This summer I put up three hummingbird feeders. There are also several plants and flowers in my yard along with trees and a small raised garden. My favorite ordinary day pleasure is sitting on the patio enjoying my coffee in the morning or my wine in the afternoon. Entertainment is provided by the squirrels, birds, rabbits, an occasional raccoon and once even a deer wandering through the neighborhood. I enjoy the Cardinals and Blue Jays that hang out at the bird feeders and fairly often a squirrel carrying a nut walks within a couple feet of my chair. Someone in the neighborhood has a big, grey tom cat who usually shows up and glares at me from under the Cedar tree at the side of my patio. This is my happy place.
Now that we are at the end of summer and approaching autumn the hummingbirds are here. Lots of them. This morning there were two flitting from one feeder to another and perching in the Caster Bean plants. This evening, however, there were at least five zooming from feeder to tree to planter to the garden to the roses to another feeder and past my head as I sat there on their way to do it all over again. I am always amazed at how fast these tiny creatures are. When they fly over my head the sound reminds me of a buzz saw. I love watching them, but they zip from one place to another and back again so quickly that I can’t always ascertain whether the feathered friend on the feeder is the one I saw flying in that direction of the one that came careening in from the opposite direction. They are inclined to dive bomb each other in mid air and chase one another through the trees.
When I took my wine out to the patio to watch the day fade into night I was wearing my red t-shirt and had on my red rimmed reading glasses for the book I thought I might read a bit of. You probably know that hummingbirds are attracted to red. I knew that , but did not actually think about it as I sat in my lawn chair with my feet up to watch the tiny bird circus. When one of the tiny creatures flew under the gazebo and was hovering only a little more than a foot in front of my face I held perfectly still wanting to see if it would stay a minute. As I was holding my breath, watching, another miniature bird came zipping past my nose and buzzed the other bird so that they both zoomed into a tree so fast I did not have time to blink before they were gone.
I picked up my book and read only a few lines when I heard that buzz over my head and then there was that bird, hovering in front of my face. This is beginning to freak me out. He only stayed a moment and was gone to perch on the feeder for a drink. When he blasted by my head and hovered to look me in the eye again I finally thought about that red shirt and glasses. Obviously I am a slow learner.
Have you ever noticed that the beak of a hummingbird closely resembles a needle? I began to consider what might happen if a needle moving at the speed of a hummingbird met with my face and decided it would be better to move inside to my recliner to finish my reading. I’m not really a coward, just practical.