Now that two weeks of dense smoke have given way to both rain and blue sky in our region, an immense sigh of relief has swept across the land and through our bodies here atop the hill just in time for the autumnal equinox. We've also been treated to a flurry of bird activity over the past few days, as flocks of many species hop happily amongst the oaks and grasses, foraging and chittering after so many stressful stuffy days. The return of our Steller's jays, towhees, and robins signifies a much-awaited shifting of the seasons.
To be sure, summer brought energizing light and splashes of delight to hazy times, but the parting curtains of golden-brown leaves offer an opportunity for rejuvenation, deceleration, and transition. We'll have some big announcements to make about our autumn plans soon...
But before we wave goodbye to the last beams of the summer sun, we thought we'd take a bit of time to step back and reflect upon various happenings around the Hill during this year's dry months.
If you missed the previous editions of Hummingtunes, you can find them here: I, II, III.
Bandcamp Friday is upon us once again (Sept 4)! 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!
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 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.
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!
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: