This photo of the Richland County Master Gardener's Enviro-garden shows the clever design of a water garden with an intentional "leak." A rivulet feeds a small wetland next to the main pond where the Cardinal Flower stands with wet feet. Interestingly enough, the Cardinal Flower attracts birds- but not the Northern Cardinal. It is the hummingbirds that go mad for fire-engine red flowers.
And speaking of hummingbirds, an Ohio oddity, a Rufous Hummingbird has been hanging out at the Sage home near Loudonville, Ohio. I popped by to admire the little gal, and she certainly put on a good show. The rufous underwings were quite visible as she came and went from the feeder. And as I admired the yard of these kind folks hosting the little hummer, I noticed one thing in common with the other two other places I have seen fall hummingbirds: loads of red.
Each time I have visited a home with a Rufous Hummingbird I have noted the general area. Red flowers were still obvious in a western Ohio yard a few years back. Two years ago, they banded a Rufous in Mansfield, and at that time I noted a very large red Christmas bow decorating the wreath near the hummingbird's feeder. The Sage's have several red articles in the area, including a large red pad on their bench. Hummers are definitely attracted to red flowers, and I can't help but wonder if these homeowners raised the odds of becoming a host for a late hummingbird by their displays of red. Wouldn't it make sense that a bird in migration would be looking for a friendly spot of red to signal "oasis" for hummers? It is enough to make me want to roll out the red carpet for any passing through my area.
And even if I don't attract any oddities to my yard, I'll be having a great time, as I am headed to Arizona for vacation. Hopefully, I'll see some unusual birds and plants for your blog-reading pleasure. Who knows what adventures lie ahead? You can bet I'll be looking for red!