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Nectar Garden
Coyote Hills Regional Park
Adjacent to the Visitor's Center and open Wednesdays through Sundays 10AM to 4PM.
The garden features a bubbling fountain, mist and drip pools.
Fountains and pools attract a variety of birds such as this Mourning Dove.
There are benches both in sunlight and shade where you can sit, enjoy your surroundings.
Birds visit the bubbling central fountain throughout the day.
They come to bathe and for a refreshing drink.
The garden is a fenced enclosure sheltered from the wind with paths throughout.
And it's filled with colorful, nectar-rich flowers.
The air is often filled with the sound of hummingbird wings.
Great place to practice photography.
Areas with low light, shadows can present challenges.
Take time to wander around and explore the entire garden.
Pause to peer into shaded areas as well.
You might catch a glimpse of a tiny vole foraging for food in the cool undergrowth.
Hidden among the shadows, a Chestnutback Chickadee cautiously approches the drip fountain.
At the fountain's edge, this young Scrub Jay acted as though this single leaf conceals it from view.
A tiny Oak Titmouse blends beautifully with its surroundings.
Wrens haunt the undergrowth in many an urban garden.
So do Ground Squirrels. Many plants make tasty meals.
This plant in particular is a tasty treat.
As summer wears on their normal food supply dwindles, so squirrels spend more time foraging in the garden.
[ sigh ]   Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.
What's blooming today, may vanish tomorrow.
There's always a great number of butterflies nectar sipping in the garden.
A Cabbage White. rather plain looking, but note the traces of gold markings on its wing.
The spectacular Gray Hairstreak rotates its "tails" to distract predators.
Monarches are frequent visitors to the garden.
As are Tiger Swallowtails.
Anise Swallowtail - note the difference in its wing pattern to that of the tiger swallowtail.
Petals of this flower are like bright red Welcome mats for insects in search of nectar.
Neon yellow, these petals are like broad landing pads for hungry insects.
They are irresistable to butterflies.
Hummingbirds are the real stars of the nectar garden.
Lots of opportunities to try to photograph them in flight.
They are fairly tolerant of photographers stalking them with cameras.
Occasionally you'll find them at rest, but ever wary.
The Nectar Garden is a cool and relaxing place to visit during hot summer weather.
Other cool places for summer photography:  UCSC Arboretum and Horseshoe Lake.
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