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 (paul.adams%stonybrook.edu).
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Open Today (thur) am and pm; bract facts
We are open today (thur aug 16) 9.30-12.30 and 3 to 5.30. The weather has "improved", at least for us, but not for hummingbird viewing: yesterday, during cloud and intermittent rain, they were very active, but today, as expected, it seems initially much quieter. The wind has shifted to the northwest, and this triggers early morning departure to the south, on the long annual trek to Central America. I hope that activity will gradually increase as new hummers arrive from the north.
The photo, by Fung Wan Kwong, shows a bird at Salvia involucrata "Bethellii". While this is no more popular than S. guaranitica, it tends to stick up higher and the bird is more visible. These two salvias are the backbone of my garden; I get them from Beds and Borders. The botanical name "involucrata" comes from the word "involucre", which is the set of "bracts" (modified leaves) that encase the base of the petals. Here the bracts are a slightly darker pink than the petals themselves, but on many flowers they are green A spectacular example of bracts is the flower of Bougainvillea, shown in the following image, taken some years ago at the sanctuary by Hal Lindstrom. The true flower is the white structure the hummer is probing. Note however that bougainvillea is not a good hummer plant - very little nectar!