Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Desert Hummers

We have 3 Desert Willow trees on our property in 29 Palms, and I always look forward to this time of year when they start to bloom. "Tree" is perhaps an overstatement, as they tend to be almost bush-like in appearance, with multiple trunks and generally getting to only about 15 feet or so in height. However, you have to admire anything that can survive and grow in this severe desert environment, and the Desert Willow is one of the few native trees able to do this. Here's a shot of my wife sitting next to a Desert Willow... actually a better shot of the prickly pear than the Desert Willow, but you get the idea!
They have a lavender-color flower that reminds me of a jacaranda flower, and the trees always attract lots of humming birds. Desert hummers tend to be a little smaller and less colorful than those I see in other parts of CA, but fun to photograph nonetheless.
The shot below is a good one to show the appearance of the Desert Willow flowers and leaves.
There are a limited number of flowering trees and plants in the desert, especially during years of low rain, and I'm always amazed how these hummers seem to almost magically show up, and in significant numbers, when things are in bloom. They love the red ocotillo blooms as well, but I'll have to save that for a future post.
This little hummer (above) seemed not at all bothered by me and my 400mm lens. She (I'm guessing a female because lack of color, or perhaps a juvenile?) sat on the same branch as I circled her with my camera. It was very windy, and you can kind of see she has some feathers out of place! The sun was behind her, hence the backlighting.

Linking with Wild Bird Wednesday.
Thanks for stopping by!

30 comments:

  1. Wow! Awesome captures! and I love learning about the desert. Thanks


    ALOHA from Honolulu
    ComfortSpiral

    =^..^= <3

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  2. These are some spectacular photos. And, a nice one with the cactus and your wife! The close up of the ruffled feathers is also quite nice.

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  3. Wonderful photo's, hummers are so cute.

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  4. Love the second last pic.
    Such perfect concentration to get that beak in.

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  5. Fabulous shots - such nice reminders of when we lived in the desert.

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  6. Hi and thanks for your visit. Beaut to have a look around your blog. We've done a lot of camping and travelling through the Australian desert areas and can appreciate just how tough those plants must be to survive their conditions. Your Desert Willow is a real toughie in that it survives so beautifully doesn't it, and not only that but gives a lovely show of blooms. Gorgeous captures of the Hummers - especially the last two pics. I do admire them :D)

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  7. Amazing desert vegetation. Any photo of a hummingbird is wonderful - we don't have them in Australia - and you were very lucky to have that little lady sit so still for your camera.

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  8. Awsome photos, and I thought prickly pear's were green. Your wife poses very eligantly on that bucket

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  9. very nice shots....so cute
    www.serkanmutan.com

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  10. Brilliant Hummingbird photos and the cacti, superb.

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  11. I love the blooming cactus and the willow trees, very pretty. And the hummer shots are awesome! Have a great day!

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  12. Funny they are called willows. For me a tree always at the edge of water here in the netherlands. No change of that in your part of the world I guess. Also real beautiful bird shots. I like it.

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  13. Beautiful...absolutely beautiful!!!

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  14. Some things like this are a wonder to me. Nature is great.

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  15. just beauties! i love to see them return each spring.

    i really love your first shot. what a wonderful, peaceful scene of your wife. and the prickly pear is gorgeous!

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  16. Beautiful cute little bird in action.

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  17. Spectacular photos!!! Love the detail and clarity you are getting with that lens. Is that a new purchase? Anyway, bravo on these images. Wow.

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  18. HA! Yes, I was in your neck of the desert a couple of weeks ago. We were going to count to see if there were actually 29 Palms. We did go up to Joshua Tree, my first time. I love the desert...well...I've never been in your desert in the summer. Lot's of Costas about.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Steve. Ya, I don't think you would like it in July and August... just too darn hot!!

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  19. Any hummer is a good hummer - bright or not. Although, I have to ask - are any really dull??

    Nice.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  20. all great pics, the first and fourth are my favorites

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  21. Stunning shots of the hummers.

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  22. Love the elegance of the little hummingbird you captured! I saw them quite often in our previous yard. Here, closer to the coast, only a few times!

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  23. Wow! Those are the best pictures of a hummingbird that I've ever seen. Amazing! Thanks for sharing.

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  24. gorgeous images of your hummers. And of your nature. :) Loved to see it.

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  25. The hummingbird is beautiful and so are your pictures! It is almost looks like she is posing for you in that close up.

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  26. the purple cactus is amazing. I have never one. And love the hummingbirds. they migrant thru fla especially ft desoto beach.

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