A Flash, Ahead of Creation

Perhaps they are of a time, as DH Lawrence says:
Before anything had a soul,
While life was a heave of matter, half inanimate,
This little bit chipped off in brilliance
And went whizzing through the slow, vast, succulent stems
But this year, they were late, by three days (from last year’s entry). And I was impatient. I had filled and put out both hummingbird feeders almost two weeks ago, but it wasn’t until today that The Girls and I saw the very first one. It appears that we may only have one or two right now – perhaps they were not in a hurry to move north, because of the warmer winter? – but soon the community will be thriving. I have learned that I can estimate how many hummingbirds we actually have: I count the number seen on the feeders at any one time and multiply by 6. That would suggest that in the height of summer, we likely have a community of more than 50 living in our nearby woods. And I’d say that’s quite a lot.

2 thoughts on “A Flash, Ahead of Creation

  1. I thought I was the only one who noticed or that I made a mistake. We just saw the first hummingbird last week too. The strange thing is that the brilliant red penstemons, salvias and agastache are all now past their peak bloom. Usually the hummingbirds are dive-bombing to stake out their territory with the first early open flowers. So the birds have fewer flowers to share and it looks like there are fewer birds, so far at least. Peculiar weather and seasons.

  2. I notice that sort of thing too! We live in the mountains, so according to the migration map, it looks like arrival times are pretty variable; someone in this area posted that they'd seen one in mid-March and some of my local FB friends had seen some earlier in the month. Ours right now – and I do think there's very few – are all male. Guess they arrive earlier to stake out the territory.

    Have you seen the PBS 'Nature' episode on hummingbirds? It's terrific.

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