Now that our backyard overhaul is finished, I thought it would be fun to put a hummingbird feeder in a Japanese Maple tree, nestled in a corner right outside the kitchen window. I love Japanese Maples--we have a couple of green ones in the front yard, too, and one dwarf that is the most spectacular plum color.
Lowe's has dozens of hummingbird feeders so it took about thirty minutes to weigh the pros and cons of each one (no rash decisions for me). I finally decided on one that, come to find out, is the most poorly engineered feeder that's made, but that's okay because this was my virgin experience with hummingbird feeders. (I now have my eye on one at "The Gardener" on Fourth Street in Berkeley--hand blown glass, red, ruffled glass around the mouth--perfect).
Once the water and sugar (four parts water one part sugar) were boiled, cooled, and poured into the poorly designed feeder, I hung it in the Japanese maple. Hummingbird swooping action and long drinking began less than ten minutes after it was hung. I stood at the kitchen window in awe.
Three hummingbird facts:
wing beat approximately 53 times per second (no, I didn't count :-)
heartbeats over 1000 times a minute
resting hummers breathe 250 times per minute
I've also discovered that when they fly over my head or past my ears they sounds like they're dive bombing, which is a little unnerving (I'm not going to think about a bird weighing ounces having the ability to scaring me!. And, they're territorial, too. So the one who sits on top of the feeder keeping guard we've named, "GP," short for "General Patton."
While I love the placement of the feeder, right there at the window where I can see these little guys up close and personal all the time,I do have to stop whatever I'm doing--washing, rinsing, cleaning, peeling--because once they see movement, they fly away. I I don't want to disturb them. And they drink for a l-o-n-g time.
I found myself getting a little impatient. Here I am trying to get dinner on the table and it's like I'm playing a game of "FREEZE," all of a sudden turning into pillar of stone. Can you imagine being irritated looking at nature's beauty? It got me thinking...I need to slow down!
So, I'm taking the Eckhart Tolle approach to all of this and use it as a moment of divine stillness. I watch, fully present, open hearted, loving -- who couldn't be gazing at such a miracle?
If you want to see them in action drop by OR click on the title of this entry to watch a quick little hummingbird clip!