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I’m back after taking a break for a couple of months! I didn’t intend to be away this long, but that’s the way it happened. I’ve gotten rested up and have a lot of pictures and video to share with you, so let’s get started.

We have had some very hot weather here in Yakima this summer. We hit a record high on June 29th of 114 degrees, easily beating out the old record high of 102 degrees. I’m here to tell you it was hot. Several more days in July and August went over the 100 degree mark. On top of all that heat, we have had a wildfire near Yakima in the William O. Douglas Wilderness that has been raging ever since August 3rd. As of today, September 8th, the fire (which has been named the Schneider Springs Fire) is only 17% contained. If anyone would like to read more information on this fire, here <— is the website. Authorities are estimating that it won’t be contained until October 1st. In the meantime, it has been very smoky around here. Most of the time I have been staying inside because I know it isn’t good to breathe in all that smoke. Below is a picture I took from our driveway on August 19th. It was so smoky the sun was just a big orange ball in the sky.

Needless to say with all that smoke, I haven’t been able to sit outside under the tree nor grill very much. Since those are two of my favorite pastimes for summer, I’ve been trying to fill my time doing things inside. One thing I did a lot of was watching the hummingbirds. This summer I have seen more hummers at my feeder than at any other time since we moved here. One hummer in particular had me laughing whenever I’d see him at the feeder. I named him Alfalfa, and if you look closely at the picture below, you will know why (if you are old enough to get the reference).

On more than one occasion I saw two hummers at my feeder at the same time. I had not ever seen more than one at the feeder, so I was quite excited about that.

Most of the time I couldn’t tell if the hummer visiting the feeder was a male or a female, since their colors are not showing up right now, probably because they are either young ones or else they are molting. Every now and then the sun would hit one just right and you could glimpse the color of the gorget.

While I was all excited about having two hummingbirds at my feeder, my friend Mike, back in North Carolina, sent me this video of his hummingbird feeders. I was so jealous!

Not everything was about the hummers, though. Mid-August we had Wendy and Emily over to Yakima for the annual birthday celebration, which we didn’t get to have last year due to Covid. We had not seen Emily since Christmas of 2019, so it was definitely a special celebration. We all had a great time and Linda and I finally got to hug someone besides each other!

I did manage to get outside a few times and take some pictures, despite the heat and smoke. I played around a bit more with the camera effects, and came up with this color-isolated photo if a Tiger Swallowtail butterfly.

A cute little skipper butterfly was flitting about in the garden one day while I was out there. He stopped on a pepper plant just long enough for me to get his picture.


Summer Girl has definitely been enjoying being outside this summer. She loves spending time just laying around in the straw on top of the garden. I wasn’t able to get out there with my lounge chair under the tree very much due to the extreme heat and bad air quality. But whenever I did get my chair out, there she was, ready to jump on my lap.

Join me every Wednesday (barring any unforeseen circumstances) for more from the Southerner in the Northwest.

Published by Peg

In 2007, my partner and I decided to pull up stakes from North Carolina, where I had lived all my life, and move to the Pacific Northwest to be closer to her family. When I retired, I decided to write a blog because I had always wanted to be a writer, but somehow never found the time for it while I was working. I figured that writing a blog would give me the chance to share my thoughts with others, and also combine my interest in writing and photography in one place.


  1. Hey, Southerner! Welcome back. I’ve missed your garden stories. Until last week, I’ve not written nearly as much either — again, because of the fatiguing heat and smoke. If I pretend it’s early fall fog when I look out my west windows, I feel more “normal” (whatever that is these days).

    Tomorrow the fellas from Senske arrive to prune out my birches in the front and eliminate others in the back. Yep, two summers of intensive heat did a number on them. It’ll be good not to look out at all the dead branches. You may hear all the loud buzzing at your place!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Jo! Actually, I had an out-patient surgery on my face and makes it hard to wear my glasses, so I took some time off. I still have to perch them on the end of my nose, but at least I can see better until it fully heals.
      We have had some of our bushes really suffer from the heat, too, but we are hoping they aren’t dead. Doesn’t look like we will get much relief from the smoke for another month or so.


  2. I love your blogs Peggy Sue. I have been excited about my hummingbirds, I have 3 this year, normally I only have 2. Love you my friends, glad you guys are well ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Coolaid!! Wow, so glad you have 3 hummers this year, I just love watching mine. I even talk to them…I know, I’m a bird nerd. Love you too, ❤️💕❤️, hope you are doing good too.


  3. We’ve had our usual Rufous hummers and the tiny black chinned ones. Since the feeder is out the back door, we don’t often see them. On the coast we had two on the front porch and one in back and they’d often sit on our hands to eat. Probably mentioned that before..such a cool experience we never have here!
    It is so good to have you back!!! You have been missed!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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