Tuesday, August 31, 2010

More Hummingbird Antics

This is a follow-up to yesterday's post, Hummingbird Battles, which featured the hungry and aggressive hummingbirds that are swarming our feeders trying to store up enough food for their long migratory journey South next month. We have enjoyed watching their antics as they swoop and whiz and chatter and zoom over our heads, protecting and defending their "territory" from other hummers.

In my previous post, I lamented the fact that I haven't been able to get many good pictures of them, because they're too busy doing battle with each other, or dodging me and my camera.

I tried again late yesterday afternoon and was able to capture a few more (still not great, but a little better).

This one is looking at me rather exasperatedly, like he's thinking, "Do you mind? I'm trying to eat!"

A wasp stopped by for a drink, too, and the little hummer in the background was trying his best to scare him away. I think the wasp won that battle, though.

I was so proud of these two little guys -- they finally decided to be sweet and share.

You're probably tired of hearing about our hummingbirds, but I love to watch them this time of year. They're truly amazing little creatures, and I'll probably have more pictures to share in a few weeks, before they leave on their journey South.


While photographing the hummers, I noticed this colorful dragonfly resting on the back of an iron bench in our yard. He was a lot more cooperative than the elusive hummers, and seemed to enjoy having his picture taken.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Hummingbird Battles

I spent a good bit of time this past weekend photographing the antics of our hummingbirds. We have two feeders, one in our courtyard, and one in the back yard ... and the hummers have been in a feeding frenzy for the past several days, trying to fatten themselves up to get ready for migration in a few weeks.

I'm ashamed to say that ours are not being very mannerly little hummers either. In fact, they are being downright greedy, overly aggressive, and are not sharing at all.

They light on nearby shrubbery or trees watching and waiting for a few seconds, then they swoop down to the feeder for a quick sip of nectar, all the while, watching and on guard, in case another hummer tries to come eat. It's not like the feeders have only one perch -- they each have four -- but it's rare to see two birds eating at one time.

If another hummer even thinks about trying to get a sip, he is immediately and violently attacked by the very vocal defending hummer, whose wings and tail feathers are spread in full "battle mode."

They look as if they are dancing ... whizzing and swooping through the air, their tiny wings making a whooshing sound as they zip by overhead. I love the way they chatter to each other, as if to say, "Go away! I found it first!"

Needless to say, with all that swooping and whizzing and battling going on, I wasn't very successful in capturing many pictures worthy of sharing. Having said that, here are a few I was able to capture that show the little guys in action.

This poor little guy looks a little battle-weary as he finds a resting place in between battles.

Here's another one in his "watching and waiting" mode:

And while that one was watching and waiting, this one sneaked in for a quick sip, but was constantly checking for incoming hummers.

Bless his heart, he finally got to take a sip, but didn't get to stay long without being challenged by another hungry little hummer.

I haven't given up on getting better pictures. I'm going to try again later this morning, and, hopefully, will have some more pictures to share.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

There'll Be Peace in the Valley

A Slideshow Presentation of Peace in the Valley
Written by Thomas A. Dorsey
Performed by Elvis Presley

Created by Southern Lagniappe
(Some Photos borrowed from the Internet)

Click on the "Play" button and please be patient.
It takes a few seconds for it to load.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Early Morning Silhouettes

I captured this little hummer this morning as he stopped to rest in the branches of our Lady Banks Rose. I love the way he and the branches were silhouetted against the early morning sky.

Notice his tongue sticking out in this one ...

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Historic Houses of Canton

I was browsing through my computer files in search of inspiration for a post for today, and came across some pictures I'd like to share.

In October of 2009, I visited Canton, Mississippi, home of the prestigious Canton Flea Market, and featured the quaint little town in a three-part photo tour. If you would like to read those posts, you can click on the links below:

A Place Called Canton
Canton Part II
A Place Called Canton, Part III

Today's post features some of the beautiful old houses in Canton, beginning with the Priestley House, a 19th century Greet Revival house, which was built in 1852, as the home of Dr. James Priestley, one of Canton's early physicians and first postmaster.

Next, is this grand old Victorian, ca 1896. Known as "Vanity Castle," the house is currently for sale. At Christmastime, the owners display a little carousel on the porch gazebo. (If you would like to see the details of these old homes, you can click on the pictures)

Wohlden House, ca 1828

This is my favorite house in Canton. Not only is the house magnificent, the grounds are absolutely breathtaking.

This stately little house is on the grounds of Wohlden House. I would love to know its history.

Mosby House, ca 1852-1865

If you ever go to the Canton Flea Market (the Fall flea market is October 14th), be sure and take time to drive by these old treasures. The Victorian is on the main street running through town (Peace Street), and the rest are in the historic residential area a block off of Peace Street. You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

When the Spider Lilies Bloom in Dixie

When the Spider Lilies bloom in Dixie, you know Fall is truly on its way! They seem to appear magically overnight and out of nowhere. Here in Mississippi, you see them everywhere ... their tall leafless stems and brilliant red clusters of flowers swaying in a breeze, standing tall in flower beds, along roadsides, and scattered around long-abandoned old home sites.

I haven't noticed any Spider Lilies blooming here yet, but they should make an appearance in the next few days. In the meantime, I'd like to share some I captured with my camera last Fall.

I hope to capture some of the lilies in Vicksburg soon, perhaps next week. I took this picture in September of 2008, in the Vicksburg National Military Park, and I want to go back and focus on the flowers, instead of the brick wall.

I hope they come up again this year.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Art of Fruit

For some reason, any time I visit an antique shop or flea market, I am drawn to old pictures or paintings of fruit. I especially like some of the old calendars that featured still lifes of fruit.

One of my most prized treasures is this large Chippendale tole tray that I found at an antique show several years ago. I paid $35.00 for it, and was absolutely thrilled with it. It stands behind my cooktop in my kitchen and makes me happy every time I look at it.

I saw this pretty fruit plaque by R.F. Harnett, at a flea market south of Jackson, Mississippi, and took a couple of pictures of it, but didn't buy it.

I liked the picture so much that I used it to make a logo for my blog.

Here are a couple of things I did buy several years ago, and I'm so glad I did. I found this old wire basket decorated with handpainted fruit in an antique shop in Arcadia, Louisiana. We use it on our game table to hold dominoes, cards, Checkers, and other small games.

This old plaque used to hang in my kitchen, but it has been "recycled" to the attic for now. I love its rich, warm colors.

And last, but not least, this ancient fruit still life print is another one of my favorite treasures. I found it in a stack of old pictures in a dusty storage building that someone was cleaning out and let me browse through first. It was dirty and battered and chipped, and no one else probably would have looked at it twice, but it was love at first sight for me.

You can see it in the next picture, waaaay up there on top of the cabinets behind the rooster and hen.

My husband got it down for me last night and I'm planning to use it on my Welsh Dresser in our breakfast area as part of my Fall decorations. And speaking of Fall ... I can't wait 'til it gets here, can you!