Ever since we got out hummingbird feeder hung up a month or so ago, I have been somewhat obsessed with looking for hummingbirds. We see them, but, to date we have not witnessed any hummingbird feeding at our designated feeder.
They’ve come and frequented the aloe vera plant flowers, but seem to be ignoring the free nectar offered in our feeder! But, the nectar in the feeder recedes each day and I have had to add to the feeder to keep it fresh and full. The rate of depletion seems to be greater than evaporation would account for, so I checked the internet and learned today that bats also feed from hummingbird feeders. Maybe it is bats that are draining the nectar from our feeders or maybe the hummingbirds are sneaking in for drinks when we are not watching?
Oh well, one of these days I am sure a hummingbird will chance upon the feeder and spread the word to his friends. One thing one learns in retirement is that it is often necessary to sit and be patient.
We went to Canoa for a few days and stayed with our friends at the Amalur Hostel. We love that hostel because of our friendship with the owners, Diego and Lorena, and their little daughter, Luna. The hostel has a courtyard open area where we like to sit and read or visit. The fence line of that courtyard is covered in tall hibiscus vines. Since hummingbirds like hibiscus, I got my camera out and sat for hours staring at the hibiscus flowers in hopes of getting some photos of some hummingbirds. I pre-focused and stood prepared to catch the little darting birds, but always “just missed” them as the flew away at the last second or appeared as a blur. I read that hummingbirds can fly sixty miles an hour and they all seem to like to show off their amazing speed right when they hear a camera click!
Still, all of this effort searching for hummingbirds has given me the chance to look at some flowers in closer detail. Hibiscus flowers come in many colors and sizes. Some species grow more like vines and others form great leafy bushes. They grow all over Manabí province. They are so hardy that the highway department has them filling the median on the highway up to Jipijapa (Hippee-happa) much like the oleanders do in southern California.
We have a yellow hibiscus plant planted outside of our kitchen window. Year-round it produces big beautiful flowers like this:
When fully open the showy stamen tantalizingly tempts insects and hummingbirds to sample the nectar deep within the flowers.
By far the most common hibiscus here in Manabí are the vine-like red flowered hibiscus like these from the fence at Amalur.
But, Lorena and Diego also have a rose/pink colored hibiscus along the same wall.
I got several pictures of these hibiscus flowers during my failed attempt to photograph the hummingbirds flashing by.
As our friends up north prepare to bundle up for colder – flowerless months, our area is being renewed with flowers bursting out to prepare for our rainy season. The nasturtium plants are spreading up the wall and just started flowering.
Our maracuyá (passion fruit) plants have opened up a new dazzling display of flowers!
And insects of all sorts are scrambling for a piece of the bounty.
Although we have lived here for almost three years now we still never tire of reveling in the unbelievable beauty nature offers to us each day.
We know the flowers are falling and plants are going dormant in North America. So, for you northerners we offer one last look at the delicate beautiful hibiscus stamen from the flowers that grace our home all year long.
Come on! What self-respecting hummingbird could resist that? We are truly blessed!
Life is good in Ecuador!