Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Best Seven Seconds I've Had This Summer

About six feet away from my chair on the back deck, there is a hummingbird feeder. I placed it there strategically this year, hoping to have a close view while I relax in my chair. They’ve recently started sipping on that feeder but I had never been ready or willing to take a chance on scaring them away to get a photo.

It was around ninety-nine degrees that day. Sofa king hot... Leaving dinner on the stove and the dogs inside the cool house, I sat in my chair for at least five minutes which seems like an eternity when you’re sizzling. I knew that a hummingbird would fly in every few minutes, so I struggled to be patient. Camera was focused on a close-up setting, zoom adjusted. I held it in my hands just under my chin, ready to fire away. A living, breathing tripod, I was! I didn’t dare reach for iced tea. Only my eyeballs moved, scanning the area…

All unedited,


100_7820

Out of focus, but I’ll take it. Juvenile male, I think, outsmarted a territorial, vicious adult male to have a chance to sip.



100_7822

This is better. I prayed he would stay just a little longer. Take a drink, sweetie.



100_7824

Off center this time, but I'll take it. Take a long drink. The coast is clear.



100_7825

BAM. Now that's kicking it up a notch. Don't go away, sweetie. (I talk to hummingbirds.)



100_7821

You're curious, aren't you. It's only me, the nectar lady.


100_7823

BAM! A hummingbird's school portrait.
(Click to enlarge the photos)


For a minute or two I sat there smiling and enjoying what had just happened, knowing my personal best hummingbird photos were saved inside my little Kodak.

Went back inside the house to check the stove, all the while thinking,


Now what?

Oh, no. I’ve just raised my own bar.

Will I ever be able to do this again? Worry.

Now I will need to work on wing and tongue action and, patience.

Dinner can wait.
Skipping along the way to the computer, with fingers crossed, I just couldn’t wait to see the little green gem and count its feathers ;-)

48 comments:

thailandchani said...

Wow! I'm first? Well, we'll find out when I push "publish"! :)

As always... you know... beautiful! One of these days I'll take some pictures like this, especially when I get to Humboldt. (I know I paid a bunch of money for that cell phone for some reason. LOL)

KGMom said...

You win, you win. You had the best 7 seconds of the ENTIRE summer.
I have seen only ONE hummingbird all summer. But then, I don't put out feeders. So I am not complaining.
(Oh thanks for the giggle--sofa king!)

Cheryl said...

Dear Mary...we do not get hummingbirds here, so for me I can't tell you how magical they are. Thank you so much for uploading so many and they are exquisite......

I can understand your total elation, I am the same everytime I get that special bee shot....

egretsnest said...

Yowza! Those are some fantastic shots! Utterly beautiful!

Red said...

LOL Mary! I talk to the hummers too :) Ours, the Anna's and Allen's, sure are stocky in comparison to the Rubies. (the book says so too, but it's clear seeing your pics) I'm thrilled you got the money shot at the end! I'm still seeking that elusive one for me.

gretchen said...

WELL DONE MARY!! (and well deserved after all your patience!) These photos are absolutely amazing and spectacular!
hugs, gretchen

Corey said...

Nicely done . . show-off.

He's supa cute! (since we're going all internet-lingo now)

Anonymous said...

Absolutely fantastic pictures Mary!! And to think you were worried at the beginning of the season because they hadn't showed up yet...

Angie

NatureWoman said...

Wow, how gorgeous!!! You'll do it again, for sure!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What joy to get such good photos Mary. Good job! It does take a lot of patience to get that kind of picture.

NCmountainwoman said...

Oh, I do love a woman who knows her priorities! Great shots of this charming little bird. We do appreciate the sweat equity involved in bringing them to us.

JeanMac said...

Beautiful!

Mary said...

Donna, perhaps you were the only one who recognized play on words :o)

Laurie said...

Absolutely beautiful, Mary. My mom would have been so incredibly happy to see these photos. She was also a nectar lady.

Big hugs and thanks,
Laurie

KGMom said...

Mary--I recognized the play on words because the first time I read it, I thought HUH?
Then I read it out loud--which is why I went tee hee! ;-)

Ruth said...

I am sure you will find a way to top these great pictures...you always do.

Laurie Fischer said...

Wonderful pics! How lucky you are to have these.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Mary, those are wonderful pictures! I've felt the same way while sitting on the swing for the last two mornings. I try to read and drink my coffee, but the slightest movement can send them away. They are getting more used to me though. They were here all day today and I didn't get a decent shot all day long.

nina said...

Mary those a wonderful--the detail we seldom can see.
Wow.

Julie Zickefoose said...

Blogalicioius photos, you patient, lucky girl. Love that little emerald boy, eyeing you. I have gobs of hummers finally and take such joy in them. I'm putting out about 14 cups of nectar at a time--lasts 3 days...thanks for the beautiful present of these photos!

zhakee said...

