Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hummingbird Adventure

The hummingbird in flight is a water-spark, an incandescent drip of American fire. 
~ Pablo Neruda

This summer I've been feeding the hummingbirds from a feeder hung by the kitchen window. There has been so much life happening in the meadow out out back door! I mix up a batch of sugar water and T keeps the feeder full. 

We laugh at the birds because sometimes they actually seem to be looking in the window at us. Especially when their feeder might be getting low. We watch the birds from early morning until dusk. Sometimes, when I've been sitting still on the deck, either reading or meditating, a hummingbird will whiz right by me to feed upon one of my potted flowers. Once, as I slowly opened my eyes to see it, it was as if the hummingbird said to itself, "Oh no! A human!" It looked at me directly in the eye, about six inches away before flying off to safety in a nearby tree. 

via Pintrest

via Pintrest

It doesn't seem as though the hummingbirds share very well. In fact, they could take a lesson or two from my three year old nursery school class. As one is attempting to feed, we will see another hummingbird quickly approach in an attack fashion, dive bombing the other bird away from "his" feeder. It is difficult to tell one from another, so I don't know if it is always the same winner. The feeders to seem to vary in sex and size, so perhaps the winner changes from time to time. 

via Pintrest

Last week we saw a hummingbird sitting on the vine that has woven its way into a chair on the deck. As it sat on the vine, it didn't even weigh enough to bend the vine in the slightest. 

This afternoon I was walking through the family room when I noticed Bitty intently watching something on the deck. I went over to see what she saw. Two hummingbirds, right outside the glass door! They were both still as can be, with their wings spread out in an arched fashion. I was concerned, so quietly opened the door to check on them. Immediately one flew away. But the other continued to sit quietly. I went right up to it, knelt in front of it, and talked to it. It didn't seem to be afraid of me. I even stroked it gently. Its little eyes would close and open. Dozing?

Of course, I didn't know what to do. I remembered other birds that have been hurt on my doorstep. I didn't want this little one to expire and need to be buried instead of flying south in a few weeks. Nor did I want to think about nursing it back to health in a cage in the house and miss the flight. It was apparent to me that the bird that flew away as I went outside the door was as concerned as I about this little one.

Delight! As I sat there watching it from inside the house wondering what to do, I noticed that it became more alert. It started to look around, moving its neck and head for a good look. Obviously more aware. All of a sudden it flew off! Just as if nothing had happened at all! 

What an odd place for a nap. Or perhaps it had flown into the window during a skirmish with his friend. Regardless, I will miss watching them as the weather turns colder and they leave northern Indiana. Thankful for their eventual return to the feeder outside the kitchen window.

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