Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Hummingbirds, don't ya have somewhere to be?

This has been a wonderful summer for my buddies the hummingbirds. My next door neighbor has a juniper tree that houses most of the neighborhoods community of the little sweeties. I don't know the names of the variety we have, except the Rufus. We have three specific kinds and they are a mess. If you are a fan of hummers, you know they like to play as much as kids do. The babies are so sweet and timid at first and then are just as aggressive and fun as the adults.

I don't put out feeders for them anymore. Too much of a chance of the feeders getting contaminated and causing harm to the little guys. I have left the feeding to Mother Nature in the form of a butterfly, bee and hummer friendly garden of plants they like. I have 2 pomegranate bushes that they have fed from and now we have an abundance of those magical fruit because of their work and play. The bushes are right off the back porch and so we have a ring side seat to all the buzz bombing, arguing, fussing and aerial gymnastics.

The baby hummers spent a good portion of the early summer in the leaves, branches and gorgeous orange flowers of the pomegranate and return there even now to see if there is anything left to eat. They also eat the tiny bugs that are on that bush. Of course they are adults and will join Mom and Dad for the flight to Mexico and South America. But right now they are very active. My grands and I spend almost every dusk on the back porch watching the fun.

There is one particular male Rufus who has a thing for going through the porch instead of around. He comes to the back sliding doors almost every morning as if to ask, "yeah, don't ya wanna watch?". This morning, Ry left the back door open when he let the slobbering beasts out. I looked up and that smarty pants hummer was right at the doorway, poised to see what we had inside. I was certainly glad he was a bit startled by my voice and turned to leave.

It's bad enough trying to get straight flighted birds out of an enclosure, as anyone who has had a stray bird get in somewhere knows. But, it is, nearly impossible without harm coming to a hummer. I worked in a cemetery when Shelley was very little. My office was in the mausoleum (You aren't just kidding when you think creepy. Someday I'll elaborate on those adventures). The hummingbirds made nests in the back crypt garden and when the janitorial staff cleaned in the back of the mausoleum, they would leave the doors open. Poor hummers, they would get in and then couldn't get out. I was always late leaving work because I was trying to rescue one animal or another from the mausoleum. Roadrunners, quail, rabbits, hummers, sparrows, mountain jay and even a coyote. It was like working in a wildlife preserve. So many wonderful animal encounters to view. Weird place but also calm, beautiful and serene. Go figure, not a lot of people. The talking-walking kind anyway.

Back to the hummingbirds in my yard. I'm guessing that within two weeks the iridescent cuties will be winging their way to destinations south and I will once again look forward to hearing them before seeing them in the spring. The dive bombing and rattling of their attached sabers as they do aerial battle for the attention of the females are sometimes my daydreams in the middle of a cold winter as I gaze out at the bare branches of the pomegranate bush. Ain't nature grand??? I think so. I hope you enjoy something in nature today my friends.

1 comment:

  1. We usually put up the hummingbird feeder, but forgot about it this past summer. Love watching those little critter to and the babies are just adorable. We had one nesting out here last summer and all you could see were these little beaks sticking out of their tiny nest...just too cute!!


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