Weekend Update: Hummingbirds & More - une femme d'un certain âge

Weekend Update: Hummingbirds & More

Hummingbird chick in nest. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Hummingbird Update!

Earlier this week, we spotted Mama Hummingbird leaning down into the nest, and a tiny little beak poking up! There’s at least one chick in there. (Hummingbirds usually lay two eggs, but so far I’ve only seen one beak at a time.) Since then, I’ve been stalking them like a paparazzi (though from a distance with my zoom lens), and finally was able to catch a baby pic.

Rufous hummingbird. This is the mama whose nest we've been watching. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

Here’s Mama. I’ve identified her as a Rufous Hummingbird. She’s become much more skittish since the egg(s) hatched. If she’s in the nest when I go out into the yard, she’ll flit around to distract me, sometimes close enough that I can hear the thrumming of her wings. She’ll then perch somewhere nearby to keep an eye on me. 👀 (Sorry the images aren’t sharper; I really had to zoom in.)

Spring morning in the backyard. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

It’s finally starting to feel like Spring here! With no more rain in the forecast, one of my weekend projects will be cleaning up and making the backyard “livable” again.

Morning light in the garden. Details at une femme d'un certain age.

It’s so pretty out here in the morning. Once I’ve put everything in order, I’ll give you a “tour.”

A few links I found interesting-slash-entertaining…

The case for wearing “real” clothes to work from home.

More good-humored wisdom from the adorable Pluto.

“Fashion has the unique opportunity to roll back the insane practice of delivering cashmere in May and swimwear in November. In an after-virus future people should be able to buy a winter coat in winter and a summer short in summer…”

I made this lentil soup recipe last night and it was pretty darn good. I didn’t have any onion, so substituted water and some onion soup mix for 2 cups of the broth. And I used frozen corn. These days, we work with what we’ve got. 😉

Bon weekend!

Stay in touch.

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  1. Gayle
    April 18, 2020 / 4:03 am
  2. Kathleen
    April 18, 2020 / 4:24 am

    Love the hummingbird pictures ! We have enjoyed watching who visits our bird feeder these last few weeks, cardinals, blue jays, red headed woodpecker, red winged black bird and a few others. It has been nice to slow down and take notice !

    Take care and have a great weekend!

  3. Debra Gutenson
    April 18, 2020 / 4:53 am

    What an absolute treasure that you found the hummer nest! We have ruby throated hummingbirds here in northern VA. My feeder is up but I haven’t seen them yet. My dream is to be able to find their nest. Some day…..

  4. Pat
    April 18, 2020 / 5:02 am

    We live on a ravine with a wide creek. We had a hummingbird make a nest in a branch over hanging the water, I read that they frequently do that. It was fascinating to watch.

  5. Susan Dunlop
    April 18, 2020 / 5:19 am

    Hi Susan- thank you for sharing the LA times piece. I loved it. Hope you’re doing ok in these times.

  6. Eva Popovich
    April 18, 2020 / 5:25 am

    Loved your garden pictures this morning, and the hummingbirds!!
    Looking forward to more. Spring has sprung!

  7. Maureen Durnin
    April 18, 2020 / 5:27 am

    That’s amazing! The soup I mean. We made it from that recipe last week and raved, via electronic devices of course, to our grown up children. We really enjoyed it and it will be on frequent rotation in our isolating menus. ( And if you think the weather in Southern California has been cool and wet, pity these poor southern Ontariens. It snowed this week. There’s a pile of mulch in the driveway waiting to be spread.) Thanks for your posts, a bright point to my day.

  8. Linda R
    April 18, 2020 / 5:34 am

    I am a bit envious of anyone who gets to witness a mama Hummingbird and her babies. Thanks for sharing. So darling.

  9. Karen
    April 18, 2020 / 5:37 am

    This post ticked two boxes for me: I love lentil soup and Barcelona. I make lentil soup about every 10 days and will be making this one next. Last year in Barcelona I bought loads of saffron for gifts as well as for home, and heeded the words of the chef of my cooking class to only buy small sizes to keep the taste fresh. Thank you for an always interesting, creative, educational, enjoyable blog. (Hummingbirds won’t be here for about a month.)

  10. Roseanne
    April 18, 2020 / 5:48 am

    Thanks for the link to the “Gimmesomeoven” cooking blog and her lentil soup recipe. Just a glance tells me I’ll be back to read more about her life and kitchen.

  11. Teresa
    April 18, 2020 / 6:11 am

    So exciting! I love hummingbirds! I even have a hummingbird tattoo on my wrist. They always remind me of happy events in my life. Your yard is so beautiful! Looks like a wonderful place to have coffee or wine! Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures!

