Hummingcrow & Co.

Kate  Mystery of the Alien-Pod

A couple weeks ago, Seán found a mysterious, silvery pod on the ground beside the house, about the size of a lime. It appeared to have been there for a while, as it was very light and seemed dried out. We took our guesses: was it a plant-pod? Some kind of egg sac? I thought it might be an owl-pellet, due to it's hairy outside texture, shape and size. We decided to lovingly refer to it as the “alien pod”:

alien pod

There was only one thing to do in order to solve the mystery – cut it open:

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Seán   Springy Summer Visitors

Kate's new friend

This spur-throated grasshopper nymph may be a major agricultural pest, but it sure is cute and fascinating to behold up close in person at this instar. Not all species in this subfamily are considered problematic, but this particular individual seems to be a two-striped grasshopper (Melanoplus bivittatus), which are highly problematic crop eaters. That being said, it's also a tasty meal for birds... and perhaps for humans as well?

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Seán   Hummingtunes III: Calming Music Edition  Kate

If you missed the previous editions of Hummingtunes, you can find them here & here.

Next month, Bandcamp Friday returns once more to support the livelihoods of musicians around the world who bring much-needed light and relief to challenging circumstances. For this edition of Hummingtunes, we thought we'd take this opportunity to highlight and reflect upon some of the calming albums which have brought a great deal of relief to our heavy brains and anxious bodies during difficult times. We hope they do the same for yours as well:

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Seán   Pollinator Week Finale: A Tale of Two Pies  Kate

As you're all no doubt aware, today is Tau Day! So no further explanation is neede-

Quail ~ “...T..au...?”

Oh! It seems that Quinton is unfamiliar with this widely-celebrated and much-beloved human holiday. So before we continue, here's a brief bit of background:

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Kate  Pollinator Portraits: Skip and Sweat  Seán

Due to the current heat-spells in our region, we haven't been able to spend as much time as we'd like observing who's been buzzing and fluttering around our flowers during this year's Pollinator Week. Instead, we took to the shade and comfort of our workshop to continue our Little Paintings series. We each chose a species that caught our fancy and spent some quality time interpreting their likenesses and doing some deeper research into their lives & habits.

Here's a peek at our colour-testing sheets for the portraits— read on to see the results... 🌼 🐝- – -

Kate watercolour strip

Seán watercolour strip

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Kate   Pollinator Week: Got Nectar?

Looks like someone's had a busy day of pollinating while filling up on the sweet stuff!

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Seán   Pollinator Week: BC Bees & Wanna-bees

A bumble bee sipping at camas A happy bumble bee enjoying the offerings of a camas / kwetlal flower

A couple of months ago, Kate and I officially became certified pollinator stewards thanks to Island Pollinator Initiative's wonderful webinar series! The first session enlightened us about the importance of pollinators to food production and biodiversity, with a special focus on BC's native bees.

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Seán   Bewick's Bird Card + Farewell-to-Spring  Kate

Bewick's wren illustration Wren by Seán, environment by Kate

We're so happy and honoured to have had the opportunity to join a community of artists and naturalists from around our region once again in highlighting 36 of our avian neighbors for the latest set of Art Bird Cards. This was a great opportunity for us to continue honing our digital art skills and we learned a lot in the process of collaborating on this illustration of a Bewick's wren (Thryomanes bewickii)—a year-round resident here atop Humm Hill.

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Seán   Artistic Inspiration: Drift Body

Drift Body Zine

My friend Scott recently started publishing a beautiful quarterly zine series called Drift Body filled with wholesome, enchanting original poetry & prose alongside inscriptions from ancient Orphic tablets. I recently received the first issue and carried it with me down to the water below one of my favourite nearby wandering areas, Fort Rodd Hill, to read alongside a couple of old birthday cards & writings that my grandfather sent me two decades ago.

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Kate 🎶  On Sunday She Left Us A Cherry  🎵Seán

On Sunday she left us a cherry On Saturday: water-logged bread On Friday she left us most of a rat On Thursday: a snake with no head

A corvid is feeding her offspring Each afternoon, soaking their food To some birds, the bath is for bathing But for Raven, it helps feed her brood

On Wednesday she left us cat kibble On Tuesday: a handful of rice On Monday she left us some swollen dog food A week’s worth of leftovers— nice

A corvid comes by, on a mission Each afternoon, feeding her brood To some birds, the bath is for bathing But for Raven: a sink for her food

On Monday she left us another bird’s claw On Tuesday: some limp deli meat On Wednesday she left us a ratty mouse tail On Thursday: a peanut-shell treat

A corvid comes by, on a mission Each afternoon, soaking her food To some birds, the bath is for bathing But for Raven, it helps feed her brood

On Friday she left us a snail shell On Saturday: bits of fish skin On Sunday she left us a chicken leg-bone And soon she'll surprise us again   Read on to reveal the inspiration for this bird bath ballad (warning – if you're squeamish about dismembered animal bits, don't scroll all the way to the end).  

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