This past Sunday, during an impromptu trip to the garden center, we picked up a half dozen Mexican Bush Sage plants (Salvia leucantha). This is a popular semi-evergreen plant in this part of California, blooming late in summer and early autumn, when many garden flowers are finished blooming for the season. We’ll plant this outside the deer fence below the orchard, as part of our overall planting plan to aesthetically enhance the base of the slope near the driveway. We selected this plant in particular for two reasons. It’s highly deer resistant, and the bees seem to love it. It turns out though that the birds love it too! Ever since we brought the salvia home, we’ve been rewarded with spectacular views each morning of a number of Anna’s hummingbirds (Calypte anna).
The Anna’s hummingbird is a native of the western coast of North America, and very common here in Santa Cruz county. This bird appears to be a young male, and although we’ve seen a more spectacular red-headed male visiting the salvia the past two days, this is the only one that my camera managed to keep up with this morning. These are rather challenging birds to photograph, especially thorough a plate glass window, in low light, without using the flash!