Hummingcrow & Co.

Kate Weeding Wednesday Warriors  Seán

weedpile

Down at the base of Humm Hill, in a small field ringed by poplars, pines, and maples, among other flora, we've been spending a lot of this season working towards restoring native biodiversity. The work can easily consume half a day, but always brings a deeply rewarding sense of satisfaction as our efforts quickly reveal native seedlings and sprouts which have been waiting patiently for the sun to reach them. On this Weeding Wednesday, we thought we'd take a moment to share a glimpse of this process.

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Kate  ...Who Calls?  Seán

Last week, as we were working in the garden, we suddenly heard a loud, spooky & exasperated-sounding voice ask, “Who, who, who, WHO COOKS FOR YOOOOUUU?!”*

“We cook for each other, actually...” we replied, timidly. “Who, who, who's asking?”

The answer to this question was perched upon the branch of a nearby fir tree:

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Kate Hummingtunes II  Seán

raven gronk If you missed our first installment of Hummingtunes, you can find it here.

Tomorrow (Friday, June 5th) is “Bandcamp Friday” — a day when artists receive 100% of the revenue from album purchases! It’s the perfect excuse to pick up a handful of albums on your wishlist, or to discover new artists & sounds to add to your life-soundtrack.

This time around, rather than pick out individual tracks from favorite releases for our Buy Music Club playlist, we've each added four albums in their entirety for your longform listening pleasure:

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Seán   A Morning Surprise

Early one morning a little over a week ago, while making my way back up the Hill after weeding and watering, I realized that I hadn't quite completely emptied my watering can—so I began sprinkling the remnants on a few thirsty-looking shrubs.

As I shook the last clinging drops from the container, I was startled to notice a curious pair of eyes peering up at me from a few feet away behind a rock:

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Seán   #Meanwhile

A banana slug takes its time munching on an early morning meal: a discarded weed.

Kate Tread Lightly: Wildflowers On The Slope  Seán

Seablush - Plectritis congesta

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Kate Encounter with Sleepy Young Ravens  Seán

The other day, while taking a stretch break from the anti-ergonomic act of photographing tiny lichens on a rocky slope, I looked up to find I was being silently watched:

juvi raven

I could tell it was a juvenile raven because of the fleshy pink “gape flange” at the base of its beak.

juvi raven blink

I watched as it rested there: quietly preening, yawning and occasionally blinking its spooky nictitating membrane at me.

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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—where it was originally discovered—Nootka rose's thorny thickets make great habitat for birds and other small animals, and its flowers are loved by bees and butterflies. This qel'qulhp (Halkomelm for 'wild rose bush') has been traditionally used by many Indigenous 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

Kate   Accrowdion

accrowdion before/after

This was my first attempt at making a sculpture using Sculpey (Original) polymer clay. I made it for the Metchosin Art Pod's Bird and Song art show.

There were a few learning curves in the making of this musical bird, all of which I write about & provide pictures of in the original post, as well as the painting process of the sculpture, which is described in Part II!

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Kate  Path to Enlichenment | Part I: Sweet Pixie Cups

Meet the mealy pixie cup lichen:

pixie cups moss rocks

As described in this well-written broadcast, these fairy-dust-coated miniature goblets do indeed look as though they were set on a table of bright green moss, waiting to have single raindrops fill the cups so they may be gulped down by tiny wood sprites.

mirror pixie cups

Each Cladonia chlorophaea (Flörke ex Sommerf.) Sprengel is created from a symbiotic relationship between fungi and algae. Put simply, the fungi creates the structure, and the algae provides food through photosynthesis. Each granule of fairy dust, or soredia is made up of a few cells from each of the two organisms. The lichen are reproduced when the granules are spread, which can happen in a variety of ways: perhaps a strong wind, or a drop of water plunking into the cup & splashing onto the surrounding earth, or a passing deer trampling a patch of them.

More luscious pictures & thoughts:

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