Hummingcrow & Co.

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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Kate  Catching Some Rays  Seán

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:

robins sunning

They were absolutely still, frozen in their respective poses:

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Kate  #Meanwhile

A bottle fly blows bubbles to the soundtrack of baby house wrens getting fed in their nest box.

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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Kate  Path to Enlichenment | Part II: Lipstick Powderhorn

While closely inspecting some shingles this spring, I came upon this scene that looked as though a spider was getting ready to hang its laundry out to dry:

spider clothesline Cladonia macilenta

This is another Cladonia—meaning “club-like”—lichen, similar to the first in this series, the pixie cup. You can tell how this one got its common name, “lipstick powderhorn”:

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Seán   Who Needs a TV When You Have a Bird Bath?  Kate

As the beaming rays of the summer sun begin to broil our hilltop habitat, rarely a minute of the day ticks by without some feathered visitor or other seeking a sip or a swim at our weather-worn stone basin. But a bird bath is far more than just a small pool of water providing relief for panting beaks – it's a crossroads of avian activity which sets the stage for all sorts of stories to unfold, featuring familiar characters, surprise guests, and thrilling plot twists.

Here's a sampling of the many fine programs on offer through BB-TV in case you're considering subscribing:

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Seán   #Meanwhile

A robber fly celebrates a successful heist by slurping out the liquefied innards of its ambushed prey.

Kate  Quinton the Quail... & Co!  Seán

One sunny afternoon in early July, we took a peek down our slope to find Quinton staring warily at us, seemingly on guard:

quinton watch

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