Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Exit Interviews

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On Wednesday, September 17, I suddenly noticed they were leaving. It was so quiet around the yard compared to the night before but I made sixteen cups of nectar anyway, knowing I’d probably pour most of it down the drain in two weeks.

On April 10, I saw the first hummer of the season and it’s like a recent memory. A few at first, then there was a mid-summer hummingbird boom of seeing at least ten at once which calculates to a total of more than sixty visiting here according to banders’ calculations. There’s no wonder I had to top off four feeders every night. Where did those five months go? Today I still have three or four but tomorrow they might be gone.

Since yesterday I’ve been on the verge of editing the rest of this text – well, eliminating it, actually, because it’s so dang sappy. However, it's been my mood lately so I decided to be true. Here it is.

Now it’s time to say good-bye. I’ve been with them as often as I can during the last two weeks. And, while looking through the view finder, I talked to them, either out loud or in my mind…

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I bought this beautiful tree for you. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed having you here.



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Have you been pleased with the accommodations? I planted some flowers I thought you’d enjoy.



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I saw you on the Lantana many times, and



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you seemed to enjoy the wildflowers I planted from seed. All for you.



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You liked this pretty glass feeder. It’s new.



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This bright pink one was a hit, too. It’s also new. All for you.

Next March, all of your feeders will be ready and full of fresh nectar. Count on it, OK?



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You’ve had a captive audience all spring and summer.
Me.
I’ve watched you from afar,



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and loved our daily eye to eye meetings on the back deck, so close to me.


Travel safely, little bobbleheads. Remember the Nectar Lady next spring?



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I’ll miss you. Godspeed.

40 comments:

Corey said...

Ha, first! Great post Mary . .

thailandchani said...

Very nice pictures.. as always... and it seems appropriate somehow to acknowledge their departure.


~*

Angie said...

I'm so glad you stayed 'true' with the post because you say what I've been thinking and feeling much better than I can. :0 I can't tell you how many times lately I've said "oh I'm going to miss them when they're gone". Like you, I talk to them too :) and I'm always listening for their little wing beats and chatter...and it's so quiet when they leave on their journey. Your photos are just marvelous, and I am so glad you can speak MY heart for me. :D

Dog_geek said...

Awwww, beautiful pictures, Mary! We haven't seen any of our hummers here in about two weeks, but I still haven't taken the feeders down. I guess I really ought to do that, but it always seems so sad.

gretchen said...

Mary- I didn't think you could ever top your original first hummingbird photos taken with your z612 this summer- but these, ( and ALL your photos with your new fuji) are SO spectacularly over the moon GORGEOUS that I cannot stop looking at them! And combined with your writing- well let's just say I'm in awe ...! Your new camera lets your talent positively sparkle! Knock knock- who's there? National Geographic calling!!! Hey! It could happen!!
thanks for sharing,
hugs, gretchen

NCmountainwoman said...

Sweet as sugar water, but not sappy at all. All of us who have been blessed with these little jewels are really going to miss them. I cherish every glimpse.

NatureWoman said...

Good bye hummingbirds. I love your post and photos, Mary.

BJ said...

Oh Mary....you are just too much! I love that post and the pictures are incredibly beautiful! You sure have a way with words! I'm sure those little "bobbleheads" will be back. Why wouldn't they? They are sooooo loved!

KGMom said...

Your hummingbird photos are absolutely priceless (and gorgeous too)!

Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

Hi Mary! Your pictures are exquisite. I know how you feel. I have a couple stragglers, but most are gone now. I will leave my feeders up for a little longer until I am sure that all have past through. It is hard to let go. Lisa

Mary said...

Gretchen! Got news for you - the first and last photos were taken with my old, broken Kodak. By the time I learned that camera so well, it died (well, I accidentally killed it). Those two photos are favorites - but my new Fuji is coming along very well, too!

To everyone, glad you enjoyed my tearful, sappy farewell :o)

nina said...
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nina said...

like the honesty of it, Mary.
It's not sappy, it's sweet! And probably echoes the sentiment many share but may not express.

You've had such success with them because you've made choices considering their likes. It's a wonderful example of the reward that comes from making even a slight effort.
And the sadness you feel is because you know to them you were special.

LauraHinNJ said...

I'm sappy too, Mary, and plant special things for them, but never have the success you do.

Your pics just stop me in my tracks! They'll keep you, with the memories, through the winter I hope.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Mary, I'm totally smitten by the hummers too, so I relate to your "sappy" post.

I still see a few of them here and each day I wonder if it will be the last. Great photos! I love the ones with the red glass feeder, they were stunning!

beckie said...

