Posts Tagged ‘multiple hummingbirds at one feeder’

THE END OF A HUMMER OF A SUMMER

Here is a post I started in July with only a few days of hummingbird photos in my 2017 collection. I couldn’t stop shooting. I kept postponing the post for more photos. And more and MORE, until one day I realized the hummers had nearly disappeared.

I mention Ravel’s Bolero below, and like that engrossing orchestral piece, the hummingbirds seemed to grow in volume and grandeur to the point it became so exhilarating, it was truly  breathtaking. And then with a crash almost, they were gone.

Not quite. There are still a few hanging out, but for the most part my summer-hummer entertainment is over.

I learned Ravel was originally commissioned to write Bolero as a ballet. How absolutely, splendidly perfect.

Morning Ballet..

Turning back the page to mid summer…here is the original post…

July 2017…They’re at it again on the funny farm. We’re in full swing in the hummer-bomber season. Those sex maniacs. Those terrorists. Those living-breathing projectile missiles of mass sugar intake.

Yes. Sugar junkies they are. I worry sometimes…wondering about the timing of things. When to refill the feeders? How long before their gluttonous sexual appetites will need to be refueled?

There’s a jug of fuel all ready to go. Like filling up at the gas station, it’s available. But if you’ve ever refilled a hummingbird feeder you know you wait till it bottoms out. It has to run on empty or you waste the fuel as you inject the high octane sugar water all upside-down then re-twisting the bottom, then right side up it goes, all sugary-drippy down your arm.

I go through about 25 pounds of sugar in the summer months.

It’s ridiculous. This power these hummers have over me.

They are just tiny bombers. They cannot destroy me. Their sexual desires have nothing to do with me.

Directly.

But they do.

I confess. I love when the hummingbirds come back and eventually go into full swing and drive me nuts. It’s like listening to Ravel’s Bolero. Starts off…Sweet…Quiet…Easy. Then baits you into the sensory experience of MORE MORE MORE. GRANDER. LOUDER. CRESCENDO! APPLAUSE!

Like being a voyeur. I spy on their habits.

More dive-bombing. More seduction. More brilliant maneuvers.

Such ritual!

If only I could just for a moment, see a nest. See the the results of the explosive courting embodied in magnificent, quiet creations. The eggs like jellybeans, I read in a beautiful description. The tininess of a heart that will eventually beat at 1260 beats per minute. Unbelievable! I learned the mamas like to lace their nests with lichens. How cool is that?

Meanwhile, the boys just want to mate. Then they’re gone. We’re outta here. You girls fend for the young ‘uns.

Maybe the girls like it that way. Those redneck boys!

I hang my two feeders in the exact same place year after year. The hummers like that. Generation after generation. They like calling this home for the summer season and I like watching the same morning dance with new and old partners, year after year.

They may live 3-5 years but pass on their generational appetites for the same human-mother-fueled-sugar-water-feeders. They’ve trained us well. All the research I’ve read, all the human vocabulary…got nuttin’ on what these birds know and want…and get from us.

Frankly, I can’t tell them apart. I have never named a hummer. That’s ok. I’d be like my grandma trying to keep them straight as they hum around, fooling me endlessly. Freddie? Debbie? Marcy? Hap? Diana? Forget it.

I’m astounded by their  brilliance in the early morning light. I have made hundreds of photos, many of which are so similar, so redundant but like fingerprints…every one is slightly different.

If the early morning light is not all mellowed by valley mist, which is all too often the way in July and August, the shadow-effect on the post near the feeders always blows my mind. It’s fleeting. Shadow dancing…moving across the post. A double dance. Worth shutting out everything else for. Gotta catch it just right. Timing is critical.

I experimented. First with the vibrant morning light and ballet rituals, then I became entranced by evening light, when often it appeared as black and white…a dance in montotones. No matter what time of the day during July and August, I would be drawn towards the window. I’d find a spot. And sit quietly.

Here they come….Thankfully, Moondust lost interest long ago…

PHOTO OF THE DAY – HUMMER OF A SHOT – September 17, 2015

For Photo of the Day #3, I have chosen this ‘hummer of a shot’ I made earlier this summer.

Notice the shadow of a bird you cannot see. Or rather, you see just her blurred wing behind the feeder…but her entire body you see only in the shadow. Cool eh? I get a peaceful, easy feeling looking at this image. Everybody looks happy. That’s some sweet early morning, summer light on those hummers…FG_577_POTD

I was so tickled midsummer when I discovered the hummingbird shadows on the post. In fact it kind of blew my mind. It was mesmerizing and beautiful to behold, clearly. But why had I never noticed this before?

My blown mind had no answers. Yes, we have a lot of foggy, misty early summer mornings in the valley, and yes, I have moved the feeders around, and yes, it’s just a certain time of the summer…but still. Why, in the previous six summers here, had I never before noticed the shadows on the post?

I have learned you can’t dwell on questions without answers for too long. Except maybe … does God exist? … am I for Real? … how long before Toots stops barking at night?

I looked forward to clear mornings, for the chance to slow down and view some magical hummingbird shadow dancing.

Actually it was more like DIVE-BOMBING. Freekin’ THIRSTY NINJAS. Traffic like SINGAPORE. Making DEMANDS thru the WINDOW. SPYING on ME. Using MY RED MUG for TARGET PRACTICE. SUGAR ADDICTS THEY ARE … going thru 24 POUNDS OF SUGAR!!!

It was like THE HOLY HUMMER SUGAR-WATER WARS OUT THERE!

I WAS FEEDING AND BREEDING TERRORISTS!!

(breathe deep Fred…get a grip)

As you may have surmised, I have Jekyll and Hyde feelings for hummingbirds. Consider the upper photo as a sight for Dr Jekyll, when he moseyed out onto his deck in the morning with his bowl of Cheerios. He was feeling at one with the cosmos, gazing at those silly little hummers.

While I see in this runner-up photo below, something completely different…a touch of chaos…multiple personalities…Mr Hyde with a beak and wings shows up and Who is Who?? Who is Real? Shadow below…where’s the body? Shadow to the right…belongs to far right body? Shadow to the left…oops not a shadow…Dr Jekyll where are you?POTD-1A for #3

Am I getting carried away? Please say yes. I have been looking at way too many hummer photos.

So I’ll kindly share a few more favorites then hush my mouf. But first I must add, I miss those terrorists. They are mostly gone now, and there’s a sense of calm on the deck. Soon I will take down the feeders. I miss all the excitement of being dive-bombed and spied upon.  I’ve got the hummer bummers.

I think this must be a baby hummer on the left…check out the lil fluff-puff..FG_593_3

A scene from the great Holy Hummer Sugar-Water Wars…
FG_557_2

They seem a bit more subdued when it rains…FG_006_2

More peaceful. Like…yes, let’s come out of the rain together for a refuel…but let us first give thanks to the girl who whips up this kickass ninja-juice…FG_007_2

Other viewers…other motives…FG1_0085 copy

Dream on Moondust….FG1_0080

 No worries…she has never caught one in her big fat life.

See you tomorrow….