A hummingbird party continues to rage at our house on the deck where the feeders are. The birds arrived late this summer—first or second week of July. We lamented over their absence in June, but they’re here now and chugging the nectar Lin puts out daily! And what a stunning spectacle!
On Tuesday, August 8, 2023, I selected our deck to lead a meditation group I’m in. Why the deck? So the participants could see the massive amount of hummingbirds we have and join the party. Those tiny birdy rebel-rousers came out in full force.
Our group time together began with: I read my favorite poet, Mary Oliver’s poem, Hummingbirds, for the inspiration part of our time.
Hummingbirds By Mary Oliver The female, and two chicks, each no bigger than my thumb, scattered, shimmering in their pale-green dresses; then they rose, tiny fireworks, into the leaves and hovered; then they sat down, each one with dainty, charcoal feet – each one on a slender branch – and looked at me. I had meant no harm, I had simply climbed the tree for something to do on a summer day, not knowing they were there, ready to burst the ledges of their mossy nest and to fly, for the first time, in their sea-green helmets, with brisk, metallic tails – each tulled wing, with every dollop of flight, drawing a perfect wheel across the air. Then, with a series of jerks, they paused in front of me and, dark-eyed, stared – as though I were a flower – and then, like three tosses of silvery water, they were gone. Alone, in the crown of the tree, I went to China, I went to Prague; I died, and was born in the spring; I found you, and loved you, again. Later the darkness fell and the solid moon like a white pond rose. But I wasn’t in any hurry. Likely I visited all the shimmering, heart-stabbing questions without answers before I climbed down.
At first, my reading of the poem featuring them chased off all of those hummers. They flee from any sound we make. During the meditation part and the quiet, they came back in full force—dipping and diving. One vied for a position near the feeder, then another ran him off—probably an ornery rufous. I love the collective sound they make—probably their wings flapping, “10-15 times a second. Hummingbirds can fly forward, backward, and even upside down.”
Is all the sound from their wings flapping or do they sing? “While most birdwatchers can identify a Hummingbird by the furious buzzing of their wings, they also have a series of calls, songs, and vocalizations to communicate with each other.”
The herd of hummingbirds and Oliver’s poem inspired me to write the following haikus about hummingbirds and tree climbing:
You are the Lord of
The dainty hummingbird gift!
They make me laugh so!
Climb a tree at my
Age? Why not? Discover life!
Nature heals my heart!
Come and sit on our
Deck to see hummingbirds feed.
Sweet nectar lures them.
I can visit the
Whole world, sitting in a tree.
My deep concerns melt.
Clouds hang over the
Sandias. Hummingbirds dance.
- A picturesque scene!
- New Mexico True!
(I had trouble deciding on the third line. Which do you like?)
The hummingbirds’ migration.
Thanks for stopping here!
The thirsty crowd has
Arrived! Hummingbirds party!
Be quiet and watch!
Yes, living in the mountains has many blessings, but these fanciful little hummingbirds have to be the best. They continue to come—hopefully for the rest of August. Yesterday, Lin prepared two gallons of nectar which according to some formula he uses, means he fed 1000 hummingbirds yesterday—wow! Also, he only plants flowers and plants in his garden like penstemons, to feed and attract hummingbirds, bees and butterflies!
Finally, yes, when they gather to party and drink the nectar, the hummingbirds disturb the quiet, but naturally. As I sit and type this, those hungry little lovelies gather at the feeders I can see. Two feeders need filling, but there are ten spread out on the deck, and Lin has a schedule of keeping them full.
I love to sit outside and watch their maneuvers and marvel at their speed and antics. Do hummingbirds party at your house? Do you feed any? many? Let me know! Join the hummingbird party!
I’d like to leave you with a treat—a video Lin took last week! Let the party begin!
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