Mary, sappy-no! Sentimental-yes. But oh so sweet. You waited so long for them to come and now it's hard to say goodbye. Your pictures are outstanding and will bring you much pleasure during their absence(us too!).I know they will look for the nectar lady when they start to come back. They have it sooo good there.

JeanMac said...

Oh, Mary, I'm not a sentimental person, but darn that was quite the read!!! Godspeed, for sure, little ones.

Jayne said...

I suppose if they didn't leave each year, we'd look at them like we do cardinals and such... just a common sight. I love having their return to look forward to. What a lovely tribute to the joy they bring.

jason said...

Great photos, Mary, and a most excellent dialogue to go with them. Thanks for sharing!

Oh, and I'm quite certain they'll be back next year to enthrall and enchant you once again.

beth said...

Mary - still reading faithfully, just not commenting much. Loved this 'farewell' post and glad to have you close the season for me.

Just want to say that I love you and your blog, and am grateful this morning that we are connected...

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad others feel the same way about them as I do. I adore these magical creatures.

Sara G said...

WOW, Great post!! Love all the pictures.
I will sure miss the hummingbirds too, they are such a job to watch.

Kerri said...

Mary, you have such a way with words! No sap here....just sweet and from the heart. Thanks for not editing it Mary.

Your photos, by the way, are SUPERB! WOW, you've sure got the hang of that camera!!

AZ said...

The farewell was touching, but no time to waste they're leaving you to come to my place.

Rose said...

I am almost in tears, Mary! I still have a couple hummingbirds here, but I know our time together is running out. I'm sure your beautiful friends will remember the kind bird lady next spring and be back--who knows, perhaps they'll spread the word among their friends at their winter home?:)

I think you should put that last photo on your sidebar so we can enjoy it all winter--it is spectacular!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures as always Mary! I know what you mean about missing the hummers. I only have one left here so every morning for the last week I watch to see if he has left yet.

Angie

Ruth said...

Fuji should be paying you to advertise their camera. Absolutely stunning shots!

Susan Gets Native said...

Sappy? I don't THINK so.
We all know how much you love your hummingbirds and I feel sad for you having to say goodbye for another winter. But they remember. They return. They will come back to that pretty blond nectar-temptress.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I share the same sentiments Mary. I hate to see the sweet little hummers leave. They make the garden seem so alive with all their twittering and cruising the flower beds for the the best nectar.

Donna said...

Oh, I miss the hummers too. The last one I saw was on Monday, the 22nd.

Your pictures are beautiful, Mary!

Cheryl said...

Hi Mary....join my club.......I understand your melancholy.....they are such sweet birds and I can see why you love them so........beautifully portrayed......

I am finding dead bees in the garden, so their time is coming to an end.........and it makes me feel so sad.......

Q said...

Dear Mary,
They are jewels and you took fantastic pictures. Always sad to say, "Safe travel."
They will be back next spring!
Thank goodness the House Sparrows leave the Hummingbird feeders alone!
Not a sappy post a heartfelt one!
Sherry

Balisha said...

I saw lots of them yesterday at the Arboretum near us. Marnie mentioned in one of her comments, that she was surprised that they were still in our N.Illinois area. This morning I didn't see them. So far today I have seen one.
I have a tear in my eye reading your post. They are so special and just make me happy.

Wendy said...

Oh, I'm sappy too. I hate saying goodby to those magical flying jewels. Where has the time gone? Safe journey, little ones.
See you all next spring.

Elaine said...

Ah, Mary, I've missed your pictures and your nature wanderings as I've been away from blogging for months. Finally back although not every day. Come on over and say hello. Meanwhile, I loved the sappy hummingbird soliloquy.

Larry said...

Fantastic detailed photos Mary! Don't worry-I'm holding your hummingbirds hostage in my greenhouse-(just kidding of course).I know you really like your hummingbirds and it's refreshing that you have the nerve to put your personal sappy thoughts in print.-That's one of the reasons people love your blog.-Don't wory Mary-they'll be back before you know it.

sonia a. mascaro said...

Wonderful post, Mary! Really you are a talented photographer of birds!

PS: I would like to invite you to visit my current post where I post a homage to my dear blogs friends.
I think you will like to see it.

Vickie said...

Enjoyed your beautiful photos. I feel the same way. In east TN near the Smokies, I still have many coming through. The yard will feel very empty when they're gone.

T and S said...

This is an incredible series, I m amazed at the level of details you managed to get on the first image, the close of the hummingbird. Very well done...Regards Thomas

Kathiesbirds said...

Mary, what a sweet good-bye. If you get to missing the hummers too much, come on over and see them at Sycamore Canyon. They've been arriving here ever since August, And they will hang around until April! However, I don't have Ruby -throats, but I do have at least 6 other species! Very nice photography!