A Backyard Sanctuary
With the incessant drone of bad news thumping like drunk ranchero music in the middle of the night, it is becoming increasingly necessary to turn down the volume on the world at large.
I spend a lot of time outside where the wild things are. There's a whole other world just beyond the door.
I have spent the last three summers cultivating habitat to attract hummingbirds and all sorts of living creatures to my yard and this year it is really paying off. Not only are there tons of hummingbirds but there many other types of flying friends coming to hang out as well.
Unlike previous years, there are all kinds of birds coming to the hummingbird feeders this summer. The most common are these red house finches and also the bright yellow Bullock's Oriole.
The Apache Wasp
The Apache Wasp is not an entirely welcome guest but we have an understanding. These wasps can land on the surface of water and (usually) take off again. They also love the hummingbird feeders. They love sugar water so much that I have seen them chase off the hummingbirds. When it's time to clean and refill the feeders I have to blast the wasps with water from the hose just to get them to leave. The other thing the Apache Wasps love is me. They follow me all over the yard while I'm watering and they like to land on me while I'm trying to photograph hummingbirds. As you can imagine, it's a little distracting to have a wasp land on my hand while I'm trying to focus the camera.
These Apache Wasps look like a pocket rocket motorcycle and have a reputation for being fiercely aggressive and delivering painful stings. They are especially known for attacking orchard workers, but are generally feared by pretty much everyone, including me. That being said, I think the little buggers are somewhat misunderstood. They are not always aggressive and are often just curious. However, when the object of their curiosity responds aggressively, it's game-on like Donkey Kong. Therefore, I don't think they're attacking me when they follow me around and try to land on me while I'm photographing hummingbirds. I think they're just checking me out and I try to respond calmly and gently so as to not get them riled up.
Amazingly, in all this time of being the pied piper of wasps, I've never been stung and therein lies our agreement. They understand that I am Mommy Sugar Water. I deliver the goods and they don't sting me.
Life On Another Plane
Right outside my back door is a whole other world of plants and creatures who are going on about their lives. They have no concern for COVID-19 or the state of American politics and it's a beautiful thing.
I am DeAnna Vincent, fine art and portrait photographer in Los Lunas, New Mexico. These are the photos from my everyday adventures.