Hummingcrow & Co.

Seán   Web Reads: Free wild birds & Creative processes  Kate

Seán ~ Have You Seen This Bird

Being a full-time internet nature artist is great, weird, and lonely. This bird project felt more like being together than making art and I, who have never been up to the task of any sort of self-imposed daily practice, took dozens of pictures every day, sharing them with my internet friends. My friends became his friends, and I think caring about him became a way for them to care about me.

Elisabeth Nicula

I came upon this heartfelt and entertaining essay about a city-dwelling human's friendship with Frank the scrub-jay through Robin Sloan's newsletter. Elisabeth does a fantastic job interweaving the emotion and humor of befriending free wild birds, and inspires me to want to write about my friendship with Patience—the only crow that I ever named, and who the stamp which serves as my bird-avatar here is based upon. Maybe at some point I'll post the results on this blog...

(On a side note: As I was reading Elisabeth's story, I realized that I've encountered parts of it before through her great dioramas.space project.)

See also: Frank's Corpus
Kate head ~ On the pleasures of a creative practice that is uniquely your own

A funny coincidence: I was starting to put together a post about two sleepy juvenile ravens (stay tuned!) when I got side-tracked reading an interview on The Creative Independent (“a growing resource of emotional and practical guidance for creative people” that I check occasionally). Its title (above) caught my eye, 'cause I've been pondering my own creative practice around playing piano. It ended up being an interview with composer and keyboardist Roger O’Donnell (of The Cure), who happens to have just released a beautiful piano album, called—get this—2 Ravens. Full circle! I love stuff like that.

A bit from the interview:

It’s that abstract part of creativity that really interests me. When things are just flying around in your head and coming out. That’s what I find most interesting.

It’s when you have to make it palatable or understandable to other people that it becomes mundane. We all have these visions and sounds in our heads that are absolutely fantastic and amazing, but you then have to make them understandable to other people.

— Roger O'Donnell

More musings:

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Seán   In Bloom: Nootka rose (Rosa nutkana)

Nootka Rose (Rosa nutkana) - 20.5.22

An early morning stroll during May to July (according to the altitude) may discover the year's first Nootka Rose. Who has not then savoured the pleasure of the moment, the visual delight of the elegant buds, and the dewey freshness of the blossoms, the memorable fragrance—both of flower and foliage.

— Lewis J. Clark, Wild Flowers of British Columbia

Named after Nootka Sound here on Vancouver Island (“Nootka” itself being derived from a Nuu-Chah-Nulth term) Nootka rose's thorny thickets make great habitat for birds and other small animals, and its flowers are loved by bees, wanna-bees, and butterflies. This qel'qulhp (Halkomelm for 'wild rose bush') has been traditionally used by many First Nations groups for a number of medicinal and culinary purposes.

Apparently this rose makes a tasty jelly or jam, which we'll have to try sometime.

Nootka Rose (Rosa nutkana) - 20.5.22 This fly is an incredible bumblebee mimick! Note the large eyes & stubby antennae ;^)

May 17, '09: rufous in kitchen

 

Seán   Secret of the ghost swing

Trumpet Honeysuckle - 20.5.15

Known in some Salishan languages as the 'swing of the ghost' (or of the owl: q’ít’əәʔəәtsəәspəәlqwít’thəәʔ), this beautiful western trumpet honeysuckle provides food and shelter for at least 20 bird species in our area, and is also frequented by swallowtail butterflies. Likewise, amongst hominids, its nectar has served as a natural treat for children, its leaves and bark used for medicine, and its stems for building bridges.

Trumpet Honeysuckle - 20.5.15

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Seán   Happy World Migratory Bird Day!

A male rufous keeping a wary eye out for rival Anna's hummingbirds

In honor of World Migratory Bird Day, here are a few photos of rufous hummingbirds (Selasphorus rufus) which have visited us here over the past couple of years.

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Seán   Weed-of-the-Week: Stinky Bob

Stinky Bob - 20.5.13

Although weeding is a daily duty here, we've started a weekly tradition called Weeding Wednesday during which we each spend a focused chunk of 水曜日 crawling around the Hill pulling Undesirable Plants to make room for greater biodiversity. In light of this new custom, I thought I'd take some time to research one of the weeds that I've been focusing on today:

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Kate  #Meanwhile

Morning pearls of dew are beaded onto threads of moss

A sparkling chalice awaits a thirsty faery

A lupine contact juggler balances its ball with care

Kate  Hum Hill Recipe Corner: Simple Banana Oat Pancakes   Seán

On a typical day here, we're usually munching down bowls of granola for breakfast (partially because we wake up at very different times). But when we want to have a fancy breakfast together, we whip up this nice simple pancake recipe which Seán's mom introduced us to (and accentuate it with granola, of course):

Banana Oat Pancake Stack - 20.5.10 Seán's glorious stack for Mother's Day

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  🌿 Ecological Signs 🐛

Hello friends! 🌱

I hope you've been enjoying whatever seasonal changes are happening in your neighbourhood. Over here, the bumblebees are out enjoying early spring blooms, violet-green swallows are swooping above catching insects, and the feisty, tiny orange rufous hummingbirds have arrived to refuel after their long migration.
🌸 – – – 🐝 restoration sign

I've been busy with more sign-making! I'm currently updating and designing more menu boards for my friend's bakery; but since I already shared some bakery signs, I'll instead show you five other recent signs: three that I made for Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary, and two for some friends to use at a climate action demonstration.

See all of the signs and read about the process on Kate's Patreon post!

~🕷️ jumping spider Hello from Phidippus Johnsoni, Johnson’s Jumping Spider! This cutie entertained me for a while the other day, showing off its long front legs, big glossy eyes and fuzzy moustache-like pedipalps.

Note the pollen-covered surface— it’s coating everything right now!

Read more in the Scuttleverse: Hermies dancing %k78lDWAdYr3vzZkb7GbaamjJweug3ePZ1vwQQ6AI2WY=.sha256

Seán   #Meanwhile

A thirsty female rufous hummingbird A thirsty rufous hummer (Selasphorus rufus) returns from her long-distance journey.

April 8, '10: Hummingbirds thick as wasps at feeders this pm -
20 rufous + Annas swarm at dusk
April 11, '04: 'a hummbird wades into bird bath & takes a bath like a robin'



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