Friday, August 17, 2007

My Hummingbird Summer


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Visits to model homes, Lancome counters, nurseries, and Wild Birds Unlimited make my heart do a drum roll. They are just a few material things I love. I also love shopping for candles, earrings, and clothing when I’m not feeling too fat.



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By the time I finished shopping and chatting with the wonderful men at WBU and went back to my car, it felt like I flew open the oven door and stuck my head inside. Have your eyelids ever stuck to your eyeballs? It’s a strange feeling. I don’t like it. Peeling my thighs slowly and carefully from the leather seat is uncomfortable, too, and also unattractive. Focusing on the 108 is impossible when your eyelids can't move. It was really only 102 degrees F outside after I cranked on the A/C.



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There are two hummingbird feeders at my house distanced about twenty feet apart. All of them fight over this one because the ports are wide and open. It’s very pretty but I continue making nectar to fill it as the ports sit above two cups' worth and it’s also wasteful, especially when I clean it every other day. It hangs on my deck and I can stand just a few feet away and watch little green army men and women in attack mode.


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The color yellow attracts bees, too. But I’m keeping this one since they love it so much.



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This feeder is lovely but it leaked and caused an ant problem. Julie, the Science Chimp reassured me I have juvenile male rubythroats. If this isn't a male, I'll crawl under the desk where I sit.



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My simple Kodak EasyShare amazes me sometimes. I just love this camera. Ants (click to enlarge the previous photo and this one, too)!



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Not as attractive as the other but it’s made well for cleaning and dining. I waited for two minutes and saw a landing. It inspected all six ports before taking a seat.

Feeling just delighted, I laughed out loud because I’m not accustomed to seeing hummingbirds sit. It reminded me of a social outcast sitting at a kindergarten lunch table. Soon, it reared its tiny, pointy head to the sky and attacked fellow lunch mates.

You might wonder why I am so into hummingbirds and briefly, I’ll explain. I grew up in the city. It wasn’t until the mid-90’s that I saw my first hummingbird. I was in my backyard practicing chipping golf balls, heard the hummer engine and saw the blur in front of my face. Life was on fast forward then and it still is, but my interests and priorities have shifted steadily over the years and I feel more peaceful for it. For all the years I missed enjoying what I do now, I sort of regret it.



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The approach to this strange, new replacement must have been frightening. They were wary but hungry.



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The hanger in the center of the feeder throws off my focus but I’m working on it.

At this moment, I have an update. They are grudgingly sharing lunches! Little flitty twits... For a real hummingbird treat - sharing the lunch table, see Monarch's incredible post and videos.

28 comments:

NatureWoman said...

Wow! Mary, your hummingbird photos are incredible! And I love going through model homes, too, along with looking at floor-plans in magazines.

Larry said...

Many of us seemed to be connected by Wild Birds Unlimited.-Great Hummingbird photos!

Susie said...

Great photos of the hummers! You must be just roasting in that heat..
Sending you some cooling breezes from the Bay Area..
xo

possumlady said...

Very cool! Hummingbirds are supposed to get to my area in May but I have not seen a one yet. I have my feeder at the ready but nothin.

I'll try blowing some cooler, dryer air your way tonight! You know, so many people from the DC area retire to NC, but I just could not put up with that kind of heat and humidity. I can already tell at the almost ripe old age of 48 I'm becoming less and less tolerant. Those hummers are sure lucky to have you around!

Body Soul Spirit said...

Your camera is a winner for sure. Kodak should be paying you royalties.
I have never seen WBU in Canada. It looks like a big store!
ruth

mon@rch said...

I just love all your hummingbird photos! Those feeders are so colorful! Hmm, 108 degree's hmmm I promise not to tell ya what my temps are! Also, WBU rocks!

KGMom said...

Little flitty twits--Mary! You are a stitch (as my mother used to say).
You are so lucky to have a surfeit of hummingbirds.

kate said...

