Hum Hill Recipe Corner: Banana Walnut Muffins (GF/DF)
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.
Bandcamp Friday is upon us once again! 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!
Artistic Inspiration: Kristyna Baczynski
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.
A few 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.
Mystery of the Swiss Cheese Leaves
In recent weeks, we've been noticing more and more leaves around the garden that 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!
Catching Some Rays
On a particularly hot, sunny day earlier this summer, I was out identifying plants in the garden when, rounding a bend, I was met with this sight on a mossy mound of rock near the bird bath:
They were absolutely still, frozen in their respective poses:
A potter wasp mama puts the final touches on her vessel-like clay nest, and lays an egg inside. These beneficial insect ceramicists are not aggressive and can help protect nearby plants from caterpillar damage. So if you see a tiny pot appear unexpectedly in your garden, you might want to leave it be!
A robber fly celebrates a successful heist by slurping out the liquefied innards of its ambushed prey.
Mystery of the Alien-Pod
A couple of 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”:
There was only one thing to do in order to solve the mystery – cut it open: