Wednesday, July 15, 2009
NEWS SEEN AND HEARD, THERE AND HERE
First I had a long talk with Keta, my dear friend in High Country, who told me all about her wonderful newly-renovated greenhouse, complete with louvered windows on a timer! She was describing all the wonderful plants growing to their hearts content, away from the unpredictable mountain Rocky Mountain weather (couple inches of snow in June this year). From nicotiana to nasturtiums, her little shed is filled with fragrance. And it’s attracting the local resident hummingbirds – lots of the Rufous species (they replace the Ruby-throat in the West) and the less frequent Calliope (the males sport a beautiful garnet-spangled gorget). One little female Rufous (whom she recognizes by the buff spot under one wing) regularly slips in through the louvers, tops up on nectar, but then can’t seem to find her way out again. Keta devised a system of gently easing her into a in a soft fine net, then releasing her outside. She’s done that so often that now, when the little bird is finished, she goes and perches on the same spot on the beam near the ceiling and waits for Keta to come collect her up and take her out. Remarkable…but Keta is kind of a ‘nature whisperer’ – everything is drawn to her.
Next I had a conversation with and an email from some other dear friends and former neighbors in the foothills, introducing me to their two new horses, Duke and Sunny. That’s Duke (R) in his new home, being shown around by Smiles (L). And here's Sunny, the little paint.
And now for the news from here. Yesterday afternoon, I stopped at the grocery store. Walking from my van, I heard the loud cries of seagulls overhead. It was one of the largest flocks I’ve ever seen, easily 150 birds or more. As they passed over the front of the store, a young mother pushing a cart, with two little girls in tow, was exiting the sliding door. Suddenly they all bunched together, the little girls shrieking with nervous laughter. I was still far enough away not to understand what happened, but as we passed each other in the parking lot, the mother looked at me and said breathlessly, “You could hear the poop landing!!” When I came to where they had been only moments before, I could see it was covered with seagull “paintballs.” How the mother and girls weren’t hit multiple times is a complete and total mystery. I don't have a photo of that scenario, but I'm sure you'll understand why I didn't point to the skies and shoot!
Gallery (all enlarge) 1) composite of the pre-renovated greenhouse. 2) Duke, on the right 3) Sunny's head shot