Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

August 4, 2012

Halo and Hummingbird

As many of you may remember, the deck in my backyard is my “happy place” for the summer.  With the exception of the beach, it is my favorite spot and I spend many hours there when the weather allows.  Over the past couple of days, I captured a few photos from my deck that I’d like to share.

One sunny afternoon, I ambled outside, stretched my limbs and peered around the yard.  A quick glance at the sky caused me to do a double-take:

sun halo

I pulled my sunglasses off my face and looked again.  It wasn’t there.  Was that arc around the sun really there?  Put the sunglasses back and it was indeed there.  Meghan had followed me outside, wondering what I was looking at.  She pulled my sunglasses from my face, and had a look for herself.  I stood there wondering, since I couldn’t see it without my sunglasses, could my camera see it?  Meghan said to me, “Wouldn’t that filter-thingy you have work?”  Duh!  Why didn’t I think of the polarizing filter?  I went inside to get the camera and attach the filter and took these shots.
sun halo

I knew it wasn’t a rainbow, but I wasn’t sure what it was.  I searched online and found some information about sun halos. Apparently, ice crystals from high-level (about 20,000 feet) cirrus clouds are what cause these halos to be seen.

Just yesterday, I spent more time on the deck.  It was an unusual day because once hubby left for work, I was completely on my own.  It is rare that both of the girls are out of the house at the same time, but yesterday they spent the day at Six Flags with friends.  So I was on my own for dinner.  Not feeling like going out to get something to eat, this is what I made up for myself:
Dinner on my own

Looks pretty tasty, no?  That tomato is one of the very first I’ve enjoyed from my garden – it was delicious.  I ate it with just a sprinkle of salt, no dressing needed.  I remained outside after dinner for quite a while, reading a book I checked out of the library, 11/22/63 by Stephen King.  I’m only 78 pages into this 849 page tome, but I think I’m going to like it.

I had my camera outside with me because for the past few evenings, I’ve seen my local hummingbirds hovering around the butterfly bushes and at my feeder.  The bird that I’ve seen most often, I believe to be a juvenile male ruby-throated.  The bright red throat is yet to develop, but the vibrant green of the back and wings is there.  Perhaps it is just my own musing, but the bird seems young to me in the way it approaches the feeder.  It hovers up, down, all around before taking tentative sips.  Last evening, he stayed long enough for me to take some shots.  The light was getting low, so I couldn’t have as fast of a shutter speed as I would have liked, but here are the better shots that I took:



I just love these adorable little birds!

One week from today we leave for our family vacation in Maine.  I’m sure I’ll be busy doing laundry and packing and getting ready, so I don’t know how often I will post this week, but I’ll definitely still be checking in with all of you.

This is my first post in the month of August so it seems like a good time to remind you about the August Ends of the Earth Photo Hunt.  Please pop over and have a peek if you haven’t already.


  1. VERY cool, Karma!! I’ve only seen the hummer once recently…sigh. If only they realized how I love them so.

    Comment by milkayphoto — August 4, 2012 @ 10:26 am | Reply

  2. Our hummers have spent most of their time out in the flower bed where the penstemon and the poppies are in bloom. Our hummers consist of Rufous and Calliope – fun to watch, pretty birds, but the Rufous are so very territorial sometimes they annoy me. And aren’t magic decks a special treasure?

    Comment by Carol — August 4, 2012 @ 3:00 pm | Reply

    • A magic deck! What a great thought, Carol!

      Comment by Karma — August 5, 2012 @ 8:42 am | Reply

  3. I’m happy that you shared the photos. The filter thingy worked great. Have a nice time on your vacation in Maine. The weather has been nice, I hope it will continue while you are here.

    Comment by Karen — August 4, 2012 @ 4:21 pm | Reply

    • Thanks Karen! The weather has been so bright and sunny for so long, I can’t help but worry about rain for our vacation.

      Comment by Karma — August 5, 2012 @ 8:43 am | Reply

  4. Lovely dinner; a fine way to end a nice day to yourself. And the hummers are an added bonus. Husband and I sat on the deck last night and watched the male protect ‘his’ feeder, wouldn’t let anyone else near. He sat in the tree and chased everyone that attempted to eat away…often drove them right past our heads. It was hysterical, though I hope he finally let Mrs. hummer eat. Hmmmm…wonder if Mrs Hummer was really juvenile males?

    Have a great vacation!!

