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Jewels in My Garden

August 16, 2021

Jewels in My Garden

- as seen by -

Julie Larsen Julie Larsen

Among the frilly flowers of a bee balm (Monarda didyma), I spot something. It is hovering, flitting up and down, even flying backward. It is so small, I have to squint to see if it is an insect or a bird.

It is a female ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris). She has come to her summer home. I pick up my camera just in time to catch her taking aim with her bill and then flicking her slender tongue into the tube-shaped blooms to gather nectar, something she can do 15 to 20 times per second.

Hummingbirds live in a variety of habitats including woodlands, meadows, gardens, and backyards. There, hummers are attracted to warm-colored blossoms in orange, pink, and particularly red.

I followed the planting advice of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo Senior Gardener, Dave Hyde. He recommends a list of plants that butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds can’t seem to resist including bee balm. I have seen all three at my flowers. This little hummingbird even brings her young by.

They are all jewels in my garden.

Nikon D5

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John stahl
August 16, 2021 at 3:22 pm

Super shot Julie…we’re patiently waiting for our Hummers who usually arrive mid August

Julie Larsen Maher
August 18, 2021 at 9:33 am

Thanks so much, John. I really like your hummingbird photos, hope you get some good ones in August.

August 20, 2021 at 3:09 pm

This is so beautiful! I think hummingbirds are so magical, I wish I got to see them more often.