BASICS


BASICS: This is a blog about my summer life at the Baiting Hollow Hummingbird Sanctuary, at my winter garden, Calypso, in the Bahamas, and aspects of life in general.
The sanctuary is ONLY open certain dates/times, typically in august only, and ONLY by specific private appointment, at particular "slot" times to be posted at this blog, starting in late july. No visits of any type without a confirmed appointment (paul.adams%stonybrook.edu)

Saturday, June 25, 2016

new glimpses; Claire with the roses on my birthday

Hummer visits to my feeders continue to be infrequent and very in brief (a second or two) - clearly no need to fatten up yet! Here are 2 I filmed today - both Fred, but I sometimes see a female dashing in. Of course the females are now preoccupied with feeding protein to their rapidly growing young, in the form of  insects, with only quick energy snacks for themselves. The first is 4 Xslo-mo,the second 2X. Both at the same feeder but 15 minutes apart.





Having introduced myself to you through my roses on my earlier post, I thought I should also show you my wonderful wife Claire, also with the roses for my birthday. Francois Juranville, Frances Lester, Darlow's Enigma.






Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Fred Glimpses

Fred is patrolling his widespread territory but only very briefly visiting each of his many feeders. Here are 3 recent typical clips (all 2Xslo-mo)











Sunday, June 19, 2016

Meet me on my 69th birthday; Rambling roses and a hummingbird

Some of my readers may never have met me. Here I am today on my 69th birthday, at the Hummingbird Sanctuary. Meet me in the (rather meager) flesh in august when we open to visitors!  I filmed this little video to act as an introduction to my previous movie (see my previous blog post) on climbing roses.



I also filmed more of the climbing roses. While filming (with a live commentary) one of them, Etain, I noticed a hummingbird feeding at a nearby feeder. I was able to swing the camera to the hummingbird (rather jerkily), and then back again to the rambling rose.  Note the sparkling Sound in the background. A beautiful birthday, surrounded by roses and hummingbirds.


Here's a commentary on Etain which I filmed just before the above video. It shows a close-up of a flower.


Also, Frances Lester:




and Darlow's Enigma:



















Monday, June 13, 2016

Rambling Roses and more; Visiting




There are various old-fashioned roses climbing up the wild cherry trees at the Baiting Hollow Hummingbird Sanctuary. Of course hummingbirds almost never visit roses, because they seem to have little nectar - they were bred for looks and perfume instead. This is a (rather long) compilation of clips of the climbing roses (and some ramblers), separated by clips of various other plants, taken in early june. The sound track is the original one for each clip, in some you can hear bird song, in some the sound of the Sound on the beach below, and in some the overpowering noise of aircraft commuting overhead from Manhattan to East Hampton. The roses featured are: Francois Juranville, Albertine, Frances Lester, Don Juan (the red rose climbing up the front pergola), Alberic Barbier, Darlow's Enigma, Perennial Blush and Etain.

It's been quite difficult to grow these roses up trees. The problems are: (1) the "soil" here is pure sand (2) the numerous deer here love roses (3) the trees compete avidly for light, water and nutrients (4) direct exposure to winter north winds arriving across Long Island Sound from the North Pole (5) very few vigorous antique climbers/ramblers are available on Long Island. Given these difficulties it's amazing I have had any success at all! I have to (1) dig very big holes and fill with leaf mold, compost, peat moss and imported topsoil (2) grow the roses in pots on the deck until at least 5 feet tall (3) try many though only a few succeed.

But there is nothing more beautiful and romantic than a flowering rose climbing up a tree (except for a hummingbird visiting other types of flower). Of course, hummingbird activity is quite low when the roses are blooming, and they offer little nectar, so I will probably never see a hummer visiting one of my roses (except in sweetest dreams).

You can see 2 unusual hummer-friendly flowers : those of crossvine (Bignonia capreolata) and the small tree Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia, one of the parents of the Fort McNair pink horsechestnut I featured earlier). Also bleeding heart, peony, foxglove and others.

Several people have already emailed me asking to visit. All visitation is by personal appointment, however the exact dates and times (august only) will not be announced (on this blog) until late july.

