Meandering Thoughts

Meandering Thoughts

Monday, September 7, 2009

Hummingbirds in my Gardens

I fear the Hummingbird season is over, it is September and I no longer hear their chatter as they chase one another around our arbor.  The arbor is laden with a giant trumpet vine, this year the blooms have lingered all summer long, even today there are blooms.  Alas, it isn't enough to keep the hummingbirds here, they know they must begin the long journey back to South America. 
They come in the spring, just about the time the coral bells begin to bloom.  These delicate little flowers are going to give the hummers their first nourishment from my gardens.  Did you know that different flowers have different calories?  I think these flowers must have lots of good nectar to greet our little hummingbirds.
I have loved hummingbirds since forever...........  they attract me with their aerial antics.  I have had the distinct honor to actually hold these little birds in my hands.  I told a friend this once and she said to me, "do you know how amazing that is?"  No, I tried to explain, it wasn't amazing at all, the little guy was in distress and I had to help... that is all.  No, she insisted, "people don't just catch hummingbirds!"  That is probably true, so now I know it was a gift to be able to help these birds.
The first couple came into my studio, as I often work with the doors open.  They somehow pop in and can't get back out.  They go to the nearest window and are trapped.  So I quickly scoop them up and offer them their freedom again.  Holding them is like holding a breath of air, a minute of time, or a bit of magic.  Another time one came into the studio, he went to the back window, in a space with boxes of "supplies".  I couldn't find him in the window.  I looked and looked.  Then I heard the fluttering of wings and he had slipped into a cardboard box of gourd pieces.  He would never have found a way out.  I rescued the little guy, you can imagine how thrilled I was to discover him, he would have expired in there had I not found him.
Another time my daughter calls me to the house because there is something really big in the window, she thought it was a bee.  It was yet another lost hummingbird that I caught in my hand.  The other one that I captured was even more amazing than these however. 
It was well into November, the hummingbird feeders were still outside, but empty.  I went out the back door and there sat a little hummer near the feeder.  He looked quite dejected.  I walked right over and picked him up in my hand.  Brought him to the house and put him in one of my bird cages.  Some sugar water was made for him and he seemed to make a recovery.  I decided the next day to turn him loose again.  He was on his own journey, I wouldn't stand in his way.  I hope he made it to his home in South America. 

This summer to my delight, I found my second ever hummingbird nest.  Not an easy find!  They are so small.  I had been working in the Faerie Gardens and heard the wings of the hummingbird.  Because the coral bells were there, I thought perhaps I was interfering with a meal.  But a week later the same thing happened and I knew something else was going on.   I sat down just to watch the goings on with this little bird.  And my hunch was right, she went into the leaves of a maple tree and didn't come out.  I soon discovered the nest and her perched in the nest.  Their nests are made from lichen and cobwebs, a masterpiece!   I watched it for some time and then after 3 or 4 weeks I saw the tiniest beaks peeking out of the nest.  There were two baby hummers in that nest.  I would go out just to see what was happening and they grew.  I took friends out to see the nest and we all delighted in the find.  Then one day my grand daughter Cait and I went to look and there in the nest were two hummingbirds sitting at the top of the nest, they were big enough to fledge and indeed did the next day.  But not before I got the pictures you see in this blog.  I have been blessed by the hummingbirds, they are the gift of joy.

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