  12. April 18, 2020 / 6:18 am

    With this sunshine you get photo with the loviest “flares” as we called those rainbows in advertising.
    I love your hummingbird baby photo. I can imagine you are stalking them.
    Your garden looks really lovely, well.. what I can see of it.

  13. Mary
    April 18, 2020 / 6:31 am

    I can’t wait for the hummingbirds to arrive, usually around May 8th here in upper Michigan. We have ruby throat hummers and I hang several feeders in the yard. You are lucky to spot the nest, I would love to see one. By the way, your style is awesome, especially love your colors! I’ve been looking for more warm color tops for myself as well. I never had my colors “done” but have read alot on the subject. I am pretty sure I’m a Spring. Anyway, great job and keep up the good work! You lift up so many of us with your writing!

  14. Georgia
    April 18, 2020 / 6:43 am

    This is one of my favorite posts. I love the hummingbirds and I love the anticipation of enjoying the outdoors again. (It snowed again yesterday in Chicago!) We are waiting for a few tasks to be completed that were unfinished due to fall weather. So I will enjoy planning a more usable/elegant/lush/useful outdoor space. Have already welcomed fresh small pots of rosemary and thyme to the kitchen island. By the way, I love your Red Leopard colors. You look like you are glowing! Thanks for all the inspiration.

  15. Mary
    April 18, 2020 / 7:16 am

    lovely post! Suggestion: two books:
    Birdology and How to Know the Birds-great reads, especially now.
    fun to order them from your local indie bookstore (here in Berkeley: Mrs Dalloways)
    and they will mail them to you.
    My favorite binoculars: Athlon (see the Wirecutter review)
    your new colors are radiant (like birds!)
    also: Netflix suggestion: Dances with the Birds-
    the lentil soup looks yummy!

  16. April 18, 2020 / 7:41 am

    What great photos! And that soup recipe is a keeper, thanks for mentioning it

  17. TURNER
    April 18, 2020 / 7:46 am

    I made lentil soups quite often (yesterday in fact!) but I’ve never put corn in it. Sounds delicious. Looking forward to trying this recipe next time.

  18. Kathy Ludgate
    April 18, 2020 / 8:52 am

    Love your hummingbird and garden photos. A pair of juncos have built their nest in my kitchen nook window box. They have great cover there under the foliage. I have had to delay planting my summer geraniums, though. Our 8 month old kitten sits on the inside windowsill mesmerized!

  19. Jane
    April 18, 2020 / 8:54 am

    Susan, I really can’t tell you how much your blog lifts my spirits these days! Sincerest thanks!

  20. Sandra Murray
    April 18, 2020 / 9:00 am

    Hello from Bowen Island, B.C! On the topic of baby birds hatching, I wanted to share this from a local who has a camera trained on an eagle’s nest: https://youtu.be/N-OxCF8qHpg

    • Susan M.
      April 18, 2020 / 9:47 am

      Wow! That is just amazing to watch! Thank you for posting this.

    • citizen spot
      April 18, 2020 / 12:31 pm

      Mesmerizing! Thanks Sandra!

    • Pat
      April 22, 2020 / 3:02 pm

      For some reason, watching that mama eagle is very calming. Thanks so much for sharing!

  21. April 18, 2020 / 9:41 am

    Love the Hummingbird photos. Yes, spring is definitely trying to arrive around the country. Sorry some of you are still experiencing snow. Been there, done that (grew up in PA). Let us know if you find a second baby bird.

  22. Rondi
    April 18, 2020 / 9:52 am

    What a positive post! Since we are confined to our personal space we might as well slow down and enjoy the small bits of nature around us. Beautiful. Thanks, Susan!

  23. Carla
    April 18, 2020 / 11:14 am

    I’m another who enjoys your uplifting posts. The hummingbird story is fun, and I’m looking forward to the tour of your guarded. Do you wear ‘gardening clothes’?

  24. April 18, 2020 / 11:25 am

    Thanks for the update on your hummingbird nest! You’re so lucky to have a front-row seat.
    My daughter found a nest in a public greenspace behind her home and she’s shared photos but won’t tell anyone where it is for fear of them being disturbed. Apparently it’s just a few feet from a well-used pathway, although you need sharp eyes to see it. She’s been sending me a photo every day or so, and the two babies are growing now. Such a show!

  25. Margaret
    April 18, 2020 / 11:38 am

    Love your hummingbird pictures! We have lots of hummers around, but I’ve yet to spot the nest.Spring springs in spite of Covid-19!

  26. Susan M
    April 18, 2020 / 12:52 pm

    Other than “right time” delivery, I think this quote is a more significant statement of LiEdelkoorts vision of the future of fashion:

    “Under siege from the Covid-19 virus, many people have come to understand that they should change their behaviour patterns, no longer travelling too much, producing too much, consuming too much or using up too many resources,” Edelkoort writes in her manifesto.

