Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

Indian Paintbrush - Hummingbirds' haven

A Walk in the Woods


September 13, 2018

Randi de Santa Anna

Indian paintbrush (Castilleja genus)

Years ago, I was hiking over a high mountain pass enjoying the insane, kamikaze flights of at least fifty hummingbirds intent on gathering nectar from a field of brilliant red paintbrushes. I was euphoric, completely surrounded by their buzzing antics, when a wild-eyed, bearded, gnome-like man burst out of the nearby forest bellowing expletives at me. I stopped on the trail, more confused by the man running towards me than worried. I felt like I had hiked into a fairy tale.

Ends up he was a college student studying hummingbirds and their relationship to Indian Paintbrushes. He had been wor...

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