Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Hummers

As the first light of dawn begins to show behind the hills, before the crow or blue jay have sounded their wake-up calls, I venture out with the bird feeders. Before I can even get them hung on their hooks I am met with the whirring sounds of wings as birds zoom in to eat from the feeders while they are still in my hands. Tiniest of our summer visitors, these fearless creatures completely ignore my presence, rushing for long sips of nectar.

From early May until October the Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds grace our gardens. Although the first of the hummers arrived on the 25th of April, more birds are arriving each day. They are now keeping three feeders busy from morning till dusk.
I begin watching the hummingbird migration maps early in February. I know the birds won’t arrive in our area until late April but after their winter long absence I eagerly watch for every sign of their approach.

Their active zooming through the yard all summer long adds a unique charm to the season.

Warm summer evenings, I look forward to sitting on the deck watching their iridescent colors flash in a spectacular aerial show.

Sonnet to the Hummingbird

O little one, now spring from bough to bough,
Under your tiny feet let nothing break;
O sweet reminder of the here and now,
Let all dull hearts anew with purpose quake.
Sweet pea to stock, go nuzzling every flower,
Tease out the nectar sweet with tongue and beak;
Inspire with joy all eyes and verdant bowers,
Breathe out the scent upon love's pallid cheek.
Oft I've adored your pinions raven blue,
With rapid strokes they beat the morning air;
Your heart I know not but beneath your wing -
Bright red and gold I once saw hidden there!
Such charm and more you do well so to hide,
With us let just your matchless song abide.

Came the spring, I picked a corner and
set my mind to making a flower
garden in the midst of this mass of
weeds unattended through
Winters toughening of the soil.
I tilled, and pulled, and turned, and broke, and bled...
The soil was perfect now...
But, alas! The puppy was fervent in her efforts to help me dig!
So I cut, and I sawed, and I nailed,
and created the most beautiful little picket fence with a gate.....
and planted a tree......
and planted my flowers...
and tended and watered and weeded
and nurtured all through the Spring and Summer months....
To this day, this perfect Autumn morning,
while standing in my doorway,
sipping that first cup of coffee....
I saw the fast-beating wings of that little faerie,
flitting from flower to flower...
was all worth it in that one moment.
--- Taimur

19 Comments:

Blogger kerrdelune said...

Endment, I adore the little ruby throated hummers. We seldom have them here in the village, but they do make appearances out in Lanark, and each sighting is great pleasure, such speed, such colour, such spirit. . . . One of these days I shall live out in the highlands full time and see hummers every day. The photos were marvellous.

7:28 PM  
Blogger Pam in Tucson said...

All around the country I'm hearing tales of the first hummingbirds arriving. Aren't they fearless little things! How wonderful to have them all summer. Your photos are lovely - beautifully composed.

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Home Bird said...

Oh hummers! Irresistable little things, and your photos are great. I love your blog with its combination of prose, poetry, and photography. Appeals to some many parts of me that so often get compartmentalized. So nice to be able to have them all in play at once here. Thanks, Endment.

9:31 PM  
Blogger harmonyinline said...

Beautiful photos the Ruby Throat just shimmers

9:43 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Your photos are amazing. I want to buy a hummingbird feeder tomorrow. One flew past me a day or two ago while I stood on my front porch. I don't have a single flower to offer yet... The landscaping is just beginning. And I love that poem!

10:35 PM  
Anonymous Cindy said...

hurray, it's always a great day when the first hummers arrive.
I love the prose- I have something similar that I'll try to dig out of my archives to post soon.
Your love for birds always brings a smile to my face.

10:42 PM  
Blogger LauraHinNJ said...

Saw the tail end of the first hummer yesterday at the feeder at dawn when I peeked out the window. Haven't seen her since. Love the poem.

10:54 PM  
Blogger robin andrea said...

endment-- I came to your blog several times over Sunday and Monday, but only found the Saturday post. I even refreshed the connection. I don't know how I missed your Sunday post. I really was looking forward to the photos of your walk. I was so happy to see them, finally.

Your hummers are beautiful. Ours seem to have stopped coming by. I don't know why. Maybe they don't like our sugar water. I'm going to try a new mixture.

I'm using my real first and middle names, I am the blogger formerly known as Rexroth's Daughter.

11:00 PM  
Anonymous Fran aka Redondowriter said...

Now, humming birds I know and I have seen some lately in my little patio garden. Again, I'm blown away with your photography. How in the heck do you get a hummer to stay still long enough to take her picture? Great poem, too, one I've never read before.

1:36 AM  
Blogger silverlight said...

We have the Hummers all year. Have you ever worn red or pink, and been dive bombed by a very confused Humming Bird? They come humming up with a whiz and whirr, then back off with a very disturbed "Chik, chik, chitter." Circle around, give up and fly away. I now am careful not wear red or pink anywhere there might be Humming Birds. I'm not afraid. I just don't want to upset them anymore.

3:33 AM  
Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

Thank you so much for the poem and the photos of the adorable little hummingbird - what a lovely expression on the face of the bird in the first photo!

4:12 AM  
Blogger Ontario Wanderer said...

What are you feeding them? We had one next not far from the house last summer and I would love to encourage that behavioiur.

4:44 AM  
Blogger Lindsay said...

They probably come back because you are running a fine feathered B and B! I'll have to hang mine! I need to find out what concoction to mix up for them! I love your prose and of course your pix are so lovely.

5:55 AM  
Blogger Endment said...

kerrdelune
We share joy in these delightful birds
I really love living out (although there are moments :=)

pam in tucson
It is hummingbird time - had the first scarlet tanager here last evening - no photos :(

home bird
aren't they wonderful! I can hardly wait until there are more flowers open in the yard - I love watching them zip from blossom to blossom

harmonyinline
thank you - come on out and see for yourself

jennifer
Oh yes - get a feeder - it is delightful

cindy
I will be watching for your photo --- wish I knew how to edit so perfectly, like you do

laurahinnj
once you see one, more are on the way :=)

robinandrea
welcome in your new persona :=)

When we lived on Long Island, our hummers stopped comming for a few days when neighbors put out feeders
hope your hummers return soon

fran aka redondowriter
glad you have hummers - ha stay still - not a chance- these birds are in constant motion.

Glad you like the poem

silverlight
glad to have you stop by :=)
I wore a red jacket when I took the photos. I love your description - They seem to be very curious yes --- good for getting photos

chiefbiscuit
the first photo is a female :=)

ontario wanderer and lindsay
we are feeding sugar water
1 part sugar to 4 parts water. I bring the mixture to a boil to retard spoiling. Cool and put in feeders. Very easy and so rewarding!!!

7:17 AM  
Blogger Jimmy said...

I seen my first hummer of the year...your lucky...I have not got a photo of one yet...I guess I'll keep trying

8:41 AM  
Anonymous pablo said...

I set our our hummingbird feeders early this year but haven't seen any hummers yet. Time for a fresh batch of sugar water and set them out again. Ever hopeful.

8:56 AM  
Blogger Joy Eliz said...

I keep waiting for our hummers to show up...nothing yet. I think any day now and keep the feeder clean and filled:)

4:29 PM  
Blogger Endment said...

jimmy
I will be watching for your hummer photos.

pablo and joy eliz
Hope they arrive soon... I am putting out oriole feeders this week - now I am waiting for the orioles and the tanagers.

11:38 PM  
Anonymous Mary Ann said...

Thanks for the link to the migration map. I pat myself on the back when I get the hummingbird feeder out early enough. I thought I'd succeeded this year when my first sighting came three days after the feeder went out. But from the map I see I may actually have been two weeks late.

Redondowriter: You don't get the hummer to stay still for the photo. It's the photographer who has to stay still for a long time. Here's my effort from last summer.

8:46 AM  

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