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 (

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Update; Gumbo's Nest Squished

The top image was from this morning, after the first storm but before the second. The image below was taken late this afternoon, after the second storm.

UPDATE at 4.20 pm. Unfortunately, and quite unexpectedly, we have again had heavy rain and wind this afternoon. This morning , after the night's tempest, the weather was beautiful and the satellite map suggested therein clouds were dissipating, and we set off north on a pre-Valentine trip to the far north, to the offshore island know as Spanish Wells. We stopped for lunch at the new wonderful Cove resort, with a sweeping view to the west. The lunch was excellent (sushi - on Eleuthera! - followed by creme brûlée and New Orleans beignets (the new owner is from that city) and the decor even classier (minimalist, elegant) than last year (it made Travel and Leisure's 2014 "Best New Hotel" list). But we realized that big waves were crashing on the promontories to the left, right and straight ahead, and even on the twin pocket beaches, gray clouds were accumulating, and the wind picking up power (strong wind on the West side of the island is unusual), and we decided the ferry trip to Spanish Wells would be too risky, and returned home, through steadily deteriorating weather, and arriving in a downpour and thunder and lightening. As I tap at the keyboard, the rain seems to be stopping, and I see on the satellite map that central Eleuthera has just been grazed by the extreme southern tip of a huge cold front that crossed Florida earlier today. I will venture out as soon as I can to inspect Gumbo's nest, but I fear the worse. Remember we are now in the middle of the dry season and such downpours are most unusual here.
4.50 pm: I looked, and Gumbo is still on her very sodden looking nest, which is now smaller than her. But clearly she's added some bits of lichen during the day, and is still hopeful.
5.20: here she is, still valiantly sitting on her very wet nest (note the droplets on all the gumbo-limbo berries):

This morning: Unfortunately Gumbo's nest has been squished by the tail end of the winter storm that also just hit the eastern US. The southern end of the storm system swept through Florida bringing heavy rain, and then pushed on through the Bahamas. During the night we got thunderstorms and heavy rain, which drummed on our roof for an hour, and kept us awake. Normally we welcome rain in the dry season, but of course we were worried about Gumbo and her nest. This morning we saw that her nest is squished to about half its former height, but still more or less intact - and, most importantly, she's fixing it and sitting on her eggs. The sun is out, and the nest should quickly dry out. Unfortunately the overhanging little leaf canopy that protects the nest from rain and sun has been damaged, and of course she cannot fix that damage. I watched her, through binoculars, adding a nice flake of green lichen to the outside of the nest. Her eggs are now much more visible, which is not a good sign.

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