Friday, April 27, 2012

Loving spring in the Pacific Northwest!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


When my husband was trimming the apple tree in February one of the branches he cut down contained a hummingbird nest.  I was fascinated and a little sad as I always am when nests are disturbed or fall out of the trees.  I have never seen a hummingbird nest until now.  I did some research and found some out some interesting facts and thought I would share them with you.

 Hummingbirds like to build their nests in the "Y" of a tree or on crossed branches.  It must be in a location that is protected from the elements as well as predators that we would not normally think of;  snakes, ants etc...  She will gather material that is soft like moss, bits of cotton, lint and leaf hairs.  She will use spider web as a glue for the nest which while making it sturdy also allows it to stretch as the babies grow.  It also makes repair work on the nest easier. When she gathers the spider web it will be all around her beak, chin and across her breast.  She will press her body against the nest to transfer the spider web onto it.  She will be very careful to make sure the nest is well camouflaged by insuring that the lighter parts are in the sun and the darker parts are in the shade.  As she builds her nest she uses her body as a form by pressing it into the interior of the nest.   She will also use her feet to stomp the materials into a nice compact shape.

The entire process takes her about 4 hours a day for approximately 6 days to complete requiring about 204 trips to and from the next gathering supplies.

I have always held a fascination for bird nests.  They are so intricate, sturdy and delicate all at the same time.  I have amassed quite a collection of nests that have fallen out of trees, most of them Robins nests.  Some of them are quite elaborate.  Now, I have a Hummingbirds nest to add to my collection.  

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


I have had this Camellia for approximately 12 years.  It has never given me more than 2 blooms each early spring, sometimes none at all.  Sadly, I became resigned to it being just any other evergreen shrub.  I have been pruning it back hard for the last 3 years just to keep it under control.  This year I noticed it had multiple blooms, but again not hoping for much because in the past they would usually just drop off unopened.   This year it has graced my garden with many lovely waxy pink blossoms. I have no idea what has caused it to make the change, I am just thrilled that it has.