Hummingcrow & Co.

Kate  いってきます!   Seán

Over the past few weeks, we've been busily preparing for the next phase of our collaborative endeavours as Hummingcrow & Co. We'll have an announcement to make in November with more details. But first...

We're headed to Japan, and we're taking Humm Hill with us!

Quail ~ Wait... wha?

That's right, Quinton – hold on to your head plume, because today we'll be traveling 7,000 km across the Pacific Ocean at near-lightspeed for a virtual stay in Japan.

Quail ~ ..!


  Before overseas travel was put on pause this year, our grand plan for October was to visit Japan together for the first time. We had been practicing Japanese (日本語), trying out washoku (和食) recipes, discussing friends (友達) living there who we'd like to visit, planning our budget, and mapping possible routes & destinations. As things stand, there's no telling when this trip will actually be possible in the future – at least, physically... So that got us thinking: why not adapt to these circumstances and make the journey (旅) a different way?  

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Seán   World Migratory Bird Day Spotlight: Rocky Point Bird Observatory  Kate

World Migratory Bird Day is upon us once again, as many of our feathered friends prepare to embark on their journeys across vast, treacherous autumnal flyways, connecting communities and ecosystems around the world (while we humans continue to manage our zugunruhe). In honour of this auspicious occasion, we thought we'd take some time to spotlight our incredible local bird observatory, where we've previously had the opportunity to participate in their migration monitoring and saw-whet owl migration programs.

Swainson's Thrush A very soft and warm swainson's thrush being held gently by Kate

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Seán ☀️ End-of-Summer Summary 🍂 Kate

oak leaf gradient

Now that two weeks of dense smoke have given way to both rain and blue sky in our region, an immense sigh of relief has swept across the land and through our bodies here atop the hill just in time for the autumnal equinox. We've also been treated to a flurry of bird activity over the past few days, as flocks of many species hop happily amongst the oaks and grasses, foraging and chittering after so many stressful stuffy days. The return of our Steller's jays, towhees, and robins signifies a much-awaited shifting of the seasons.

To be sure, summer brought energizing light and splashes of delight to hazy times, but the parting curtains of golden-brown leaves offer an opportunity for rejuvenation, deceleration, and transition. We'll have some big announcements to make about our autumn plans soon...

But before we wave goodbye to the last beams of the summer sun, we thought we'd take a bit of time to step back and reflect upon various happenings around the Hill during this year's dry months.

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Kate  Digital Painting Practice – Flowers and Oak Leaf

Two more digital painting experiments from Kate:

Red-flowering currant

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Kate  Hum Hill Recipe Corner: Banana Walnut Muffins (GF/DF)   Seán

banana pb centers

As we prepare for the shifting seasons next week, we've been baking big batches of granola, cooking up veggies, meats, & pots of soup to freeze for future meals, and—most importantly of all—stocking up on wholesome, soothing snacks. Lately, we’ve been enjoying this versatile muffin recipe that Kate spliced together (based on a few different ones that she almost liked). Last week, we successfully adapted it into loaf form, and this week we added a surprise blob of peanut butter in the center of each muffin. So, we thought we'd take a moment to share Kate's illustrated notes with those of you who may also yearn for a little digestion-friendly snack therapy every now and then.

banana muffin recipe

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Seán   #Meanwhile

A hover fly tours the snowberry blossoms as an olive-sided flycatcher leads a chorus of trills and chirps.

Kate Hummingtunes IV  Seán

If you missed the previous editions of Hummingtunes, you can find them here: I, II, III.

Singing junco

Bandcamp Friday is upon us once again (Sept 4)! For today's edition, we've decided to keep things short and sweet by sharing a list of songs related to one of our favourite subjects—which may shock you—birds! Feathered friends have always served as a natural source of inspiration for composers and songwriters, so there was, unsurprisingly, no shortage of avian-influenced tracks for us to choose from on Bandcamp. We hope you'll enjoy these selections—instrumental and otherwise—from fellow bird-noticing artists we admire. We also invite you to join us in picking up some wholesome tunes this time 'round & supporting some talented music-makers in the process!

Tracks 1-7: Kate⎛⦾⩥ 🎵 ⪪⊝⎞ Tracks 7-13: Seán

p.s. You can find more tunes that we've been humming in our Are.na jukebox.

Seán   Artistic Inspiration: Kristyna Baczynski  Kate

Over the past several months, we've been greatly inspired and delighted by the work of UK-based artist Kristyna Baczynski — whose Patreon we both subscribe to, where we're rewarded with in-depth explanations of her creative / business process which has been masterfully honed over many years of making beautiful comics, zines, prints, and more. She's also been incredibly generous in offering advice as we've been developing our own creative practice together as Hummingcrow & Co.

The Wild Year zine set by Kristyna Baczynski

A couple of weeks ago, we were overjoyed to receive her gorgeous Wild Year zine set highlighting wild plants growing in her region of Europe each season – and thought this would be a great opportunity to highlight her work! One of our biggest hopes and dreams is to eventually create our own zine series about the various goings-on around Hummingbird Hill over the seasons, and if we're able to manifest something half as magical as Kristyna's creations, we'll be very happy indeed.

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Seán   Mystery of the Swiss Cheese Leaves

Lilac leaves with holes

In recent weeks, we've been noticing more and more leaves around the garden which look as though someone's been going around hole-punching them. And while seeing punctured foliage usually elicits a sense of concern about pests and disease, something about the smooth, skillfully-crafted shape of these holes makes them seem benign to me... artful even!

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Seán   Little Paintings: A Bumble Bee Rests in the Sun

Little bee painting

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