I had to do another hummer today, and it had to be this one. There were two adult males zooming around early today with their bright red throats ablaze in the morning sun. Interestingly, I didn't see the youngster who so delighted me for much of the week - it's possible he's moved on, slowly heading south. In just a few more weeks, catching sight of one of these adult males will be rare as they are the first to leave each season. They will arrive at their wintering grounds a week or so ahead of the females and up to a full month ahead of this year's hatch-birds. Oh, how quiet the garden will seem when they've all gone...but for now, I plan to enjoy each moment of it.
I found several new chrysalids in the garden, including one that is a good 20 feet from the nearest milkweed plant, meaning a long trek for that little caterpillar. He chose to pupate on the lip of a large planter on the patio wall, which is as good a place as any. One chrysalis in my nursery debuted as a butterfly today - a petite and perfect female who was released in memory of Anni's (BikerBear) mum. Which was fitting because Anni and I were chatting on the phone when she emerged - there is a symmetry to that, isn't there?
I decided to take the day off from any exercise - unless one counts vacuuming as exercise? After six days straight, a day off seemed wise. I'll hit it again tomorrow.
I found an enormous Praying Mantis lurking in one of the buddleia bushes so I carefully grabbed it and relocated it. They love to prey on butterflies and have been said to grab hummingbirds so I try to keep them away from the nectar plants as much as possible. I also kept my fingers away from his bitey parts (yes, they can bite, although they don't emit any venom). Click HERE for a super close up of a pissed-off mantis, looking like some sort of strange alien. My fingers were holding his thorax, just below the frame, and out of biting range.
We are in for several hot, humid days so I will probably keep my time outside to short stints. But I think you can expect to see either hummingbirds or insects regardless!
On depression...I think one of the worst things to do when you learn someone has depression is pretend like everything is okay, or avoid talking about it. It can make the person suffering feel very isolated which is the last thing they need. It may not be easy to know what to say, but sometimes it can just be as simple as spending time, listening, being a friend.