    “The comfort of being at and working from home, wasting time instead of money, has led people away from their addiction to material things and into a realm of sharing, caring and making.”

    “Disasters are known as powerful ignition tools for radical ways of transforming business practices,” she adds, predicting that fashion will ditch its “insane” practices and that the world will see a revival of small-scale, home-based production.

    “Many countries will fund the return of production to their own shores and outsourcing will become more diverse and less excessive, taking better care of workers and the environment,” she writes.

    I think these trends were on their way nevertheless, but the health emergency has accelerated the movement.

  27. Angela in NZ
    April 18, 2020 / 1:24 pm

    Love the store cupboard recipe. We’ve been watching a couple of lockdown cooking programmes on TV. One is Jamie Oliver (British) and the other is Nadia Lim (New Zealand). They make easy, nutritious dishes but emphasise that omissions and substitutions are all good.
    Those last two seem to sum up what we need to consider more going forward.

  28. Mary
    April 18, 2020 / 6:45 pm

    Dear Susan and All: very interesting blog and thanks for the links. Lentil soup is such a good idea.

    As one who is still going to work each day in Healthcare, getting dressed for work even when no one sees me in my office (in a secluded building–I was social distancing before it was a thing), is still a comforting and readying ritual. It is interesting to me when I am out walking in my neighborhood, also in So Cal, and even at work, I am hearing the birds singing everywhere. Yes, it is spring and that is a melodious time of year. However, I think the world is quieter, and the birds are having more of their say.

  29. Kim
    April 19, 2020 / 12:21 am

    Hi I to love the hummingbird story I had a hummingbird made it beautiful Nest at my front entry and I kept going in and out the door but I tried to avoid her and give her some space by using the other door. Although I had to use the front entry door. And when I came out she would fly away and when I passed she would fly back to the nest and I made her special drink I had three hummingbird feeders in the front yard. I had thought she loved having a new friend. And that she was going to settle down and raise her family there, this lasted about 18 maybe 19 days and then she flew the coop I don’t know what happened. I am sure it was a major distraction each time I came out of the house but I don’t know what happened sad to see her go but she still comes back and takes a drink but I don’t know where the new nest. it was a beautiful site
    Thank you for your story
    Kim from Menifee California

  30. April 19, 2020 / 7:15 am

    Beautiful garden! Pluto is on of the bright spots in this whole pandemic. So cute!

  31. SuD
    April 21, 2020 / 9:16 am

    I’m curious, have you heard of the Vitaliseur De Marion? It is a multi-purpose steamer, a product of France that touts healthy cooking through controlled steaming at 95 degrees. There is a former French model I follow on Instagram who is always proclaiming its benefits. Almost all the reviews I’ve seen are in French, a language I do not speak. I was wondering if the benefits are worth the price.

  32. May 23, 2020 / 3:10 pm

    I love hummingbirds too. We put up 3 feeders a couple of weeks ago. Today, it seems they’ve been found. Don’t know what it is about these tiny creatures I find so fascinating…But, I do!

    We are both blessed that they are so abundant in So. Cal.

  33. Sandra Myers
    June 17, 2020 / 5:43 pm

    We have a hummingbird nest built on our wind chime out front. We peeked inside the other day and there were two eggs in it. Just looked again as they were due to hatch according to what we read and it appears one egg hatched but no baby just a clump of black stuff which I assume is one of the babies that died. The other egg hasn’t hatched yet and momma bird still sits on the nest. Is it possible that the other baby won’t make it either? We had a week of very high temps and I wonder if the heat cooked both of them? Any thoughts about this?

    • Susan Blakey
      June 17, 2020 / 5:46 pm

      Hi Sandra, I don’t know where you live, but you might want to search online to see if there are any hummingbird rescue organizations in your area. If so, they’ll be able to give you information for your area and the specific species.

      • Sandra Myers
        June 17, 2020 / 8:36 pm

        Thanks for your reply. From what I understand if the 2nd egg is viable it will hatch within 24 hrs. of the first one that hatched. I just hope it does and that this baby hummingbird will survive. I live in So. Calif. and I think the most common one here is the Anna species. I will check and see if there is a rescue organization in our area.

        • Susan Blakey
          June 18, 2020 / 6:11 am

          Ah, so do we. Here’s the organization I contacted: Hummingbird Rescue

          • Sandra Myers
            June 18, 2020 / 12:31 pm

            Thanks again. The egg that did hatch as I said produced a dead baby a day or so ago. The second egg has not hatched. The momma bird keeps coming back to the nest and sitting on it off and on. What do you think the chances are of the egg hatching and producing a healthy baby at this point?

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