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, October 22, 2016

Anna Pavord's Garden; unseen clips

It's a very blustery, wet and chilly day at the hummingbird sanctuary, and though it's less than a week since my last hummer sighting, I think the season is definitively over, and I'm taking down my remaining feeders. I just went for a wind-buffeted stroll down to the beach, where there are big disorganized waves and too many pick-up trucks, so I hiked back up the bluff and settled down to watch a few english garden videos on Youtube. Here's one I particularly  like :-

Anna Pavord is the gardening correspondent for the "Independent", a national british newspaper, and author of "The Tulip". Every major newspaper has a garden correspondent, but no newspaper in the US does, despite its wealth and five times greater population. The New York Times fired theirs, Anne Raver, several years ago.

 Pavord eloquently and accurately writes:

"The soul needs to look out at things and find rest and peace and beauty in the things that the eyes are seeing. I think that’s a need. it’s a need as much as having a roof over your head and food in your stomach."  

Oscar Wilde wrote:

Give me the luxuries and I can dispense with the necessities.

(sometimes attributed to Frank Loyd Wright).

Enough ranting, here's a couple of hummer clips from my own modest patch 3 weeks ago :-

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Final Sighting? "Super Hummingbirds"

The last time I saw a hummingbird at the sanctuary was this monday, october 17. However for several days prior I had not seen a hummer, though I was often away. The one I saw monday looked in good shape and quite plump, so was ready to move on southwards.

The PBS "Nature" video "Superhummingbirds" was wonderful (though the title is not, and the narration not of Attenborough standard). The action videos of a dazzling variety of hummingbird species was amazing. You can still watch the video at
though this may not last much longer.
Claire and I have also been enjoying the current Masterpiece Theater  series "The Durells in Corfu". We are both great fans of Gerald Durrell's books, especially "My Family and Other Animals" (about his magical childhood in Corfu), on which the new series is partly based. Another of his fantastic books (and titles!) - "The Aye-Aye and I".

Here's a video of a flower bed and a hummer at a feeder, from september.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Hummer attacks 2 butterflies; PBS Nature Special on Hummingbirds Tonite!

I didn't see any hummingbirds on tuesday or on wednesday morning, so here is a clip from few weeks ago. The attack happens very fast!

REMINDER: PBS Nature Special on Hummingbirds Tonite (Thursday oct 13 at 9, channel 21).

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Summer Hummer

2 very gray, stormy and windy weekend days in Baiting Hollow, so I thought I'd post a few clips of activity here at the height of summer,  all showing a hummingbird feeding at one of their favorites, red porterweed.

1 pm october 10 update: lunching in the sun, preparing this afternoon's class, thinking about my late brother Mark (it's his birthday) - and I just saw a hummingbird!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Still some lingering hummingbirds; future of the sanctuary

We had a week of blustery, gray and damp weather and I did not get to spend much time outdoors, but over the last week I've had several hummingbird sightings, though of course numbers are way down and soon will reach zero. Here's a clip from yesterday (oct 7).

On oct 1 I met with with 2 senior partners at an eminent east end law firm to discuss whether it would be possible,  under the terms of the lawsuit settlement stipulation I signed back in july, to preserve part of my land in perpetuity as a hummingbird sanctuary open to the public.  They advised me that my best option would be to donate the land to an existing nature conservation organization. I have already discussed this with the Peconic Land Trust (who already own nearby residentially-zoned land that's open to the public and shares the Terry Farm Rd private access easement), however they tell me they cannot undertake to operate it as I have in the past, as a natural hummingbird sanctuary. I think they have been scared by the difficulties they have had in getting permits to continue to operate Bridge Garden (see
So I'm now exploring other preservation options, and will announce any progress at this blog. In the meantime, many thanks for your support over the past season.