Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hummingbird Help

The sun slipped behind the Mississippi River, but the mosquitoes didn't care, they work day and night, night and day, silently selecting and stinging whatever we expose, especially my ankles and elbows. What's with the bony bites? When they do make noise, we are the targets of their mini-blitz, and they are danged accurate.

We turned the lights on in the storage shed and heard flapping. Mosquitoes don't grow that big, thank God. Between two ceiling joists, a tiny bird flew in a small circle. Small bird. Small circle. Obviously not an eagle. If it had dropped down an inch, it could have flown out.

Could you talk 'down' a hummingbird? I went up on the stepladder for a closer view of the mini-fan in action. Wikipedia states their wings flap between 12-90 flaps per second. Dizzying. Everyone who stopped became engrossed in its 'circling without exit'. I was sure it would die of exhaustion. One friend suggested sugar water. It so happens, we had a feeder on the shelf. Our friend slowly moved a bucket to set the sugar water within five feet of the bird, and assured us it would 'smell' the sugar and come for a drink. It had been circling for at least an hour, it needed a boost.

When the outside world grew dark, it settled on a fine wire facing the wall about 6" below it's circling pattern. We have never seen a hummingbird at rest. A fine wire was the perfect size for its tiny feet to circle. I expected it to fall backward, or forward, around and around, like a top heavy Christmas ornament, but it's 1" beak pointed to 1 o'clock, and it's tail pointed to 7 creating perfect balance. Nature thought of everything. Our friend quietly moved more top shelf buckets to ease the feeder closer for breakfast.

Morning came, as it has a habit of doing. We rose early to see if our guest had flown away, or fallen off its perch. We didn't find it. I checked the feeder, but really, how much water can a hummingbird drink?

We are no longer needed to offer respite for you, Little Bird. We wish you well.

2011 Red Convertible Travel Series

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