Beautiful little bird. You'd love visiting the area where I live due to all the hummingbirds. In summer, I can refill 4 quart sized hummingbird feeders every single day, and still they keep coming! I live right smack dab in the middle of a major migratory route, and that migration peaks in August. I've seen many similar, immature hummers, and am thrilled every single viewing! Your images are great.

beckie said...

See... you thought they wouldn't ever come. Such patience and persistence for perfectly precious photos! I know what you mean about running to the computer to look at the pictures. Aren't we something us bloggers?! :)

Island Rambles Blog said...

Probaby some of the best hummer photos I have ever seen Mary...I like how you gradually led up to the best one....he seemed quite content to have his school picture taken too...cheers.

Jayne said...

Wow. Wow. WOW!!!!! Beautiful shots Mar!!!!! I am as green as that little hummer! You go girl!

Toni said...

Yea Mary the photos are wonderful!

Rose said...

Great photos, Mary. Right now I'd be happy to take blurry, out-of-focus, off-center photos just to see a hummingbird at all:) Seriously, yours are just stunning.

I talk to hummingbirds, too (when I see them). I know what you are feeling--when I see them, it just makes my day.

Iris said...

Okay, you win the prize for the best hummingbird shots of the summer! Sofa king awesome!

nikkipolani said...

BRAVO Mary! These are stunning shots. I love the glistening feathers on his shoulder.

dguzman said...

You rule, Mary. That's a great set of photos! I especially love how you titled that last one his "school photo." Amazing.

gardenpath said...

You did good, Mary! It was worth sitting in the heat, wasn't it? My mockingbird is chasing the hummers away, so I moved my feeder out of the garden. So far, they haven't come to it.

Q said...

Dear Mary,
Congratulations!!! Gorgeous pictures. It is exciting...
He is a charming youngster.
Yeah for photos!!!
Sherry

Susan Gets Native said...

Oh, Mary. Wow.

THOSE. PHOTOS. R A W K.

Debbie said...

Fantastic, Mary! Great job! Those photos would sure help me on the coldest of winter days.

sonia a.m. said...

Wow! Those are fantastic pictures! You did a good job! Well done!

Have a nice weekend, Mary!

Mary said...

Thanks, everyone. You all know how I love photography and hummers...and sharing with you. Now - practice, patience, practice, patience :o)

Cathy said...

Oh Mary, Mary . . .

I'm here again and smiling and thinking that you get the pictures that all of us try for and still I'm smiling and loving the pictures of the 'girls' and feeling so happy that life has gone on in your dear corner of this wobbly world. . . .

Then I read about Kris.

And still the world goes on.

Thank you for making it so . . for sharing beauty and smiles that proclaim that it must - that a loss like that must reaffirm our mission to receive and give love with a full heart.

Love,
Cathy

Pete said...

what a corker

RuthieJ said...

Amazing hummer pictures Mary! You done good! :-)

Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

Hi Mary! Wow. Great job they are all beautiful. I know that you will get just as great shots as these.

I know what you mean about skipping. Early in the summer, I had just finished cutting the grass and went around watering the flowers. I have two hanging baskets in front with a hummer feeder next to each. As I was watering the one, a female hummer flew up and perched. We were only inches from one another. I stood there and watched her feed and she would watch me back. A car came down the street and scared her off. My heart was beating so fast I ran in and called my friend. The only bad thing, I didn't have my camera.

Well anyway. I look forward to more great pictures. Lisa

Kerri said...

Fabulous portrait of the hummer! Great job Mary! Seven seconds you will treasure....what a wonderful memory for you!!

Joy said...

Flat out amazing photos Mary. I get such a thrill seeing your great shots. :o)

Mel said...

Dear Mary,
What a great set of pictures!! It's so exciting when you get to picture such beauties.
CONGRATS!!!
Hugs,
Mel

Naturegirl said...

Mary SPECTACULAR! WOW WOW!! Anyone who trys to get a photo like this knows what a PRIZE these photos are!
Good job..great patience! Your not just a pretty face! LOL! hugs and eyes wide open..mouth dropping ..NG xo

T.R. said...

Mary, those are tremendous. I have never seen such detail in a hummingbird photo. You have just raised the bar for all of us. Let me just say it again: You are amazing!!!!

Donna said...

Wow, fabulous photos!

Peg Silloway said...

Fantastic! Congratulations on your patience and your ability to sit stock still while capturing not only the image but the personality of a fine young fellow. Love that curiosity pose.

Kathie said...

Way to go, Mary! Those are great shots! I'm captivated by hummingbirds, especially as I've only seen two in my life :( There's something quite magical about them.

Lynne said...

My Sweet Lord!
May, Queen of the Hummers, I bow before your fabulous photoness.

Perfection- how ya gonna top THAT?!