The other night, I was dozing and Robb totally confused me with some comment about our having "monkeys in the back yard." My almost-asleep brain was totally unable to process this phrase, but stored it away for later.
When we got back from car-hunting on Sunday, there was a commotion in a neighboring peach tree, as strange loud chattering sound, unlike the usual neighborhood soundtrack. It took me a moment to process, and then I realized that this was probably Robb's "monkey."
I grabbed my camera, and managed only one un-obscured photo of what I believe is a female Hooded Oriole. She's about the size of an American Robin, and a muddy greeny-yellow. She was cahttering away the whole time she foraged in the tree.
I think I've only ever seen orioles once since we moved to California. (I never saw them when we lived in Baltimore, at least not on the wing!) Orioles are fascinating birds, who make pendulous purse-like nests, and I'm delighted that one has found our fruit trees.
Speaking of fruit, our plum is going through what I believe is called "June drop." Fruits that have failed to thrive and grow are turning colors and falling to the ground. My understanding is that the tree sheds un-viable fruits, which lessens the strain on the plant itself. This is apparently a nature occurrence. If every single fruit on our plum fully ripened, I think the tree's branches would break, and we'd die of plum overdoses.
Our garden seems to attract quite a few butterflies. These skippers are particularly social, and spend a lot of time flirting with one another. I honestly don't know how anyone photographs butterflies. You might as well try to photograph a summer breeze.
And while I'm on the subject of Bad Photography, here's a shot of our main vegetable plot. I took this picture by holding my camera over my head, and shooting at random. I've pulled out several of the winter crops, and am waiting for the summer plants to emerge from the ground.
In the back, near the hen house, I've got a mass of California wildflowers, planted for the native bees. Much of the rest of the garden is planted with kale, garlic and dye plants. In the middle is a tangle of chickory, which I plant because it attracts the native green bees.
It looks like a huge mess, but I have to remind myself how chaotic the place was when we moved in.
If you're curious to see what other gardeners are up to, mosey on over to Daphne's blog, for her weekly harvest roundup.