Hummingbirds in the trees

Growing up back east I don’t recall ever seeing a hummingbird. I’m amazed that to see these flying treasures now, all I have to do is go out to our garden or up on our deck. This female Anna’s hummingbird was perched on a tree in our yard.

Hummingbird on branch

As part of making our garden into a wildlife habitat through the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), we provide food, water and cover for local and migrating animals. George’s garden includes many flowers for nectar, and he is always replenishing the sugar-water feeders for the hummingbirds.  He also avoids using pesticides, because that could harm or kill the birds.  Here’s an article by NWF about feeding hummingbirds.  The sugar-water is a supplement to their diet of insects and nectar.  This article goes into more detail, and has good advice about the important issue of keeping your feeders clean.

This is a male Anna’s – the brilliant color of his head and neck shines with iridescence when it catches the light.

Anna's hummingbird on branch

This is another male Anna’s.  You see how different the color of his feathers appears, this hummer shines with a more magenta hue.

Anna's hummingbird

Hummingbirds are among the limited species of birds that can hover.

Hummingbird hovering

When awake, they are almost constantly in motion. I had to quickly shoot the photos of them perching on the tree, because they don’t land for long. Here’s a shot of two of them, one about to land on a branch, and another zooming by above.

I caught a shot of this young hummer with his beak open.

Anna's hummingbird on tree

Do you know what kinds of hummingbirds visit or live in your area? I’m lucky to have George, who has studied this extensively, to tell me who’s who.  He said that at this time of year we’re getting only the Anna’s hummingbirds, and that they stay with us year-round.  Does your garden have nectar flowers or other plants to attract and feed hummingbirds?  Do you have hummingbird feeders to supplement their diet?

Wingspread Mixed-Media Art Doll

Wingspread Art Doll

Wingspread Art Doll

Meet “Wingspread,” a mixed-media art doll that I created, using several different techniques to transfer or attach my original photographs and designs to the soft stuffed cotton doll. Most of Wings’ body is decorated with fragments of my Golden Butterfly” photo collage. I used Transfer Artist Paper (TAP) to transfer the Golden Butterfly design to the doll.

Wingspread Art Doll - back

Wingspread Art Doll - back

Here’s Wingspread’s back.  The back of her (his?) head is a TAP transfer of my mandala design that I made from my photos of a monarch butterfly wing and a peacock feather.   This is the image:

And here’s a closeup of the wings on the back:

Anise swallowtail butterfly wing on lutradur

For the large wing on the right side I printed my photo of an anise swallowtail butterfly’s spread wing on lutradur coated with Golden’s Digital Ground. I stitched the wing to the center of the back. I also added a small metal wing, and a dangle of pearl, metal and glass beads.

Wingspread’s headdress is made from beautiful black and white striped hen feathers from Barred Rock hens. They are affixed to the head through another piece of lutradur, which I printed using my photo collage of the open wing of a Barred Rock hen.

Wings wears a colorful bowtie, which I made from my original design fabric.

Wingspread is a bit over 20 inches tall, including the feather headdress.  I love art dolls, and it was so fun to make this one, incorporating my butterfly photos and designs, and using so many different techniques and products.   You can see more pictures at my Artfire gallery.  Have you ever made an art doll?  What materials did you use?