"Are hummingbirds real?" the Cabbage asked me. I looked at her like she was crazy and replied "Of course they're real!". Then it dawned on me that she's never seen a real live hummingbird. Also, recently we had been reading Uni the Unicorn and she asked if unicorns were real. Not wanting to say no to the idea of unicorns not being a thing, I told her about narwhals and how I thought that unicorns evolved into narwhals. Then I had to explain evolving to a four year old and things got complicated because of my science brain. But any way....the kid has only seen hummingbirds on TV which is something we're going to have to fix next summer.
I remember every summer putting out a hummingbird feeder at the old house. You'd see one occasionally, but not often. Mom always kept at least two feeders in the camp trailer and every Colorado trip we'd put out those feeders along with some we'd make from soda cans for the swarms of hummingbirds. No kidding. I mean swarms. I can remember carefully walking out of the camper carrying two very full hummingbird feeders and before the door would close behind me, I'd have hummingbirds at the feeders that I was still holding. They were eating out of my hand. The last camper Mom and Dad owned, the dinette was situated at the back end of the camper with a window that took up most of the end wall. There was ladder there that lead to the camper roof and I'd always hang a feeder on one of the rungs. We'd sit at the table for hours watching the hummingbirds fight over the feeder.
They really are remarkable birds and there are over 300 different kinds of hummingbirds. They are only found in the Western Hemisphere ranging from southeastern Alaska to southern Chile. I have always been fascinated by how they never seem to stop moving, flapping their tiny delicate wings about 80 times a second. In fact, I vaguely remember someone telling me that hummingbirds are always in constant motion. Probably Dad told me that. Aren't we all kind of like hummingbirds zipping from this to that? There's always someplace to go to or something needing to be done.
One day while watching the hummingbirds chase each other away from the feeder I noticed a small green hummingbird resting on one of the ladder rungs. He was just calmly sitting there very still. When one hummingbird would chase away another bird from the feeder, thus freeing up the feeder, this little guy would zip up to the feeder, take a few sips and then come back to his perch. It was the first time I'd ever seen a hummingbird perch. Even a hummingbird needs to sit still at times. Even a hummingbird recognizes the benefits in waiting patiently.
Happy Love Thursday.