Hummingcrow & Co.

Seán   #Meanwhile

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!

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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.

July 13, '10: female hummingbird repeats running bill against door glass,
up + down looking in at me. many visits

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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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 other editions of Hummingtunes, you can find them 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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