An interesting link found among my daily reading
An interesting link found among my daily reading
Last Sunday we attended the latest performance of of Word Now! at the Fremont Centre Theater in South Pasadena.
The show is co-produced by a close friend and his wife was also presenting a story that evening, so we HAD to go, of course.
It was a great night out and the stories were absolutely amazing. We certainly plan on attending again!
Each show works around a general theme and this month’s theme was “COLD.”
The stories approached it in a variety of ways. Cold weather. Cold People. Cold World and more!
You can listen to the entire show here and I also greatly encourage you to see the live presentation in South Pasadena.
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Allen’s Hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin) in my garden – January 2016
In this episode:
Allen’s Hummingbirds (Selasphorus sasin) frequent our feeder this month.
My friend, Keri from Animalbytes.net helped us identify the proper species and even gifted us the hummingbird guide linked below. Check out Animalbytes.net for more great nature, birding and wildlife information
Allen’s hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin) is a species of hummingbird. It is a small bird, with mature adults reaching only 3 to 3.5 in (76 to 89 mm) in length. The male has a green back and forehead, with rust-colored rufous flanks, rump, and tail. The male’s throat is also an iridescent orange-red. The female and immature Allen’s hummingbirds are similarly colored, but lack the iridescent throat patch, instead having a series of speckles on their throats. Females are mostly green, featuring rufous color only on the tail, which also has white tips. Immature Allen’s hummingbirds are so similar to the female rufous hummingbird, the two are almost indistinguishable in the field. Both species’ breeding seasons and ranges are common factors used to differentiate between the two species in a particular geographical area.
Allen’s hummingbird is common only in the brushy woods, gardens, and meadows of coastal California from Santa Barbara north, and a minuscule portion of lowersouthern Oregon. The nominate race of Allen’s hummingbird, S. s. sasin, is migratory, and winters along the Pacific coast of central Mexico. A second ,S. s. sedentarius, is a permanent resident on the Channel Islands off southern California. This population colonized the Palos Verdes Peninsula of Los Angeles County in the 1960s and has since spread over much of Los Angeles and Orange Counties, south through San Diego County, and east to the western end of Riverside County (inland empire).
The courtship flight of male Allen’s hummingbirds is a frantic back-and-forth flight arc of about 25 ft (7.6 m) similar to the motion of a swinging pendulum, followed by a high-speed dive from about 100 ft (30 m). The male is also highly aggressive and territorial. Hot-tempered despite its diminutive stature, male Allen’s hummingbirds will chase any other males from their territory, as well as any other hummingbird species, and have even been known to attack and rout predatory birds several times larger than themselves, such as kestrels and hawks.
Allen’s hummingbird constructs its nest out of plant fibers, down, and weed stems, coating the nest with lichens to give it structure. The nest is placed above ground on a tree branch or the stalk or stem of a plant. The female lays two white eggs, which she incubates for 15 to 17 days. The young leave the nest about three weeks after hatching. The mother continues to feed the fledglings for several more weeks, then the young are left to fend for themselves.
Like all hummingbirds, Allen’s hummingbird’s high rate of metabolism requires it to feed frequently, about every hour. It drinks nectar from flowers and eats any small insects it finds crawling around the flower blossom, which provide it with needed protein.
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The rains are coming…or so they say. I was a little worried that I had missed the window to get some sandbags from the local First Station and install them since it did rain here a bit over night. A bright, clear and warm day made a perfect day to get them, though. It looked liked a lot of other people had the same ideas. The lot at LA City Fire Station 88 was hopping with at least 8 other groups there.
As an added bonus for some, this is also the same location to recycle your (once) live Christmas Tree instead of just dropping it on the curb or in an empty lot. There is a large dumpster that will be added to the city mulch piles and re-distributed to citizens. That is the next trip I have planned.
For those outside of the City, check with your local city web sites for more information
Panorama of Station 88 sandbag pickup
The City provides both bags and sand, but you need to bring your own shovels and elbow grease. It only took about 15 minutes for the 3 of us to file 6 bags and load them in the car. They are heavy, even when only filled halfway, so you may need to bring some help with you, too. Don’t hurt yourself! I would guesstimate about 50 lbs per sandbag if filled 3/4 full.
I wasn’t sure how much weight my Honda Element could take, but it handled 6 bags with no problem at all. I could probably have gone with as many as 10 without causing any issues with the suspension.
…and here they are installed in the back yard. For the most part, our yard and garden doesn’t have any drainage problems, but this one spot — at the end of the patio can fill up during the heaviest rains and once it leaked under the garage door. I am placing these just in case we get the heavy rains that are predicted. They will raise the water level just enough to allow the heaviest rains to run around the garage and down the alley to the street.
I highly recommend keeping a few sandbags on hand just in case they are needed. You don’t want to be running to the station and shoveling in the rain, if you can help it.
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