Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Late Summer Hummers

Although hummingbirds arrive in early spring and stay throughout the summer, their numbers greatly increase in late summer as they begin moving south for the fall migration.  This time of the year in the wetland area at a local refuge, they provide lots of activity to watch chasing each other and guarding their little patch of flowers.

Nature's timing for peak blooming of the Spotted Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) coincides perfectly with the influx of the hummingbirds.  Spotted Jewelweed grow in wetland areas preferring shade.  It is an annual plant that reseeds itself by means of seedpods that "explode" scattering the seeds.

For late arriving hummingbirds these plants provide a needed source of nectar at the time of year when not much else is blooming.  The hummers are not the only creatures that utilize these flowers.  They also provide a food source for a variety of butterflies.  The sap of Jewelweed is said to relieve itching from Poison Ivy rashes. 

No comments: