RaeDi at Hummingbird Hollow

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

Tag: nectar

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.)

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Hummingbirds in Snow

On watch of nectar… Female Anna Hummingbird

Wintry Holiday for the Hummingbirds

I have been told that sometimes when you ask you will receive.  Our moist cold air turned to snow last week…finally; we received over ten inches (some in the Northwest received over twenty inches, in the mountains it was in feet…) of the beautiful white fluff.   I have to say it was beautiful and we were very blessed to be about the only ones that did not lose power during our “winter storm.”  We had very high winds and it was snowing so hard at times it was a white out.   The site was stunning to say the least.

Our storm here in the hollows came and went for several days; the temperature was just a little bitter (and add the wind chill to that) more than what my body can suffer so the little walks I took were very short and only in the first couple of days of the winter blast.

I did get out and about and took a couple of pictures I thought I would share with you, I wanted so badly to take a walk about when we were at the height and depth of the snowstorm but after the few little jaunts I had taken I just could not muster up the needed strength and my bodies temp had plummeted to the point I wondered if it would  return to normal… but I think you will enjoy the pictures of our winter wonderland.  I too took a few pictures of things in my gardens.

My favorite pictures are of course the hummingbirds; I am taken by their pure resilience and stamina when it comes to enduring the freezing weather we get here in the Northwest.  They kept me busy watching them chasing the snowflakes as they drifted to the floor of white.  Buzzing the drifts and taking dives they were very busy just keeping themselves occupied.  Sometimes with the high wind gust I thought they would be carried off just as the snowflakes… wouldn’t it be something to have the fortitude of the little winged ones!

Male Anna Hummingbird

Female Anna Hummingbird

Nectar… Fuel for energy and to keep warm

Nice landing in the snow

Last season’s Robin nest topped off with snow

A Triple Drip!

One Drop in Time

I love old stumps… this one is from 1904

Down our Lane

Looks like white linen… time for tea!

Thick cushions of snow

In the pictures you see of the hummingbirds looking up, they are keeping watch over their nectar juice in the hummingbird feeder (they took turns)… the one thing that keeps them going in the winter’s whiteout….

Anna’a Winter Watch

“Hummingbird Hollow”

I live at a very enchanted place called Hummingbird Hollow. There are four different species of Hummingbirds that reside here the Allen’s, Anna’s, Rufus, and the littlest of all the Calliope’s. There are hundreds of the little fellas here during the season. There is lots of chuppity-chup, chip-chee-chee, and chip-see-see notes, which fill the air and is quite calming to me….

The winter of 2007 we had a storm drop over 11″ of snow in less than a day.  We have Anna Hummingbirds that winter over with us each year.  On this day, they took turns watching over their only source of nectar.   The name of this picture I did in watercolor from the  photo I took that day is called “Anna’s Winter Watch.”  Their tenacity and persistence helped to sustain them during this inhospitable time.   The snow and extreme weather did not detour their lively personality.    With some of the Anna’s staying the winter, we have their entertainment year round.    With hundreds that call our home their home during the season, we have called our place “Hummingbird Hollow.” ….

“Hummingbird darts lightly through the world, spreading its message of joy and beauty, and teaching us to appreciate the wonder and magic of everyday existence. Hummingbird brings the gift of joy. Learn to laugh and be happy”…Author Unknown

Anna’s Winter Watch   

© 2008 ….RaeDi 

The snow flakes kept descending, hours never-ending.

Their size expanding  between interludes of flurries and

      a sightless whiteout.

In a short minute of time, the limbs of the apple tree are

     leaden, heavy with snow.

The intense brightness of the snow makes it appear blinding

     and reflecting a brilliant glow.

The Anna’s sits a top the trellis , its mind only aware of

     keeping watch over their nectar.

Their only source of fuel for their endurance of this

     wintry weather.

Those few who choose to winter over, take staid, each

     their turn of this winter’s watch;

As with the snow they too will go on doing, safe keeping

     of their nectar they will persevere nonstop.

 

I have learned over the years, that from one day to the next I do not know what I will be thinking about or if I will put words to paper.  I am not sure what triggers my writing or its style.  In the poem, “The Littlest of Nests” I was just going to lay in the hammock for the afternoon and read a little, close my eyes for a few and maybe even do some sketching.  However, I had not been in the hammock long when I heard the notes of the Calliope Hummingbird.  When I found her and the littlest of nests tucked between two branches, with two little ones, the words just came to me.  The words were there when I woke up in the middle of the night and saw, “The First Snowfall of the Season.”  “Full Circle” came about when I finally knew what going full circle meant.  Whether it is poems, light stories or even events in my life, it seems with age comes putting my words to paper.  My writings are maturing as is my art and photography.  I would rather do anyone of these three things and/or traveling more than anything else in the lifetime I have left, it makes me complete.   I find with age, there are so many things that do not need to be done or that can wait, so many things that I use to “have” to do can be put on the back burner while I do the things that make my soul/spirit grow.  I like the feeling I get from doing my words, art, and photos.  I still love gardening, gourmet cooking and such.  Nevertheless, I would rather be out in nature taking pictures and letting my mind wander.   It is these times when the words are just there and I put them to paper.  For the most part, it is a way of letting my children, and future grand children know who I am, and who I was, the words, photos, and art are there for them to see and know what made me me.  I now wish that I had started this many years ago.  I hope that each one of my future family ~ as they read my words, look at my pictures and my art ~ they will see my spirit and my love of life, all of nature, people, anything and all of everything that surrounded me.  My love of my spiritual base it is the true me; it is what makes me whole.  When I am with His creations, looking at His skies day or night, seeing and hearing His timing in the ocean waves, too His rivers, mountains and deserts they all feed my soul make me feel so alive.  All His seasons, it amazes me all the colors He uses ~ every color from all spectrums’, in every direction that I look.  I am where I want to be.  The notes He made for us to hear.  The wonderful senses He created for our pleasure and the amazing tastes from every corner of this earth ~ each a culinary experience.  I have learned over the years, that from one day to the next be able to feel all the textures from sand of the ocean or desert to the petals of a rose and all that are in between, I wonder will I get to experience it all before I take leave of this life, I hope so….RaeDi

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