Summer has finally arrived with a rather sweltering heat-wave, and it seems like most plants and many cheerful local birds are loving it. The day starts early with the liquid (and endless) trill of young robins. At least that is my primary suspect. There are bald eagles nesting way above us in the hills, and some sort of mountain jay with a black crest and bright blue body, but robins are the most numerous bird in the area. In the last week or two I have started to notice Monarch butterflies making an appearance – there are many attractive flowers in our area and they have taken note. These butterflies seem more pale than the ones I remember from Northern California. Maybe I am misremembering? Or they get more golden with age? Or based on where they grew up? Pale here in Oregon, more burnished in California, perhaps. No matter the color, I enjoy seeing them flit about. We recently hung a few small hummingbird feeders up and filled them with red sugar water – they do not get as much play as I’d imagined, but most days we do see a little action. It’s especially great since the feeders are in some of the main house windows. When they come, even briefly, the whole house is usually involved. Well, maybe not the chicken. But certainly Kingston. I like summer days full of Monarch butterflies and angry, thirsty hummingbirds!