I'm sorry you cannot make reservation now, but visitation is now complicated by the ongoing lawsuit (see sidebar): a couple of neighbors are suing me for $3M, and they have demanded that the Supreme Court judge in the case issue an injunction prohibiting me from receiving guests. My apologies for the hassle. In the mean-time, enjoy the video and commentaries at this blog!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

FRED at EVENING GUARD; Visiting Procedures

Again tonight, well after sunset, Fred was feeding repeatedly at the bluff-edge feeder where I filmed him yesterday, and I was able to get a bit closer, and focus more sharply. You can see in these various clips (all 2X slo-mo) that he's perching very close to the feeder, making sure that no-one steals his nectar. I think he comes to this feeder for his last feeds of the day because the light is still quite good, and the other feeders are already in the dark.


                                 





Several people have already emailed me asking to visit. All visitation is by personal appointment, however the exact dates and times (august only) will not be announced (on this blog) until late july.
I'm sorry you cannot make reservation now, but visitation is now complicated by the ongoing lawsuit (see sidebar): a couple of neighbors are suing me for $3M, and they have demanded that the Supreme Court judge in the case issue an injunction prohibiting me from receiving guests. My apologies for the hassle. In the mean-time, enjoy the video and commentaries at this blog!


Friday, June 10, 2016

Fred glows at sunset

I'm back at the sanctuary after 6 nights away in Maine (5 in Cape Elizabeth, 1 on Mount Desert Island, where we revisited 2 fabulous gardens, Asticou and Thuya - I hope to post pics soon).
The roses are in bloom here - all of them climbers, and mostly old-fashioned types climbing up trees. I'll feature them in another post soon, but here I wanted to show 3 clips of Fred late in the day. The first shows him intimidated by a bee at one of his feeders (the one at the northeast corner of the property), the other two were filmed well after sunset, at another of the feeders at the bluff edge. The first is in real time, the second 2 at 2X slo-mo.







Sunday, June 5, 2016

from last summer

In the gray wet weather, here are some brighter pics from last summer. First one by Bert Spitz:


Next, photos by Greg Olanoff




and last, one of my slo-mo videos, a hummer feeding at Bee Balm:



video


Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Wind in the Willows; The Breeze in the Trees (and on the Seas)


One of my favorite childhood books - a century later still one of the best - was "The Wind in the Willows", by A.A. Milne, with marvelous illustrations by the great Arthur Rackham. The above example shows Ratty and Mole "messing around in boats".
I think of this because sometimes at the Sanctuary, mostly midweek when the air traffic to the Hamptons diminishes, one can experience a generalization of this, the "Breeze in the Trees" - my term for that most precious and delicious of commodities, not just priceless but antithetical to cost: the absence of human-generated sound, when only the subtlest of natural sounds, such as the whisper of the breeze in the trees, or on the seas, or the faint buzz of a nearby browsing hummingbird, can be heard. Here are 5 videos I took of this wonderful phenomenon; to show that the camera's microphone was indeed functioning I usually utter the "Wind in the Trees" phrase.
For me life is most intense during these rare periods of silence, which can last here for minutes at a time. It's sad that the simplest and oldest of treasures is now the rarest.











Thursday, June 2, 2016

Garter Snake, Fowler's Toad, and Pink Ladyslippers

This morning I filmed a garter snake sunning himself, then a toad I think is a Fowler's, and, very close to the toad, blooming pink lady-slippers.
I also see, much less commonly, 2 other kinds of snake at the sanctuary, the milk snake and the fabulous rough green snake (bright green, very rare on Long Island). I believe the black blotches on the back of the toad secrete the poison bufotoxin.
The pink lady-slipper is a ground orchid. Unfortunately the deer sometimes eat the flowers. Occasionally they form seed-heads, When this happens I carefully spread the seed - which emerges from the ripe capsule like smoke, on suitable open ground (in the woods, not the garden. In this way I've been able to create quite a nice population, starting from just a few plants.
Ain't Nature wonderful? In my early years here I would sometimes see a weasel, but no more. Toads, weasels, snakes, sounds awful, but actually rather marvelous.