The honeysuckle has been in full bloom much of the summer, but hummingbirds are rare so far. I’ve only seen one a handful of times, and each of those visits has been brief.
Last summer was our first hummingbird summer, so I don’t have a feel for “normal” hummingbird activity. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens as the summer wears on.
Publication Note: My poem “Doppler Effect” posted at vox poetica on June 19. Many thanks to editor Annmarie Lockhart!
I recently registered for the 2015 Hampton Roads Writers’ Conference. (September 17-19 in Virginia Beach) This conference is one of my favorite events each year, and I’m already counting the days.
In other writing news, my poem “The Tracking” was published on May 12 at vox poetica. A version of this poem won first place in the Barbara Dunn Hartin Memorial Poetry Prize contest at the 2014 Hampton Roads Writers Conference, and I’m delighted that editor Annmarie Lockhart accepted it for publication.
And in news only vaguely related to writing, I’ve been spending a lot of time with my camera. Despite summer’s growing heat and humidity, the yard is hard to resist this time of year. Everything is blooming, the baby rabbits are thriving, and birds are everywhere.
In mid-May a dove decided to nest in the front petunia basket. Now her two nestlings are ready to fledge.
The yard’s most curious visitor, lately, is a very bold squirrel that follows me around as I take photos. If I sit still for a while, he sidles closer and closer until he is within a few feet, pretending he is burying something nearby. His jaw quivers nervously as he mumbles and grinds his teeth, but he comes back time and time again. It makes me wonder if he was raised by a rehabilitator, if he somehow equates humans with food and safety, yet also with peril.
I’m trying not to encourage the squirrel’s behavior, but I can’t resist photographing him. He’s very handsome.
If he hangs around much longer, I might write him into a poem.
My poem “The Calculus of Parting Lovers” posted at vox poetica on April 7. Many thanks to editor Annmarie Lockhart!
(And, because I can’t resist adding photos, here are two recent images from the yard….)
A few years ago I spent several months filling, emptying, cleaning, and refilling three hummingbird feeders. Instead of hummingbirds, the feeders attracted wasps and ants. Disappointed, and convinced I had done something wrong, I put away the feeders.
Last year my hummingbird hunger stirred again when we lost our Fourth of July rose. Surveying the large gap in our yard, we decided to plant with hummingbirds in mind. After a bit of research, we filled the space with honeysuckle, bee balm, and Rose of Sharon. The honeysuckle and Rose of Sharon grew enough to open a few blooms over the summer and fall, but the bee balm was past its flowering season by the time we planted it.
All of the flowers survived our long, cold winter, and last week we added a few annuals to the mix (because it’s impossible to resist the instant reward of planting a flower already in bloom.)
All we can do now is wait. Will they come?
My last bit of news today is a Publication Note — three of my poems are posted at The Blue Hour! Many thanks to the editors!
The rabbits now spend their days exploring the shed and deck and irises, stretching their boundaries more and more as they grow. But they aren’t so mature that they are willing to skip a meal with their mother. They predictably return to the ginger lilies each evening, where she meets them after dark.
Even though they still nurse, they have become competent grazers. It’s fun to watch them experiment with the yard’s various weeds and flowers.
Publication Note: My poem “Ink” appeared at vox poetica earlier this month. It’s now posted on the poemblog.