Sunday, September 30, 2007

Hummingbirds and Fall

I love this time of year in many ways. The crisp cold of the mornings… not too cold, just enough for a sweater. Usually there are beautiful colors as the leaves change and fall. We’ve already had leaves falling off some of our trees for the past few weeks. Unfortunately, due to the drought, they’re saying we won’t have the gorgeous colors we’ve grown to expect. Maybe there will be a shortened version, according to the experts, sometime in October. If that’s the worst problem we encounter over the next months, I’ll be OK with a shortened foliage season!

What I dislike about this time of years is that my hummingbirds all pack their bags and head south. My last little bird finally gave in and left. She’d defended her ground against all the intruders who wanted a snack on their way through. She was with me all summer. At least I believe it was the same hummingbird. If it wasn’t there’s a copycat out there somewhere!

One, sometimes two, hummingbirds hang out with me all season long each year. Others come for periods of time but don’t stick around. I thing we’ve become a fuel stop as they travel to my parents place on Lake Oconee. We always have at least two at the house, more down around my studio. The ones at the studio stay in the woods and just buzz in to the feeders, eat, and then buzz back home.

The one or two that feed up near the house stick. I have a stand I picked up at Wild Birds Unlimited. It looks like a wrought iron tree and is meant to stand alone with bird feeders hanging on it or potted plants. I bought a huge flowerpot made of a material you could cut through and have the stand coming up through it. I put plants in the pot that are supposed to attract hummingbirds. I always forget to water the plants and lose the less hardy, but they work for a while!

The hummingbirds sit on the “branches” and guard their territory. I get up in the morning and always take a quick peek to see if they’re there. Yesterday, no hummingbirds. Today, no hummingbirds. I checked the feeders around the studio yesterday, it doesn’t look as though they’re in use either. As I was working in the studio yesterday I looked out the window off and on hoping that I had one that would choose to winter with us. No luck.

My mom has so many it’s impossible to count. She said she’s down to six and she thinks they are Rufus. She’s corresponding with a specialist to find out.

Last year they came up and banded some of her hummingbirds. So cool. I’ll see if I can dig up the pictures and try to include them in this. She actually held one in the palm of her hand.

What is it with these little things that attracts so many avid fans? I don’t know and don’t really care. I just like ‘em and I miss ‘em when they take off.

No comments: