RaeDi at Hummingbird Hollow

Thoughts on Food, Words from the Heart, 'The Little Winged Ones'….

Tag: Nature

Excerpts from a Hummingbird Book I Wrote

 

Several years ago after spending countless hours (years) with my Little Winged Ones and reading anything I could get my hands on for information and then taking notes as I surveyed, scrutinized, examined and study them from every aspect one could… I decided to write a little book about the Little Winged Ones. 

I actually wrote the book backwards, doing the conclusion with all the information about them from migration to habitats, the flowers they liked, what kind of water sources they liked to you name it.  I was writing down everything that I saw, heard and read.  I found it quite exhilarating… as much so as the little hummingbirds themselves. 

I am now doing the illustrations for the little book.  I am having a blast doing each one.  I do not care how long it takes me, the time I put into the little book is very precious to me.  In the end whether I sale one copy or give them away it means little to the measure of pleasure they have given me.

The title of the little book is Midnight Nectar… this comes from a special part of this poem that I wrote… the hummingbird characters and personalities are what help set the title.  I do hope that each one of you enjoys the excerpts from the poem and a little from the books conclusions of as much information that I thought a reader would want and could enjoy, for those that asked for me to share sorry it took me so long….

 

Midnight Nectar  

The Little Winged Ones

 

 

I watch in wonderment at the little wings ones, the hummingbird’s flight of play.  Flashing the colors of their gorget, they cast beams of color like a prism in sunrays.  You see them flitting here and there, their iridescence feathers glowing, bright, shimmering, and radiating a mixture of colors as they dart from place to place…

 

The sight of each little winged ones impressive plumage is eye-catching as they put it on display.  All their colors of rufus, greens and blues, purple, and even copper are all blended and fused to see as they captivate.   Gold and orange, and reds dispersed in many different hues its contrast the identity enabler and too by their size and shapes…

 

They flash each their metallic colors as they put on a show, which is entertaining, sometimes comical as they engage with one another in as many ways.  They make musical notes from the exhilarated speed of their little wings with a constant whirling and hovering here, and their flights of speed so swift , look and see it is high, ever so high over there, each  its own everywhere…

 

Watch as the little winged ones ascend high out of sight then rapidly plummets with a “peep” as it promptly levels off just above the ground, then flies away, bright and smart and oh so quick on their uptake.  Amazing acts these little winged ones, what a show as they try to assert, contend, and outperform on a dare, which one will succeed, they are all very competitive…

All this takes lots of nectar the sweet juices is their food, their fuel.  Sit and watch as they linger at their chosen flowers all of pure raw flavor.   Sipping nectar for their flights and their games of play, watch it now as it makes the chase; it tags, and then it quickly flies away…

 

The hummingbirds I write about are those that spend spring, summer and the part of autumn here in the Pacific Northwest.  Four species that call our home theirs for part of the year are the Anna’s, Allen’s, Rufus, and the littlest of all the Calliope’s.  A few of the Anna’s Hummingbirds live here at Hummingbird Hollow year round.  They are very adaptive at surviving the winters that can get very cold, here in Washington State where the temperature can sometimes be in the 20’s degrees and at times a lot colder.  To survive the night, they fluff up their feathers and adjust their thermostats, decreasing their body temperatures by half and reducing their heart rate which can range can be up to 1260 beats per minute.  Their high body temperature of…

 

I observed for the first time several years ago a new, performance that was put on by a hummingbird during the hottest part of the summer.  The lawns were all golden brown from lack of rain.  While I was relaxing in the shade, I watched a hummingbird land on a slight slope where the wild grass was dried and the blades were all laying one on top of another on the ground.  The hummingbird landed and then commenced to lie down and settled on its belly in the dried grass as it spread it wings wide on both sides.  It laid there sunning itself for a long period time.  I was not only surprised but it intrigued me so.  I had never to date read anything on this behavior.  I thought maybe it was a fluke, but again I was thrilled to watch and scrutinize this same behavior on several occasions over the years after the fact of what seems to be a routine occurrence…

The little hummers never bore me, quite the opposite.  My interest and need to know more has never diminished, if anything I am like a sponge and try to gather and saturate my mind with as much information as I can.   I never tire of watching and studying them; I am thrilled beyond words at their courage to face anything head on.    They entertained me with all their antics and their pure stamina, with their staying power to weather any storm, and their determination in all of their actions.  They have never let me down.  This information is from the four species that live here at Hummingbird Hallow…

Hummingbirds need twice their weight in water every day.  They will drink the dew collected in leaves, or on grass and flowers.  Customary water sources such as birdbaths and in ground mini ponds and Koi Gardens will have to be specially adapted for the needs of the hummingbirds.  The hummingbirds and songbirds require very shallow water for drinking and bathing.  They do not like more than an inch and would prefer even less than that.  The birdbaths and such that we provide for other birds will need to be adapted for the little birds use.  You can add rocks, or you can lay a layer of sand for the correct water depth needed, even too use some small pebbles so they can enjoy and make use of your different water sources.   If need they will use the birdbaths and such but on a limited basic, by letting the tips of their wings dip in the water as they drop down and whiz across the water.   They two will dip their bills in for a quick drink.  Keep the birdbaths clean and give them fresh water every day during the hot summer months.  Here in the northwest even though we get lots of rain, I clean the birdbaths every day.  You want them sterile, you do not want them to pass on any disease(s) to each other and too there are many other birds that use the same water sources.  If you decide to put out feeders for the birds, be sure to keep them sterile, keep nectar fresh and put out only enough seeds for a few hours, we add to the feeders we use a couple of times a day.   Do not use any chemicals of any kind at any time… 

They love to play in the mist from water fountains. They will all join in and chase after one another and the mist drops.  There is much enjoyment to be had if you just take the time to watch them in all their energetic and enthusiastic high-spirited flights of play.  Always chasing one another, raindrops, water mist from fountains, even water from lawn and garden hoses (they love it when you are watering and do not mind that you are right there holding the hose.)  Remember to watch them playing chase with the snowflakes in the wintertime.  They seem never to exhaust their energies in whatever, they find to amuse themselves…

I hope you enjoyed the excerpts that I have chosen.  The book has not been edited at this point, if anyone knows a good book editor let me know… I need one bad….

(All of the photos I picked for this post are of Female Rufus Hummingbirds.)

Life Springs from Decay

When I took this picture it reminded me of the decline in autumn as everything goes to sleep for the rebirth of spring.  Seeing the spring blossoms of the Vinca plant through the decayed leaf too brought these words to life…

Words from William B. Tappan: From ‘Beauty in the Grave’

And look upon the laughing earth,

Where spring in careless play

Puts forth its fairest blossoms, but

To deck them with decay.

I went on one of my walkabout today… in the woods just outside our home.  Ninnie went along: I do not know why she did not keep me company!  The last few days she has been so camera-shy… letting me know that I have enough pictures of her already.  I got a few shots: there is nothing clever about anyone of them.  She moves so fast it is hard to adjust the camera in time.  In one she thinks she has concealed herself atop a fallen tree.  She did invest some time exploring another log that had a nice hole…. one our red fox would use.

 

I guess she did conceal herself!

She would not look at me…

She is on the run… no pictures please!

A good fox hole!

We found a little color in the woods…

One of my garden orbs, it was a crackled clear glass orb, but with the sunlight adding depth I decided to see what I could do with my digital photography… it to me now looks like earth!

 Can now see one of my garden bunnies with the snow melted!

One of the Crocus in full bloom! Finally!

In My Absence

 

I have been absent for a couple of weeks now.  It has been a good couple of weeks; I have taken a vacation from extreme pain that has been muted just a bit from a new pain medication.   One that does not change my personality, for some a personality change in me might be good, but for me I like living as natural as possible.

The new pain meds did not come without any strings attached; I have been diagnosed with a rare condition and with it come added chronic acute pain, as if the other pain were not enough (I wonder is this how Job felt, just so you know I do not question the whys, I just try to live my life as normal as possible.)  However with the new med patches for the pain some things have changed a little for me and have added a little extra excitement to my life.  As most with pain would attest it is nice to have any relief no matter how little the let off is.

It is a true blessing in disguise, if that can be?  But it has allowed me to do a few things that I love.  Pain can take a lot of one’s energy… I put the new blessing to work for me in an entertaining way.  Lots of walks, taking pictures lots of pictures… they will follow, I have lots of Photoshop work to do and just have not taken the time to do so (normally I Photoshop all my pictures as they are downloaded… I learned years ago putting it off is a mess and that I might not get to all of the shots.)  For right now… I want to go with the sun and have some fun.

So sitting at my computer has been put on the back burner for now so to speak.   I have still been doing my foodie and writing stuff… I actually have several new recipes and have gotten some wonderful shots and I even have most of the posts ready to be posted, it’s just taking the time to do so.  I will be uploading in batches I think, hopefully starting today.

You know when you are put in the position that I have been in for what seems a life time it is such a wonderful reprieve (from pain) and it opens so many doors that have been shut for a long time.  Yes I have to be careful to not overdue and I have to say I am doing a pretty good job of it.  I have had my moments that I have lagged behind and have re-experienced the heavy feeling of my body bogging me down (doing and trying to do too much,) but just enough to remind me to take a careful balance in what I am doing.  It does not take much of a hint; I could have used this self-knowledge of do’s and don’ts a long time ago!  I will admit I am stubborn headed (nothing was going to slow me down or keep me from doing what I wanted) and I could have saved myself a lot of grief along the way in my life.  But… it is never too early or late to learn…

I do read my emails each morning and have enjoyed all the posts that I follow; I will be commenting soon… there so many new things you all have shared and I love letting you know what they mean to me.  I know what it means to hear from those souls that take the time to visit, read and then comment.  It tells each of us that what we are doing is appreciated and too I find I learn so much in each of your comments and I know you do too in return.

Male Rufus Hummingbird – Showing His Colors

One thing I learned a long time ago in facing pain and illness, to try my best to look past it and find all the blessings in my life.  Those blessings are what keep me going, they give me the strength and peace I need, that we all need, to live each day to the fullest, no matter what obstruction (and we all have them)  that is put before each one of us.

Red Berry Elder Berries – One of the birds favorites!

I count each of my readers as a true blessing, major blessings, in my life.  It does not matter if you are a regular visitor, an anonymous reader or one that comments sharing your insight, giving each of us a smile, making us think or giving us a jolly laugh… who could have known the wonderful friendships one could make from sharing some words, recipes, and photos…  In many ways this blog has changed much in my life… it has made me a better soul, opened my eyes… dared me to look and to share, it has given me the strength needed to let others read my words and your reciprocation in return can never be measured… with it comes true understanding… yours.   Hope you enjoy these pictures!

I’ll be back soon and one of these days I will be up to date, I hope each of your summers are going as good as mine, if so none of us could ask for anything more…   Give me lots of sun and fun….

Just Me

 Here are some things about me, enjoy:

Just Me
©2009….RaeDi

My Name is ….RaeDi, I Love Life, Smiles, Hugs, and a Good Joke, a Sense of Humor is One of the things that I Love the Most. I Love Friends that Care, Share, and are Themselves. Purity of Heart, and of course those Souls that put Others First. The Lord, His Words, Forgiveness and of course Angels to all Degrees. Something that gives me Pause to Think. Learning Something New each day, (With my brain injury, I forget something more than once, so I am rewarded of learning them repeatedly.) Friends that do not Mind my Forgetfulness and have Patience with Me. There are my Hummingbirds, Poetry, Art, and Words of all kinds. All of Nature ~ everything I can see, The Eagles, Hawks, Owls and Black Bear, everywhere I look, I will see, and all Birds of the different Species. Travel, Daydreaming and Long Walks on my Beach. Being High up on a Mountain and Seeing as Far as I can see. Sounds of the Ocean Waves that measure all moments of time precisely. My Whale Sightings, their Flukes, Extending, Towering high above the water for a deep Dive, and Feeling the Mist of Salt Water from the Blast of their Blowholes carried by the Winds Breeze. Seeing and Hearing Rivers that run Loud and Long, and Waterfalls no matter the Scale or Measure. Being Green for our Planet of Blue, our Earth, Our Home, taking Care of her, and not being Wasteful. Sunup’s, Sunsets, and everything in Between and a Night Full of Stars, a Full Moon that Beams. The Warmth that your body Feels while in the Sun. All Flowers in an Array of Colors, Hydrangeas and Gardens with Fountains and Large Flower Pots, with Plants that Trail to the ground all so you can Enjoy seeing, and Walk and Roam, and Gardens that are there for you to Eat. My Gardens of Brick, Tiles, Cobblestone and Slate, there are all Kinds of Statuary placed just right for you to see, all with Tables and Chairs and Chaises for Rest and Watching my Koi and Water Lilies, an array of Plants and Places for Picnics, everything Place just so, so I can just Relax with my Friends, Come by Sometime to See. Fragrance of Phlox David, Roses, Lilies, Casablanca’s, I love Joy Perfume and all the Sweetest of all Smells. Sitting by the Fire, Sips of Port and La Bon Chocolate after a Wonderful Meal. Gourmet Cooking and Baking, I Love Company and Entertaining, Arranging Flowers for you to see. Overstuffed Chairs with an Ottoman to Rest my Feet. Music and Candles as the only Light in a Room. The Theater and Travels that take me anywhere, Museums’, Ballet, and my yearly Enchantment of the Nutcracker. Memories and Wonderment. Hearing Children’s Laughter and the Unconditional Love of Animals. A Good Book that I cannot put down until Complete. Whispers, Laughter, Holding Hands, or Arm in Arm and Hugs to all Degrees. A Child’s Hand in mind can bring Tears of Love to Me. I love saying “I Love l You More!” and Meaning it too. I have a Love of Life and a Love to Laugh from the Center of my Being. Finding and Experiencing the Meanings in each Minute of each Day and of each New Year. My Friends, they each Mean a Great Deal to me. I will try to bring you Smiles, make you feel Loved, and you will know that I Care, and it is “Just Me.” With Love and Hugs….RaeDi

 

I penned this several years ago and it has stuck and has been used repeatedly by my friends.  Thank You!

 “A FRIEND IS A PERSON THAT FINDS PEACE IN ANY STORM. FINDS LOVE WHEN THERE IS DISCONTENT and MOREOVER, HAS A HEART THAT SHOWS NOT ONLY LOVE BUT HAS COMPLETE EMPATHY FOR ALL OF HIS/HER FRIENDS AND FELLOW MAN.” ….RaeDi  ©2009

A Hallowed Day in My Peat Bog Hollow

 

© 2009 ….RaeDi

I went for a walk this morning. The weather was perfect for it, been a long winter. Winters are very hard on this soul. This will be the last one spent here in the Pacific Northwest. It is God’s country, but the cold damp winters are hard on my health. I hope and pray each spring that I get back my losses. I have noticed the past two winters; I have not gained all that was lost so this was the decision maker. My winters will be spent in a dry Southern region. Not for sure where, but what an adventure it will be to find my special spot. 

I love adventure. I always have, I am one not to sit still for long. Each and all of my memories are very cherished and to this point in my life not forgotten. The good, bad and indifferent, the reason, I feel I have learned from each one of them and each one good, bad or indifferent are what makes me ~ me. I am whom I am because of all that which makes up my past. I hope that the good things represent more of who I am and what defines me, and I believe they outbalance the other two. The last I think are what has made me stronger, I am what most would call a survivor of the many obstacles that have been in my life. Some I created or put there, I am relieved to say that the better parts of those were come upon. Nevertheless, I survived. Who knows what is around the corner, but it may just be something that blesses me more than anything I could possibly dream of?

Yes, I need to get back on track….It is a beautiful day. In the 70’s, sunny and the sky, the most beautiful color of blue, what a contrast to the dreary gray we see here from usually September until June, it sure makes one stop and take in the beauty and give thanks to our Maker. When I started out, I was not for sure in which direction I would go. Our mudroom has two doors. One leads to our woods the other to the beach. I decided to take the one headed for the woods. Not sure in which direction I would take, just start walking, listening and watching for anything that would take my attention. This is a norm for me, even if I did plan what and where I was going usually something draws my attention, and I’m off in that direction. 

I call these times when I am out and about with myself, my spiritual time. I let my soul look, feel, smell, and during the right time of season taste all the Lord has given us. I often wonder if others see their world as I see mine. I count all the notes, I hear our feathers friends singing the songs of praise straight from Heaven. Even the plumage these creatures wear is God’s gift to us; you see every color that He created. I think what a gifted God we have, talented in all fields. Can you imagine being able to create these colors with such perfection? From the little Hummingbirds to the Eagles seen often gliding in circles overhead, size does not matter they are each such a beauty and grace in flight. Their notes filling the air, I call it tranquility. It so soothes my spirit.