    Comment by Dawn — August 4, 2012 @ 4:54 pm | Reply

    • Thanks Dawn. It is really hard to tell if you are looking at a female hummingbird or a juvenile male, I think they look a lot alike. But in the case of the ruby-throated, I don’t think the females have that bright green on their backs and wings – I think they are brownish-gray.

      Comment by Karma — August 5, 2012 @ 8:45 am | Reply

  5. Sun Halo is very cool. I took at shot of a Sun Dog the other day, but never been able to capture a Halo.

    Summer tomatoes are the best. I love eating them warm off the vine.

    Love “Mike’s Hard Lemonade”.

    Have a terrific holiday.

    Comment by sybil — August 4, 2012 @ 8:39 pm | Reply

    • Thanks Sybil. You know, I’d never heard of sun dogs until I went looking for information about the halo. Learned something new this week!

      Comment by Karma — August 5, 2012 @ 8:46 am | Reply

  6. Great hummingbird shots! I love them so. I need to replace the food today. The halo shot is pretty amazing, isn’t it funny what you can see with polarized sunglasses? We will be in Maine at the same time as you, we’re in Cape Elizabeth this year. I know a lot of people that are heading up there the same week, the last hurrah of summer.

    Comment by Becky Sue — August 5, 2012 @ 8:32 am | Reply

    • Thank you Becky. Cape Elizabeth isn’t too far away from Hills Beach. Hard to believe there will only be one week of summer vacation left when we get back from Maine! 😮

      Comment by Karma — August 5, 2012 @ 8:49 am | Reply

  7. What a great place to sit and relax! Have a great trip, Karen. 🙂

    Comment by tedgriffith — August 6, 2012 @ 11:40 am | Reply

  8. I’ve seen sundogs before (the rainbow colored spots in the sky) but never a halo. Very cool!
    Have a great vacation! 🙂

    Comment by TheDailyClick — August 6, 2012 @ 12:58 pm | Reply

    • Thanks Michaela. I’m wondering now if I’ve actually seen sun dogs before but just never knew what they were.

      Comment by Karma — August 7, 2012 @ 8:33 am | Reply

  9. Nice hummingbird shots! That’s something that I have yet to try – I haven’t actually seen any yet this year, though!! That lunch looks wonderful, probably something that I would fix for myself, too. 😉 I am still thinking about where I want to go for the photo challenge, maybe this weekend, it’s supposed to stay below 80°!! 🙂

    Comment by Photo By Holly — August 7, 2012 @ 1:15 pm | Reply

    • A hummingbird feeder would definitely help if you’d like to get a good look at some hummingbirds, although it is getting late in the season now. I think they begin their migration south in September.
      Thanks Holly.

      Comment by Karma — August 9, 2012 @ 7:00 pm | Reply

  10. Fantastic hummingbird shots! I’ve been watching the juveniles at my feeder. They’re cute little things. Great sun halo too. We had one here earlier in the summer. It was odd. I’m used to seeing them in the winter (and generally associate them with snow although I suspect that’s an old wives tale).

    Have a great vacation! 🙂

    Comment by Robin — August 7, 2012 @ 4:30 pm | Reply

    • It would make sense to think of sun halos in the winter, since they come from ice crystals I guess!
      Thanks Robin.

      Comment by Karma — August 9, 2012 @ 7:01 pm | Reply

  11. I have never seen a Sun Halo before either. I don’t wear sunglasses either. Maybe that’s why? 🙂 There is only one species of hummingbird east of the Mississippi River and you have identified it correctly. Cute little guy.

    I enjoyed your time on the porch!

    Comment by Scott Thomas Photography — August 9, 2012 @ 4:45 pm | Reply

    • Thanks Scott. I knew that my hummingbirds are the ruby-throated variety. I just wasn’t sure if this one was a juvenile or a female. The green on the wings made me think juvenile male since I don’t think the females get that bright green color.

      Comment by Karma — August 9, 2012 @ 7:03 pm | Reply

  12. Sun halos are really special, Karma. They are also a sign that the Universe loves you…that it is blessing you. Don’t know about those scientific explanations. That’s your spiritual explanation for today. 😉

    Comment by Kathy — August 13, 2012 @ 3:35 pm | Reply

    • Thanks Kathy – I feel more special now for having seen one! 🙂

      Comment by Karma — August 19, 2012 @ 8:52 am | Reply

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