Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Red Hot Sally Rides Again!

Josey—my long-haired dachshund—and I stepped out the backyard at dusk this evening, just ahead of a huge storm. I bought a few salvias that were already in full bloom, and I wanted to be sure that the predicted hail didn't grind their bones to make its bread. I'm not really very fond of Salvia splendens and its varieties ('Red Hot Poker,' Red Hot Sally,' etc.) Actually, I probably would love it except that I've seen it too often at gas stations and convenience stores. This plant reminds me of a song that I liked till they french-fried it on the radio a million times a day. Please nominate your own "song that gets too much airtime" in comments below. Or plant.

I always get a few quart or two-quart sized containers of red salvia because hummingbirds love them and  there's not much else in bloom for early birds. Lanny Chambers at Hummingbirds.net recommends surveyor's tape fluttering from your feeders to bring in the hummers (see my review of his site).  I prefer 'Sally.'

Back to nature. Josey and I were out in the back, protecting the Salvias, as I said, when I spotted a large insect in flight. The twilight and impending storm made it impossible to see much detail and for once, I hadn't brought my binoculars with me. Yet it seemed too early for an insect this large to be flying through the yard. Then I saw its silhouette pitch up, in a very non-insect-like flight, and drop onto a twig. My first hummingbird of 2011!

Thanks to *~Dawn~* for licensing her fascinating photo with Creative Commons!


  1. Yeah!! Glad your first hummer has arrived (love the photo too...dramatic!). I've been watching the woods along the Little Miami, but nothing yet...

  2. Hope the salvia and the hummer survived that storm. It was really a whopper!

  3. @ Kelly: I was excited that I saw him again this evening. He flashed his ruby throat at me!

    @ Nicole: I should have included a photo of the plant and the common name--it's red flowering sage!

    @ Kim: Amazingly, the blooms and the hummer are both doing well. He's been guarding the flowers as well as my neighbor's nectar feeder.