 I take a few breaks to listen and look. On one such, break a doe and twin fawns appeared ahead. She knows I am here, she also knows not to fear me. The little fellas white spots are still very bright; they cannot be more than a few days old. It so amazes me when I see these little ones how they balance on those wee little ankles.   I give her time and she moves on. I am in awe as I continue my walk, the colors of spring greens so bright, as bright as the sky is blue. 

I have picked a glorious day for a walk. I packed a small picnic to take with me, at this time I am so   thankful I took the time. I will indeed be out in my woods for a good spell.   The fresh air feels so good, I note that I am taking in deep breaths and realizing the refreshing sensation, I feel throughout my body.   It gives this soul pause to think about all that is, and it transcends me once again to be one with spirit. It surpasses anything I can put to words at this point. I just know that my spirit comes alive, and I see things through my Maker eyes. 

I do not bring my camera on these walks. I put my all into seeing and feeling, smelling all that surrounds me. I wish I could share or put to words how amazing this altered states feels, it exceeds all I can describe, it surpasses anything else that I have experienced in my walk on this my life’s journey the Lord has given me. To feel one with nature, a oneness with our Lord, to walk as a spirit, that is what I feel I experience each time I let myself just go deep into without thought really. Just letting my spirit be, consenting a totality, and making available the enter spirit to be the one to think, see and listen, setting no limits or bounds. 

Then I often times wonder if other souls realize what a gift He has given us, when we allow Him just to be, to put everything else to the side, and just be, let Him lead and show us all that is, all that surrounds us. This journey is so exhilarating.   Nothing can you compare it too. I go where not I lead, I am allowed to see and feel things that, for the most part, I feel are sanctioned by our Lord, in letting go, I received so much more than I could even think to ask for. 

I find myself in the lower bog.   I have been told this peat bog is millions of years old. Finn Creek comes through. This is one of our hollows; the Lord has been so good to me. The sun filters through and makes sun streaks everywhere I look, it is so spiritual. I feel the light of our Lord everywhere, reflecting and throwing beams in all directions. I find myself on my cedar tree. This is a special spot for me, since the first time I set eyes on this hollow. My cedar tree has grown into a bent hammock over the creek. Just wide, enough for me to get a relaxing lay on her.   I lay there and I hover, I feel as though I am floating, drifting off to where the Lord wants to take me to show and teach me things that I know of not. I am positioned here on my cedar hammock with the creek surrounding me, I listen to her babble underneath me and on both sides, and it is so soothing. I see every once in a while a small fish come through.   I hear the special notes above me, I look up and see a pair of Bald Eagles circling and with a juvenile,   it is being taught the lessons of life. The thin chittering notes; seem quite weak for such a magnificent bird. I have no idea how long I watched them. 

It amazes me the repertoire of each birds call or songs: from feeding and alarm calls, announcing their presence, or calling their mates to name just a few. The doves are cooing the sound so peaceful, I guess that is why we have the dove and the olive branch. I am honored and privileged that the Western Tanager makes a call. The male with his brilliant red-head, bright yellow body, with the black of its back, wings and tail that is so striking against the bright colors, their mates the females in the what seems to be muted colors of yellow-green in comparison to the males brilliant, intense colors. His colors are used to draw attention away from the nests, her colors, so she blends in.   Their song is strong and carries far, very similar to the Robin. They are so shy; it is a wonderful offering from our Lord to allow me to watch them for an extended period of time.   A Sapsucker has landed on my cedar hammock on the rise, I know he knows I am here, but he has decided to sit a spell and sun himself. I wait in quiet and just watch and take in all his colors from his red-head to his claws.  

I realize I have been gone for a long time, and I am hungry and so thankful for the food I brought. It is a very simple meal of cheese, bread, grapes and a small thermos of hot tea. It was very tasty and satisfying I decided to leave some of each as a gift to my friends who have visited me this consecrated day the Lord has given me. This is a day the Lord has blessed me with, very hallowed grounds in my peat bog hollow, one, I will not forget. I feel as good now as I have felt in a while, and I know my spirit has been recharged.   I will now head home ~ back to reality, until next time….

 

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