The approach of spring has touched my Santa Margarita River valley. Ceanothus, or purple lilac bushes, are starting to paint the hillsides in their lovely shades of aubergine. Echium, the pride of Madeira, are starting to flower in the gardens with their towering blue purple spikes. As you can see from the picture above, the wisteria has opened its lilac spikes high in my oak tree. Canterbury bells and lupine grace the boundaries of our canyon road, accented by the ubiquitous golden California poppies.
The orange and yellow hues seem quite congenial with the dominant purple rubric.
Southern California is awash this week with painted lady butterflies, the remnants of which dot many a windshield. I set my camera up in the garden and caught a cavalcade of birds, bees and butters. Even a friendly mockingbird.
I had a mess of them yesterday. Didn't care a bit. Saw plenty and don't have to record everything I experience. Not a paying gig.
I do wish that I had stopped my aperture up to ƒ22 when this red tailed hawk flew by the moon.
At that moment a kingbird flew out of the cedar and attacked the crow. So maybe the kingbird is the actual king? Or more likely, every dog has his day, nature merely a gigantic game of rock, paper, scissors.
Until they were chased away by the super macho doves anyway. Never figured out how they got this peaceful reputation, doves? They can be little bastards.
I sat for hours, tried to lure the hummingbirds in with a sprinkler, never fails.
I adjusted my vantage, sat for hours in different spots, managed to grab a few shots. Grabbed a few super sweet navel oranges off the tree for sustenance. Didn't go inside until evening.
You hear this little mechanical snick or a rush of their wings and you turn around and they have just done a figure eight around you and flew into the sunset.
If you do manage to get a decent shot it is either because you were lucky or they decided to allow it.
Could swear I've heard them laughing at me...
You have to be very patient, in any case. Little green gems.
Not sure what this guy is, have to get my book or ask Ken or Beth. He says California Towhee, I should have known...
Not a bad day, me hanging around the garden with my friends.