The Outside World, In and Around Duluth

Getting Outside

Sometimes, life intervenes, and getting outside takes some doing. Happily, I did, although this time, I was on my own. It was pretty strange, taking a walk through Lester Park with a camera, and not having the dog, kids or anyone else with me. The nice thing about it was that I was able to take my time and linger, which I don’t typically do. I also wanted to get some pictures of something other than construction equipment posted!

Walking through Lester Park, I found a new (to me) wildflower – turtlehead:

Turtlehead (Chelone glabra)

Turtlehead is apparently in the Snapdragon family, although I can’t say I see the resemblance in this picture. Did you know that some people have used turtlehead as a method of birth control? It’s also apparently popular browse for deer, which may explain why I haven’t noticed it before.

Back home and now it was raining. We didn’t have any hummingbirds until late July. Very strange, but we would change the water every week, just in case, and it turns out that it’s a good thing we did, because we finally have been getting some visitors. In this , you can barely see the rain bouncing off the feeder, and you can see a faint ghost of the hummer bending down to sip:

Hummingbird in the Rain

This isn’t the best picture (although, I do like the outline of the wings), but notice the dark throat on this one:

Dark Throated Ruby Throated Hummingbird

I was watching it for a while and every now and again, the feathers on the throat would flash from their plain tan/green color, to ruby, and then go back again. I’ve never seen that before! I did a little investigation, and it apparently has something to do with the angle of viewing, although I would swear that it didn’t change positions. My theory is that, in the same way that my dog can raise her hackles, the hummingbird (or any bird, probably) can flex its throat muscles, and that shift in feather placement is what I saw as flashes of color.


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