Oh Mary, I love your photographs of the hummingbirds. How you manage to get such clear, brilliant photos is beyond me! What a treat it was to come here tonight ... I have never heard of the Wild Birds Unlimited store, but I do definitely know the Lancome counters and nurseries.

I can't figure out the mushrooms - if it is so hot there and you haven't had much rain, then that blows my theory of lots of rain here to smithereens.

That's the good thing about reaching our age - our interests and priorities change... we stop and think about what we actually need and want in our lives...

Have a wonderful weekend! kate ox

Susan Gets Native said...

Okay, anyone who can get pictures of hummingbirds like THAT is a natural.
It must get SO old having people tell you that you rock, Mary. How do you stand it?

Jean said...

Mary, we had better never go shopping together - Lancome, clothes - we'd be a very bad influence on one another! I love your pics - I think our hummers have left - usually they have a feeding frenzy at 7pm - not one.We had cooler temps "only" 84.

Alyssa said...

I love seeing all your hummingbird pictures. We have one visit only once and a while. Wish I'd see them more often. I like it when they perch on tree branches or telephone wires. It just seems strange - like they should always be moving.

Candles and earrings are a lot of fun to look for. I never fail to find either one or the other to take home.

Jayne said...

Love, love, love your hummers Mary! I am just now seeing more than one at a time at my feeder. It's been a hummer drought here all summer long.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mary,
I visited my local WBU yesterday afternoon and bought the exact same feeder (my previous one took a direct hit from a hailstone last Saturday night).
You will really like that feeder--especially for cleaning and filling. It's definitely not as pretty, but you can sit and hold it on your hand and your hummers will come land on it (once they get used to it).

Liza Lee Miller said...

Fantastic post, Mary! Wow! I'm feeling very relieved that I just re-filled my feeders. The hummers will be happy again and stop buzzing the window and snarling at my husband through the glass. :)

I wish mine would share -- greedy things! :)

Q said...

Dear Mary,
"Hello", to your little Hummers! So sweet! I am looking for Rufus to stop long enough for me to snap a photo! I watched Koi swim yesterday and thought of you.
May rains come to you soon.
Songs of Oregon,
Sherry

Cathy said...

Look at those cute little feet hanging down! How cute is that!?

Mary, don't fret about the years when you weren't able to enjoy the wonder that you now enjoy. You bring a freshness to your observations that brings back the joy of discovery to us more jaded souls.

I'll bet the fellas at WBU love to see you walking in the door. The gals at mine sure enjoy my shopping sprees :0)

LostRoses said...

Mary, I remember when the first Wild Birds Unlimited opened in Denver years ago. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. We don't have one near us anymore but when I do make a trip to one, it's always wonderful to be surrounded by all that birdie stuff!

I proclaim you Hummingbird Photographer of the year! I've never seen such good hummer photos.

Laurie said...

Your photos are wonderful Mary. Sorry it's so hot there...I hope it cools down. I'm at my dad's right now and it's downright chilly. At home it's around 100 degrees, here it's only 60 or so. Come visit!

LauraHinNJ said...

I got sidetracked by Monarch's videos yesterday and never left a comment here. Oops!

I think the Humm-zinger is the easiest to clean, but no, it's not nearly as pretty as your other feeders. I stopped buying the pretty ones because so often they leak.

Your pics are really great, Mary! Best looks at hummers I've had so far this summer.

Mary said...

Pam - the only thing I don't like about visiting model homes is the feeling I have when I go back home :o/

Larry - Thanks. WBU is a great place for us folks.

Susie - yeah, we're roasting alright. I'm looking for some breezes :o)

Possumlady - The choice is either blizzards or heat waves. I'd like to find the "in between" place...

Ruth - WBU is a small store, packed with goodies for nature lovers. No larger than a family room, living room combined.

Monarch, don't tell me your temps and don't tell me you've opened your windows, either! LOL!

Donna, "stitch", I'm familiar with that description. My Mom used it, too.

Kate, I'm glad you enjoyed this post. The mushrooms grew in a low spot where water settles from the sprinkler but I'm still surprised about it. I'll dig up those photos and post them. It's nice to find a relaxing pleasure (late in life)...

Susan, a compliment from you means a lot. I always admire your photos - you know what we want to see, even if it's a bumper "stinker".

Jean - there might be a surplus of bugs the hummers are enjoying. They'll be back. Don't you love the fragrance of Lancome?

Alyssa, sometimes I'll buy earrings that I'm not in love with because I just got to have more! LOL!

Jayne, I feel for you, too. Maybe they're migrating south already and you see many soon?

Ruthie, I think I can do that! The hummers are all around me and if I can manage to hold the feeder and get someone to take a photo of me, that would be divine!

Liza Lee, they have gotten combative and greedy again...

Sherry, I have only seen small glimpses of my Koi in two weeks. They are shaded with plants - too hot. I hope they are OK.

Cathy, they probably light up at WBU when they see you. I would! They whisper, "Here she comes...we like her!"

Lost Roses, thanks for the vote. There's more to come!

Laurie - you TEASE!

Laura, wasn't his post wonderful? I have more hummingbird photos to share. Then I promise not to post more for a while :o)

Naturegirl said...

Mary you and I both love to sit near the hummingbird feeders and just watch the activity! I marvel at how small yet strong enough to fly all that distance soon to warmer climate for the winter. I love the motor sound above my head as I work about the garden! I also had those fancy dancy stained glass feeders and found them leaking constantly through the spout so I replaced with the bottle type sold in the various stores..Wal mart sells them...and they are not as wasteful.

I worked for Lancome for years!!! Clinque though was my career..I taught the ladies at the counters
sales techniques!

I hate peeling away from the hot leather seats...it hurts too!!
You golf too!!! Another thing we have in common..~frister!~ sister friend!hugsNG

Toni said...

Mary
thank you for stopping by my blog via Tom's.
Your hummingbird photos are great.
I have a feeder like your new one where they can sit and feed. I live in the city so it took me several tries and the right flowers to get the few I get. My neighbors and myself are really enjoying them.

Sandy said...

I love those feeders, Mary. What a lot of happy little birds you have! Do they come to the feeders when the temperature is over 100ยบ?

cat59 said...

Hi Mary,

I've been wondering what kind of a camera you use. I looked up the Kodak EasyShare cameras and there are a lot of different models. Is yours one from the "z" series? Looks like those are the ones that have the zoom capability.

Also, I appreciated your descriptions of your different hummingbird feeders. You mentioned two things that worry me in thinking about getting one--bees and ants! Maybe I'm not cut our for the care and maintenance of a hummingbird feeder. We are having trouble with ants coming into the kitchen the past few days and we can't figure out where they are coming from. Probably just trying to escape the heat!

David in Greensboro, NC said...

Great photos, Mary. I work at WBU in Greensboro when I'm not teaching, and we LOVE to see people like you!

Mary said...

Naturegirl - For years, I wanted to work at a Lancome counter! I should have took the plunge 20 years ago...

Toni, I really admire your barn swallow painting. Thanks for stopping by.

Sandy, when it's over 100 is when they are frantic for nectar. They're keeping me busy!

Cathie, it's an EasyShare Z612 - 12x zoom w/4x digital. I haven't mastered using it in low light settings. Ants are everywhere - it's dry. I keep the hose on the areas around the feeders when I can. Bees don't bother much. I don't have ants in my house yet.

David, I try not to visit WBU too often as I spend a lot of money when I get there :o) They are a great group of people and we like to chat. I'll see them more often in the fall and winter. Yes, they love to see me!

ABQ-B-Fly Guy said...

Thanks for the photo of WBU. I too work at a WBU. It is just a GREAT place to work. Great owner, great customers, lots of things to talk about! I sell plenty of that HB feeder you now have! It is so easy to clean!

Ron

Kylee said...

You have sure got some wonderful hummer photos here, Mary! I can only dream of getting a picture like any one of yours. We've got the hummingbirds, but I can't manage to get a decent picture! I love yours!!