Thursday, July 20, 2023

Lily Patch


Hummers in the Leopard Lilies
(Click images to view larger.)

It would have been a beautiful day to bike up to Mt. Tam to place my trail cameras in a new location, but I figured the leopard lilies would be in full bloom and hopefully swarming with hummingbirds. Experience with the FZ-80 has shown that it's not really up to the challenge, so I drove up to Rock Spring with my DSLR. It took a minute for the hummers to get used to my presence (along with the jarring mirror-slaps every time I tripped the shutter), but after a while they paid me no mind.

I couldn't get an angle on the lilies with the sun at my back, so I had to shoot mostly into the sun. That worked fine for photographing the leopard lilies which looked good back-lit, but proved quite tricky for the hummers. Biting horse flies, prickly grass seeds, and sneaky stinging nettles also added to the challenge. 

Bright Lilies, Shadowy Forest

Queen of the Lily Patch

Lilies With Slightly Tattered Pale Swallowtail

Dancing With Lilies

Hummer Perching on Lily's Style

In addition to the lilies, the hummers also appeared to nip a few insects from some meadow rue that had gone to seed, and sipped from the purple flowers of large leatherroot (Hoita macrostachya). Apparently it is a host plant for sphynx moth, which might explain why the "hummer" that ran into my leg turned out to be a sphynx moth, the first I've ever seen on Mt. Tam. Unfortunately I was unable to photograph it.

Letting Gravity Do Some of the Work

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