Today a new hummingbird showed up at my feeders.  It caught my attention because the regular hummingbirds were making a racket, like hummingbirds tend to do.  I went to see what was up, and saw glistening rust and orange.  All day long I tried to get a picture.  I do not have time to sit and wait, but finally I got a pretty good one.  My thoughts are that is is a Rufous Hummingbird, Selasphorus rufus.  There is something somewhat similar called Allen’s Hummingbird, but that one has more green, and I never saw much green on this one.

click on photo to enlarge

click on photo to enlarge

This bird is a real dazzler in the sun!  Apparently they live in the northwest U.S. and southeast southwest Canada in the summer, but migrate to Mexico for the winter, so we were lucky enough to see the little traveler.  I hope I can get a better glimpse, and picture, before it heads out.  I have no idea how long it will stay.

click on photo to enlarge

click on photo to enlarge

For a short time while waiting for the hummingbirds to get close enough to photograph, I took pictures of the herb flowers in my garden.  The hummingbirds like to get nectar from the lemon balm flowers.  I also have cosmos in the herb garden and took some pictures of that.  The cosmos pictures turned out OK, but I like an older one I have better, so I am putting that up.

This cosmos picture was taken in early morning light, and I liked it because of its shadow.  I did not realize until I uploaded the photo how interesting the other shadows in the picture were.  The extra shadows are from my late Weeping Cherry tree.  (I will probably do a full post on the tree soon. ) It was dying suddenly when the picture was taken, leaving it without foliage which made the nice shadows.  I cannot really explain why I love this picture, but it is a favorite from my own archives.

The last picture is of a Desert Willow bloom.  I love these trees.  They grow anywhere and very quickly.  When we moved here six years ago, I thought it was a bush and trimmed it as such in the Spring.  A year later I learned it was a tree.  It is a bushy sort of tree, but it is already taller than the roof of our first floor.  It will not be giant, but it is even now a very nice size. 

click photo to enlarge

click photo to enlarge

The Desert Willow blooms are full of nectar, and they “rain” it all the time.  It always feels cool when walking under one in the summer because of the mist of nectar.  This particular tree rains its nectar on my garden.  This morning I was picking jalepenos for a batch of salsa, and all of the peppers were covered in nectar and quite sticky.  The plants were also covered with aphids, and that was not as pleasant, but they came off easily when I cleaned the peppers.

The salsa recipe I made today is from Lynn at the Vintage Nest.  You can go here to find the recipe. 

When I made my first batch this summer, I used the following recipe:

Huachuca Salsa

4 lg. ripe tomatoes, diced

1 green tomato, diced

8 green onions, chopped

1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

2 or more jalepeno peppers, minced (I am a pepper wimp, so I usually remove the seeds unless the peppers have no heat at all.

1/3 c. olive oil

2 tsp. lime juice

1/4 tsp. sugar

2 tsp. ground cumin

2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced

salt to taste

Combine all ingredients and mix well.  Refrigerate to let flavors blend. 

This is my favorite summer salsa.  I make salsa once or twice a week when I have my own tomatoes and try different recipes all the time, but I come back to this one at least a couple of times every year.

Lynn’s salsa is much different.  It is sweeter and has some interesting nuances of flavor.  Go make one of these.  I swear you will have it devoured in no time!  (And you don’t need to bother with chips if you don’t want to.  A spoon is just fine!)

by Louise Cannon