Growing by the Bay

Month: July 2016

Mystery hummingbird

Hummingird in iochroma

Hummingird in iochroma.

The iochroma is flowering, and that means the hummingbirds are back. I like to photograph them, in part because this particular iochroma is right outside my study window, and it makes a nice diversion from my literary work, and also because it’s challenging to freeze the speedy little hummers in photos.

But what kind of hummingbird is this? I’m not the bird identifier that Charles Hood and Jonathan Franzen (my companions on a Catamaran catamaran a while back) are. I get frustrated because bird books tend to feature adult males. I suspect this one might be immature, or maybe even a female. In any case, try as I might, I cannot find a reference to California hummingbird that has a yellow patch on its head.

Any birders out there?

The Farmer’s Daughter, South Kingstown, Rhode Island


The Farmer’s Daughter is a fifteen-acre farm and nursery, founded in 1998 and run by Sarah Partyka, that is located in a rather upscale, mostly rural region about forty minutes south of Providence in Rhode Island. Heavily forested and low in elevation, this area is located in climate zone 6, with distinct maritime influence from Narragansett Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.  (It’s quite close to the eastern tip of Long Island, as the crow flies.)

The extensive nursery includes several greenhouses. There are plants in flats or small pots as well as good-sized trees and shrubs, along with a large selection of garden decor. Fresh produce such as raspberries and heirloom vegetables are also offered.

We didn’t intend to buy anything, but of course ended up carting off a bunch of plants for our Pawtucket property. While I strolled around, I took a bunch of (cell-phone) photos, shared below (click for somewhat larger — 723 px — versions). I am not providing botanical information, because my interest was in design — color, texture, pattern — and particularly in juxtapositions of plants that happened to be located adjacent to each other.


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