but how will you know
where the sweet flowers grow
my little pilgrim
August 24th and the female hummingbirds are still here, definitely three, maybe even four. They’re making frequent trips to feeders, tanking up — if peewees like this can tank up. I think of the long journey ahead of them and wonder where all they will stop en route. Have they travelled this route before? Do they know where to find the best rest stops, flower beds and feeders on their route? Will they return to our yard next June?
Here on the Saskatchewan plains the grain fields have been turning golden blond in the warm sunshine these past few weeks. I imagine some farmers would be out swathing today if the weather looked promising, but we’ve just had a day of rain and a few sprinkles this morning. Weather the farmers don’t want to see while their precious heads of grain are still in the fields.
On these cool-ish mornings I watch from my doorway as the hummers come to the two feeders I’ve set up. There appear to be about four juvies, though who can count such fast-moving flight artists.
I don’t know why they make hummingbird feeders with more than three holes. Perhaps in the land where they were designed, hummers know how to peacefully co-exist, but in our yard they behave much like humans. One feeder, one bird. If any other shows up, he or she is immediately urged to leave. Sometimes a few siblings can drink at the same feeder for a time, but mainly it seems to be, “This is mine. You beat it!”
Last summer I decided to hang a second feeder about a metre over and a metre lower than the main one. Occasionally I will see a bird at each, but more often the bird at the upper feeder will drive away the one wanting to light on the lower feeder. Sigh…
one hummingbird two feeders eight options zero tolerance
A few times this morning an oriole has come to the feeder to get his breakfast, so the syrup has gone down fast. I’m serving up a richer brew these days: 1 part sugar; 3 parts water. I’ve read they need more calories during migration — and that time will be coming soon. Though they be feisty little things, I hate to see them go.
I have a number of tubs of flowers on the step underneath the feeders, and planted two of them with red nicotiana this spring, thinking they’d appeal to hummers. As I observe, the hummers pretty much ignore the nicotiana blooms and seem to love my salvia and reddish-orange lantana blossoms. Duly noted for next spring. 🙂
in the fire pit
a gnarled old log
like a shaggy buffalo
its whitening bones
carried by the breeze
ashes of a warrior tree
drifting into the garden
returning to the earth
to rise next spring