My Witt's End

Photo Op


Originally posted 10 September 2012

The area around Santa Barbara, California, is rich in history—as well as 475 species of birds. I was doing a bit of reading about the original people to settle here, the Chumash Indians. In their native tongue, the words Santa Barbara mean, Photo Op. Honest. I ain’t lying.

Not only is life out here good; it’s simple: Eat, sleep, bird. What’s not to like?

This morning Susan and I went to one of our favorite spots, Ellwood Mesa, in Goleta, where we usually get to see grassland species. On our way up to the mesa, a house that borders the trail had several hummingbird feeders hanging from its eves. As we were peering through the back gate, the home owners came along and invited us in. Gilbert was a gracious host, telling us all about his feeder array as we sorted out the various species. He had the usual ya-shoulda-been-here-last-week story about a Black-chinned Hummingbird that put in an appearance.

As a photographer I thought I’d died and gone to heaven (not the anticipated direction) when I watched the light shift a bit and the glass doors behind the feeders go black. You can’t get that in nature. I slobbered so much on my Nikon I was afraid I’d have to take it in to the shop for cleaning.


Anna's, Rufous and Allan's Hummingbirds queue up for sugar water



Leave a comment:


Purchase My Books At

You can purchase all versions of Lost in the Tallgrass and A Clouded Life at

Join the email list!

My Witt's End

Non-bird Tweets

Look for me at Goodreads

Lost in the Tallgrass