Tritelia laxa are suddenly popping up in sunny, rocky places in Howarth Park, looking quite regal surrounded by the grasses that are quickly turning to straw. I paused in an open, rocky area to sketch one of them and enjoyed sketching in sunshine instead of gray skies for a change.
Toward the end of my sketching session, as I was adding color, I heard a muted version of the popping noise that occurs as part of a male Anna's hummingbird (Calypte anna) mating flight. After the third time I looked straight up to see if I could find the fellow and determine why he was performing his flight directly over my head. When I turned around I found that he was hovering a short distance away from me. When he saw that he'd gotten my attention he flew straight at me then veered off at the last minute and landed in a nearby manzanita. I've read that hummingbirds can be fiercely aggressive and can only guess that his mate was nesting nearby or that he really wanted the flower for himself! Whatever it was, I decided the best approach would be a retreat. I finished my sketch and removed myself from the vicinity.