The Australian Garden at the University of California Santa Cruz Arboretum has so much to offer, and while I was understandably blown away by the spectacular white hummingbird sighting, I thought I might share some of it’s other treasures…
Rare Leucistic Anna’s Hummingbird in the Grevillea.
Me in my official like birding outfit – meant to blend into the garden and attract hummers…worked!
Showy Honey Myrtle
The Rufous and Allen’s Hummingbirds look a lot alike, the Allen’s is supposed to have two white spots on its tail tips instead of three like the Rufous, but even knowing this it’s still hard to tell as the Allen’s does have a sliver of white on that third feather and both can have a substantial amount of green on their backs – especially the juveniles and the females.
Cooper’s Hawk fledglings
Actual buckeyes – (on a Black Tailed Deer)
For those of you who have been following my Birds & Teacups series, you must know my process by now:
antique teacup ✔
matching bouquet ✔
combine above and wait for a bird (or two) to fly in and pose while I shoot with dramatic lighting ✘
combine above and shoot with dramatic lighting ✔
take pictures of local birds ✔
add birds (in a naturalistic way) into the still life using photoshop ✔
paint the heck out it ✔ ✔ ✔
But yesterday was something new…a scrub jay was busy caching acorns about my yard and I thought it would be a great opportunity to get a shot of the bird with the actual teacup I had planned on pairing it with. Usually I try to scale the bird to the teacup with the measurements listed on birding sites but this was going to give me a real life comparison, if only I could get them in the same shot! I filled the teacup with birdseed and acorns and retreated to my studio stoop with my telephoto lens on my camera. I had only a few minutes to wait before there was some interest…
…of course the jay wasn’t the only one who likes a tea party !
My Bachelor’s Buttons have just come into bloom – and I’m too impatient to wait for a whole bouquet – so I snipped the ones that were available and popped them into this vintage Japanese teacup, pulling a dress from my closet to use as a backdrop.
Bachelor’s buttons are also known as cornflowers but the Victorian meanings for each are very different. Bachelor’s Buttons indicate single blessedness and celibacy while the cornflower suggests refinement and delicacy. I wonder which symbolism to explore?
I do know that I’d like to pair this teacup with the Scrub Jay which is that same lovely shade of blue- nothing refined or delicate about this bird though they are tough raucus and smart!
Here are a few shots of the jay I took near my house.
Check out that sashay on this bird as it stakes out it’s feeding grounds!
And that rakish profile!