BASICS: "Hummingbirds.....where is the person, I ask, who, on observing this glittering fragment of the rainbow, would not pause, admire, and turn his mind with reverence..." (J. J. Audubon).
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.
This private sanctuary is now permanently closed to the general public, as a result of a lawsuit brought by a neighbor. Only my friends and personal guests may visit (

Saturday, August 20, 2011

CLOSED TODAY! Cardinal Flower

We are closed today but hope to open tomorrow (sunday) afternoon. Audubon and photography groups are visiting today: we suggest you consider joining your local Audubon chapter or nature photography club. The picture, by Gene Keyes (thanks!) shows a hummer feeding at cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis). This is a superb native Long Island hummingbird flower, found naturally along riverbanks (eg the Nissequoge) and other moist places. It is mainly pollinated by hummingbirds, and where it grows naturally you can be sure there are hummers around. Bees and most other insects find the  flower  difficult to access. However, the hummer head pushes against the anther which opens up the flower. A dab of golden pollen is also placed on the hummer's forehead. Sometimes, if you look carefully at hummers at the sanctuary, you will see this gold crown. However, cardinal flower struggles to survive in the dry exposed conditions at the sanctuary, except in a few privileged and still unsatisfactory locations.

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