December 3, 2022

I have been promised hummingbirds. I am, immediately after all, at Eco-friendly Spring Gardens, in the Alexandria space of Fairfax County, key hummingbird territory.

On this specific summer time working day, the backyard is a profusion of colorful blooms, presumably dripping with tasty nectar. In truth, just before I arrived — toting my digital camera and its extensive, heavy lens — Jane Gamble has fired off a couple pictures of her very own, capturing a ruby-throated hummer feeding on coral honeysuckle blossoms in close proximity to the park’s historic 1784 brick household.

This fowl has inconsiderately zipped off, so Jane will take me somewhere we’re assured to uncover hummingbirds: within the property, wherever 46 hummingbird photos dangle on the partitions.

The show opened very last month, the perform of Jane and fellow members of a group she dubbed the Funds Hummingbird Photographers, a collection of like-minded, primarily beginner, nature photographers.

“We’re extra than friends. We’re a minor group,” claims Jane, whose working day task is with the State Section. “We’re often working into just about every other.”

They operate into a person one more at sites this sort of as Huntley Meadows, with its boardwalks through the bird-loaded wetlands, and at Environmentally friendly Spring Gardens.

“Some of us prepare vacation together,” she suggests.

Which is to locations these kinds of as Costa Rica, wherever dozens of distinct hummingbird species excitement and shimmer in the air. The show at Green Spring Gardens involves breathtaking pictures of unique birds from Costa Rica and Ecuador — the violet-ear hummingbird, the violet sabrewing, the extensive-tailed sylph — but just as a lot of were taken inside of a stone’s toss of the 1784 home. Close to these pieces, it’s the ruby-throated hummingbird that holds court, even though the occasional rufous hummingbird also drops in.

The pictures allow you scrutinize these elegant creatures: the rainbow of hues, the little crosshatched feathers, the needlelike beak.

Why do some photographers enjoy hummingbirds so?

“Their diminutive measurement and at any time-switching shades quickly attract you,” Jane claims. “There’s the included dimension of the beauty of the flowers.”

The photographers hope for additional than just a fantastic hen shot. The finest shots incorporate fetching flora to complement the feathered fauna.

As we wander via the back garden, Jane points out purple very hot poker plants. They glimpse like, effectively, pink-hot pokers. All those are the flowers where by photographers want to catch the hummers.

In most of the photos, the birds are frozen with their wings outstretched, like very small variations of the Winged Victory of Samothrace. In many others, the birds are perched.

“They’re adorable when they are resting,” Jane states. “They have all forms of cute facial expressions, like pet dogs.”

Between the 20 photographers with function in the exhibit are 4 — Jane, Parameswaran Ponnudurai, Barbara Saffir and Kathrin Swoboda — whose pics have graced my annual Squirrel Photography Contest, so you know the quality is large.

How do you consider a excellent hummingbird picture?

“You have to have the velocity up,” Jane states. She typically sets her shutter velocity at 1/1,250th of a second to freeze the fast movement of their wings.

But it is not all about tools or system. You have to know the birds, what crops they favor, how often they return to drink up.

“I think of them as remaining resilient,” Jane claims. “They have an monumental migration from Central and South The us. They’re so compact, so susceptible, and nevertheless they are capable to make that migration up and down each individual 12 months.”

The show is up until Oct. 16 at 4603 Environmentally friendly Spring Rd., Alexandria. Admission is free.

Pictures of a unique form are in the window of Second Tale Guides at 2000 P St. NW. The black-and-white images are of Dupont Circle in 1971, snapped by Charles Sacks, an Army psychiatrist who had just returned to the United States just after a tour of Vietnam.

Charles resolved not to dwell in the Fort Belvoir barracks, deciding upon to space in the vicinity of the circle, which was the center of the District’s counterculture.

“I went to the circle virtually every weekend. A lot was going on there,” stated Charles, now 83 and dwelling in Chevy Chase, Md.

There have been political demonstrations. Tunes. Individuals carousing in the fountain. Folks actively playing chess. Enjoying football. Hare Krishnas whirling.

“Everything was intriguing and interesting and fascinating to me,” said Charles. “It was just such an amazing time. Just considering about it provides me true nostalgic inner thoughts.”

Charles mentioned he hopes the window exhibit — there’s a box of images inside the retailer, also — will support individuals “understand the evolution of D.C., what it was like, how marvelous it was.”