Glad To Sad

Arcostaphyllos bakeri ssp bakeri 'Louis Edmunds'
Caution:  this post ends on a melancholy note with a death in the garden, so skip the end of it, if you are feeling low.
  
The morning began well.  For my usual pretty flower/gopher mound patrol just after sunrise, I switched out the regular camera lens for the macro in order to get a photo of the exquisite tiny flowers of Arcostaphyllos bakeri ssp bakeri 'Louis Edmunds'. 

Morning sun on Cordyline 'Festival Grass' emerging flower stalk
  I walked through the perfume of orange tree flowers.  Nothing sweeter. 
 A few good rose flowers...


 ...and no gopher mounds.  

We are at peak Leucospermum 'Yellow Bird':
 Our sadly deficient winter rains at least brought forth a few of the native annual Lupines.   After this Lupine comes the sad part, so leave if you need to.
 I finished walking around.  Opening the door to go back inside, this was on the mat.  A hummingbird had had a fatal encounter with the door's glass, which reflects the garden.
 What the hummingbird saw.

 I felt very sad, but could not help admiring the extraordinary beauty of this tiny (3", 76 mm) bird. 


 I laid it to rest under Salvia 'Love and Wishes', which seemed appropriate.  Some sort of ornamental stickers on the reflective glass are in order, to hopefully avoid this happening again.  We've had a bird or two stun itself by running into the glass--after a few minutes they regain their senses and fly off--but I can't remember a fatality.   Glad to sad in the garden. 


Comments

  1. This happens in every garden, every year whether we see it or not. Sad, especially with such a precious bird! Research the decals carefully, as some solutions are more effective than others.

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    1. Some are more effective than others? Okay, I'll be researching. They are precious. I felt pretty bad.

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    2. Some have tried with dangling charms - like a minimal bead curtain.
      It's an awful noise, when a bird strikes the glass - then we dash to hopeful rescue ahead of the cats.

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  2. That is a sad sight. I've also had a few birds stun themselves on my patio door, but I added stickers to it and they helped somewhat. So then I just stopped filling the feeders, and they stopped flying into the door at all then. I found a dead bird out on the grass a few days ago too, but it looked like it might have been a hunting casualty (there was blood). Nice shot of the Arctostaphylos flowers.

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    1. No feeders here other than the plants. I'm going to look into a decal or two. Don't want to find one of those little bodies on my door mat again!

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  3. Oh, that is sad! The decals do help. I installed one shaped like a hawk on the window on the south side of the house after 3 cedar waxwings were lost in a simultaneous strike, presumably fleeing some predator.

    I just saw that Arctostaphylos on a stop by my local garden center this afternoon and considered bringing it home for my back slope but decided to research it a bit first. Do you know if it can take some afternoon shade? The back slope faces east with the southern exposure largely blocked by a large lemon tree.

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    1. I think afternoon shade would work for LE; this site recommends afternoon shade in Inland Empire:

      https://inlandvalleygardenplanner.org/plants/arctostaphylos-bakeri-louis-edmunds/

      Might just be a little slower is all.

      You would think with the dirt on my windows it would not create much of a reflection!

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    2. So sorry you had to find the little fellow (gal?), I would be sad too. I do appreciate the photos, we just don’t get to see the beauty of that bird up close. Good luck with your decal research.

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    3. Thanks, I'm looking at options. I felt uneasy taking the photos, but Hummingbirds are so beautiful and it was a chance to see the magic of them at close range.

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  4. I can imagine your shock after your calm stroll through your lovely garden and you found death at your door. A sad thing indeed.

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  5. Sad indeed. I love our big windows but I am always concerned about this. I have heard birds hit the windows occasionally but have never seen evidence of deaths from it.

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    1. I hear that noise too every so often, but it has been almost never fatal.

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  6. Those tiny feathers are amazing. Interesting that they don't seem to be mini versions of feathers, just very small pieces of the same feathers you might see on a larger bird.
    A shame that it met its end but overall I think even with a window hazard or two, your garden does far more to help wildlife rather than hurt.

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    1. It is indeed a hummer all-you-can-eat buffet here year round, and I'm happy to do that. Yes arent' those feathers amazing. I was marveling at them.

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  7. Because of the day, this sad death led immediately to thoughts of resurrection -- a blaze of glory that the Leptospermum seems to be doing its best to embody.

    Off to take down the last big clump of Miscanthus despite stiffer breeze than ideal; I promised myself it would be gone by the end of March no matter what. We've made the turn; the green is beginning to win.

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    1. And you made it, by the end of March! Brava!

      In the afternoon there was a juvenile bird trying to negotiate a drink from the fountain out front--rather awkwardly but ultimately successful. That was cheering and hopeful.

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  8. I have raptor-shaped decals on some of my windows. I still get the occasional bird strike, though, but luckily, the birds are often just stunned and need a bit of time to recover. I put them someplace shady and safe from neighborhood cats, etc. - usually they've flown away within ten minutes. There are a number of recommendations to reduce bird strikes here: https://abcbirds.org/get-involved/bird-smart-glass/

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    1. Thanks for the link! I'm having a look to see what will be best. We have had stunned ones here--they are usually able to fly away almost immediately. It is a rare cat that survives the local coyotes here.

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  9. I'm so glad you photographed the hummingbird. Your images are a fitting tribute to its life and beauty.

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    1. That's a good way of looking at it. Thank you!

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  10. Las flores maravillosas, una lastima lo del pajaro. Las fotos como siempre una maravilla y te animo a que participes en el concurso de fotografía de Plantukis. Un abrazo

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    1. ¡Gracias, Raul! Revisaré mis fotos y veré lo que podría ser bueno.

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