World Migratory Bird Day Spotlight: Rocky Point Bird Observatory
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.
A very soft and warm swainson's thrush being held gently by Kate
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.
Field Notes from Japan (日本からのフィールドノート)
This week marks the 36th anniversary of Hummingbird Hill, and soon we'll officially be back in Metchosin to reflect, reorient, and prepare for the future. We have exciting plans for the new year, and will be busily laying the groundwork for the next chapter of Hummingcrow & Co. through the winter. We'll have a bit more to share on that front in our next post, but before we take a break? from our exploration of 日本, we thought we'd share a field report from our digital studies of two species which have delighted us over the past several weeks.
~ Kate (ケイト): Hummingbird hawk-moth
「ハチドリ VS ホウジャク」illustration by Kate (ケイト)
While researching different 鳥 (birds) in Japan, we wondered if there was anything similar to a ハチドリ (hummingbird) there. Well, we discovered that they don’t have hummingbirds, but they do have amazing hummingmoths, known as 蜂雀 (literally “bee sparrow”) or hummingbird hawk-moth in English. The two of them are a case of convergent evolution— unrelated species in different places evolving similar traits to adapt to similar conditions—sharing the same hovering method and sipping nectar from flowers, pollinating along the way.
🍁「 楓蔦黄 」🍂
Lying down on a clear, windy day in October to enjoy the vibrant leaves' final dance of the year. The oaks are already looking winter-ready.
In addition to being Bandcamp Friday (you can peruse our Hummingtunes 五 list here), today marks the end of the traditional Japanese 'microseason' (kō) of 楓蔦黄 (when frost descends, and maple & ivy leaves turn yellow). Soon we'll have an update about our trip, but first we thought we'd squeeze in a few irregular updates from October (十月) about various goings on both around the Hill and beyond.
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!
~ 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.
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?