart sing. I wanted to linger, but her comfort outstripped my desire to pull up a chair and just sit there all afternoon. I took a non-flash snapshot with my phone from a distance, then zoomed in when I got home.

On the subject of nests and homes, my older son is home from college for spring break. I’m looking forward to the weekend ahead with all three of my “men” in the house.

Ah, spring. Thank you for all these gifts.





The Rewards of Letting Nature Take Its Course

By early to mid August, our white Japanese anemone are in full bloom. They line the rock wall, taking on more and more real estate with each passing year. They’re considered non-invasive, but prolific bloomers. I’ll say.


September, 2012 Japanese Anemones Line the Rock Wall

The blooms are generally spent by November and the flower stocks dry up and turn brittle. The entire stem pulls up easily, no pruning required.

Last year we had some late bloomers so I didn’t get around to “trimming” them back.

Then I had surgery.

And the wonderful consequence is this:

hummingbird collecting fluff

Female Anna’s Hummingbird Gathering Nesting Material

I wish the photos were clearer but I had to share. That’s a female Anna’s hummingbird gathering Anemone “fluff” for her nest. She’s been back several times to gather more, along with others nesting mammas in the neighborhood. She plucked at the fluff over and over till her mouth was full, then flew back to the nest. One of the Anna’s appears to be nesting in the orange tree. That’s the direction she goes once her beak is full. Another one gathers, then heads to the neighboring pine tree.

Fluffy Anemone Seed Heads

Fluffy Anemone Seed Heads

Earlier in the week I sat still in a chair for half an hour hoping to capture this wonderful event on video. I forgot to close the back door, however, and within minutes, one of the kitties was asleep in my lap.

I could have taken him back inside, but once I was resting there in the warm sun, I found myself “in the zone.” Sitting in my wicker chair in the garden, warm kitty in my lap, watching nature unfold was mesmerizing. Alas, the mama hummingbird didn’t return for her closeups so I had to make do with these blurred pics and the happy memory to go with them.

Oh, and remember what I said about anemones flowering in the fall? Check out this one, flowering away in late February.

anemone bloom february

Anemone Blooming in February

I wonder if the lack of rain along with weeks of unseasonably warm weather is playing tricks on the flower’s programming?