Our hearts are with our fellow Texans under duress because of Hurricane Harvey.
Here are two posts about the area:
I visited The Big Tree this week at Goose Island State Park during my trip to the Rockport area for the Hummer Celebration. The Big Tree is a live oak over 1,000 years old and was named the Champion Live Oak Tree of Texas in 1969.
The “Big Tree” statistics:
There are smaller live oaks surrounding this venerable old tree, almost as beautiful.
My friend, Susan a resident of Rockport, said “I love to come here to see this tree.” The age of it and the graceful, gnarly limbs pulled me, too, towards it. Maybe I thought of it as a survivor. A testament to standing in the face of adversity.
The tree has inspired several poems. This is my favorite:
I have gathered sun and rain to grow green leaves,
Swaying softly in spring, rustling like applause in fall.
My limbs have shaded generations;
My roots have reached for centuries;
My children and their children’s children surround me,
Here in this peaceful part of my land.
Golden sunlight diamonds have glinted on the ground around me.
Cold fingers of ice have touched my heartwood.
Dust-dry days of sandstorms have scoured my skin.
Torrents of rain, driven by gales have rushed at me,
And I have swayed, but stayed unbroken.
Silver moonlight has kept me company many a night.
Yet through all the seasons, sorrows, bitterness, and beauty,
All of the history I have withstood and witnessed,
There has been one thing I could not do.
I could not grow green dollars, or silver, or gold.
Will you help me, standing here before me?
Then we may both grow old together,
As old friends should,
One of flesh, one of wood.
by Mary Hoekstra, Rockport
One day the trees we have planted at The Raincatcher’s Garden of Midway Hills will also be as inspiring!
Hummer Celebration Pictures from last year here.
I feel so lucky to have been at The Hummer Festival 2014 in Rockport, Texas last Saturday.
My son and I attended the lecture, Hummingbird Friendly Yards, and visited several homes in Rockport where hummingbirds like to congregate. We saw dozens of Hummingbirds like these two females at a feeder.
Hummers don’t care what type of feeder you have purchased. Just make sure the sugar water (4parts water to 1 part sugar) is clean and the color red is on the feeder. Here’s how one homeowner added red.
There are many varieties of Hummingbirds that buzz through Rockport: Buff- Bellied, Rufous-tailed, Black Chinned, Caliope, Allens, Anna, Broad- Tailed, Broad- Billed and the Ruby Throated which is the most prevalent. I would like to see Anna because we share the same name. The male Ruby Throat has guess what…a ruby throat!
Too bad we missed the class, Photographing Hummingbirds and other Small Birds. Next year I will try to catch that and have a little bit sharper pictures. Other interesting classes were: Smart Phone Digiscoping with a practice session, Binoculars, Scopes, and More, Endangered Hummingbirds What Can We Do to Preserve Them. you could follow the birds by boat, bus, or on foot.
More Hummingbird Info Here.
“Hummingbird don’t fly away, fly away…” Seals and Crofts’ lyrics always repeat in my mind this time of year. But as the temperatures drop in North Texas, hummingbirds must migrate south.
If you are like me, the spring arrival of the first hummingbird is always a Red Letter Day. The song lyrics continue: “I love you, love you, love you. I don’t even know the reason why…”
Hummingbirds have always held a fascination for me. Finding a hummingbird nest continues to be on my life list. To attract hummingbirds, I have planted many native plants including coral honeysuckle, Turk’s cap, flame acanthus, scarlet buckeye, false indigo bush, red yucca, various salvias, standing cypress, Texas lantana, cenizo, lemon beebalm, penstemons, and Texas betony.
My love affair with the little birds found us traveling south recently to Rockport, Texas, to learn more about these amazing creatures. Rockport is a stop on the migration map for many birds. For more information on Rockport’s 24th Annual Texas HummerBird Celebration, visit http://rockporthummingbird.com
“The sweetness of your nectar has drawn me like a fly…” The hummingbird event offered four days full of lectures, workshops and field trips. I only attended one. Instead, the view of these fascinating birds (uncharacteristically) sharing feeders at the 25 tour stops mesmerized me. At a single landscape more than a hundred birds could have been counted simultaneously fluttering around the feeders and flowers. I was enchanted by the hummingbirds—and the people who hosted them before sending them off for the next leg of their journey. One yard had 40 feeders! At another, a gentleman told me he uses about 60 pounds of sugar to prepare his feeders for the weeks the hummingbirds fly through.
The tiny birds look for more than just sweet nectar. Gardens with food, water, and shelter are the most attractive to hummingbirds.
Here in North Texas, we can evaluate our yards now to host next spring’s hummingbirds. Plant bird-friendly native plants in our milder fall temperatures. This will give those plants time to establish strong roots during the winter months. Their blooms will welcome a bounty of life. Remember the importance of supplying fresh water. Careful arrangement of shrubs and trees should provide protection for the birds and an easy step-ladder approach. Then next spring, you might be marking your calendar with the first day you spot a hummingbird in your yard!