Hummingbirds are the stars at Green Spring Gardens photo exhibit

I have been promised hummingbirds. I am, soon after all, at Environmentally friendly Spring Gardens, in the Alexandria place of Fairfax County, key hummingbird territory.

On this particular summertime working day, the back garden is a profusion of colorful blooms, presumably dripping with delicious nectar. In actuality, just before I arrived — toting my camera and its lengthy, large lens — Jane Gamble has fired off a few pictures of her very own, capturing a ruby-throated hummer feeding on coral honeysuckle blossoms in the vicinity of the park’s historic 1784 brick dwelling.

This hen has inconsiderately zipped off, so Jane can take me somewhere we’re assured to uncover hummingbirds: within the dwelling, in which 46 hummingbird pics hang on the walls.

The show opened previous month, the work of Jane and fellow associates of a group she dubbed the Cash Hummingbird Photographers, a assortment of like-minded, typically novice, mother nature photographers.

“We’re much more than buddies. We’re a tiny group,” claims Jane, whose day occupation is with the Condition Section. “We’re usually functioning into every other.”

They operate into one an additional at locations these types of as Huntley Meadows, with its boardwalks through the hen-prosperous wetlands, and at Environmentally friendly Spring Gardens.

“Some of us prepare vacation collectively,” she states.

Which is to destinations these types of as Costa Rica, where by dozens of different hummingbird species excitement and shimmer in the air. The exhibit at Environmentally friendly Spring Gardens involves amazing photographs of exotic birds from Costa Rica and Ecuador — the violet-ear hummingbird, the violet sabrewing, the prolonged-tailed sylph — but just as quite a few ended up taken inside of a stone’s throw of the 1784 residence. All over these components, it’s the ruby-throated hummingbird that retains court, while the occasional rufous hummingbird also drops in.

The photos enable you scrutinize these sublime creatures: the rainbow of colors, the little crosshatched feathers, the needlelike beak.

Why do some photographers enjoy hummingbirds so?

“Their diminutive dimensions and ever-shifting hues right away attract you,” Jane suggests. “There’s the additional dimension of the natural beauty of the flowers.”

The photographers hope for additional than just a good chicken shot. The very best shots contain fetching flora to complement the feathered fauna.

As we wander as a result of the backyard, Jane factors out crimson scorching poker plants. They seem like, properly, pink-warm pokers. All those are the bouquets wherever photographers want to capture the hummers.

In most of the pictures, the birds are frozen with their wings outstretched, like tiny versions of the Winged Victory of Samothrace. In other individuals, the birds are perched.

“They’re lovable when they’re resting,” Jane states. “They have all types of sweet facial expressions, like dog canines.”

Among the 20 photographers with get the job done in the show are 4 — Jane, Parameswaran Ponnudurai, Barbara Saffir and Kathrin Swoboda — whose pictures have graced my annual Squirrel Photography Contest, so you know the excellent is substantial.

How do you just take a fantastic hummingbird photograph?

“You have to have the pace up,” Jane says. She usually sets her shutter speed at 1/1,250th of a 2nd to freeze the swift movement of their wings.

But it is not all about tools or approach. You have to know the birds, what plants they favor, how normally they return to consume up.

“I imagine of them as remaining resilient,” Jane suggests. “They have an enormous migration from Central and South The united states. They’re so little, so susceptible, and but they are ready to make that migration up and down every 12 months.”

The exhibit is up right until Oct. 16 at 4603 Inexperienced Spring Rd., Alexandria. Admission is free.

Illustrations or photos of a diverse form are in the window of Next Tale Textbooks at 2000 P St. NW. The black-and-white pictures are of Dupont Circle in 1971, snapped by Charles Sacks, an Military psychiatrist who experienced just returned to the United States right after a tour of Vietnam.

Charles made a decision not to reside in the Fort Belvoir barracks, deciding upon to place in close proximity to the circle, which was the centre of the District’s counterculture.

“I went to the circle pretty much every single weekend. A lot was heading on there,” mentioned Charles, now 83 and dwelling in Chevy Chase, Md.

There were being political demonstrations. Songs. Individuals carousing in the fountain. Individuals actively playing chess. Enjoying football. Hare Krishnas whirling.

“Everything was intriguing and exciting and appealing to me,” mentioned Charles. “It was just this sort of an wonderful time. Just wondering about it gives me actual nostalgic emotions.”

Charles stated he hopes the window display screen — there is a box of images inside of the retail outlet, way too — will assistance folks “understand the evolution of D.C., what it was like, how wonderful it was.”