Monday, August 24, 2020

Today's no walk report: 082420

 Over the course of the last few days I spent an inordinate amount of time, much more than I ever spent before, creating text for a post, writing a long dissertation about my trying to take pictures and, in general, work around a month of back pain but I decided to scrap it. I had exercise tips, treatment and medication tips, diet tips, tips on how to work around pain, tips on getting tips, etc., but I put it all aside. However, I will give you one line from all that work which might just sum it up... Getting old is a bitch.

I just noticed it's been a month since I posted anything so, let's give this a go...
August 2 and 3, I was a mess but I got it in my head that I could put a chair in a fenced in area between the house and the garage which I call an atrium because once upon a time it really was an atrium. This picture might have been taken around 1960.

It doesn't look much like that anymore but I'm gonna work on it.

I wanted to see if I could get a photographic inventory of the hummingbirds that use the feeder in there. This is as far as I got. The small window you see is to the guest bathroom. Currently to the right of that window, under the eaves is a hummingbird feeder. I have a thing about not taking pictures of hummingbirds at feeders. I feel like it’s cheating or something. I tried to catch them on the approach. The first one is an immature male Calypte anna and the second is an immature male Selasphorus sasin. I think. If it's the same bird as I'm seeing now, it's a male.

There are about four other hummingbirds that fight over this feeder. I've tried to talk to them about  their behavior and sharing. They won't listen. If that Selasphorus sasin is the male I think it is, he currently rules the roost. He watches the feeder like a hawk. A hawk I tell ya. I'm frequently on the other side of the windows and watching the aerial defense is often amazing.

This mockingbird was hanging out on the other side of the wall in the Eremophila bush surveying the ordeal I was going through trying to take pictures.

This is an edit to the original publishing of this post yesterday. This is the male Selasphorus sasin which is on almost constant guard duty over the feeder. I also believe he is often at a vantage point as pictured here to spy on "intruders" in the backyard. I have seen him swoop into the backyard from this direction. I should have perhaps mentioned the issue earlier but immature male hummingbirds often resemble females before the males develop their iridescent feathers. Anyway, I'm not sure if this is the same Selasphorus sasin as depicted above. The one above might be a female.

One day, when I mistakenly thought my back was well enough, I decided to rip out by hand (that requires bending) a plant peppering the property which I affectionally refer to as the world's ugliest weed. It's actually Lactuca serriola, aka, prickly lettuce. Supposedly Lactuca serriola has a number of medicinal applications. Ancient Pythagoreans called the lettuce "eunuch" because it caused urination and relaxed sexual desire. I snapped a couple of pictures of the plant’s flower before plucking. The flower is about 1 cm wide.

This Stagmomantis californica (California mantis) was huge. I inadvertently knocked her out of a plant when I was watering. She was about 7.5 cm (close to 3") long. I checked back on her, she was fine.

Lucy has been hanging out. She's my pal.

Stan too...

Not much else has been happening. I feel I've been on the mend for the past few days so that's nice. Oh, one other thing. I'm always excited to get cuttings of plants to root and make new plants. It's like free plants. I got curious about gardenias one day after seeing some bonsai gardenia plants for sale. It turns out it's pretty easy to get gardenia cuttings to root in just plain water. I took four cuttings. All are rooting to one degree or another. It took about a month although I didn't write down the date and time seems to have become even more abstract lately than it has been in the past.

So long, stay safe.