Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Flower Kissers

Where can you find a simple joy that can fly backwards, forwards and even upside down? A joy that can beat it's wings an unbelievable 78 times per second? A joy that boasts 367 varieties in our hemisphere, the smallest one weighing less than a penny and a mere 2 1/4" long? This simple joy can be found posed as a hummingbird, at dusk, in our own backyard! Hummingbirds have become a frequent visitor to our backyard. We've discovered that the addition of fragrant wave petunias, flowering Columbine and wine and roses weigela invite the tiny "flower kissers" better than the sugar water feeders that also serve as a diner for neighborhood bees and wasps! They announce their visits with a whirl and dance around us without fear as we watch in awe, their hum soon thundering in our ears as they buzz around our heads. Their metabolism is a dozen times faster than a pigeon and 100 times faster than the rate of an elephant, but at night slows to one-fifteenth the day rate, an almost hibernation rate. Just watching their evening dance can make you dizzy! Have you ever fed a hummingbird from your hand? On this warm May evening, we were blessed with the chance to do just that! As I stood with camera in hand, watching the pair of tiny dancers rush from flower to flower, stopping occasionally inches from my lens, one finally landed on an offered bloom to feed.....what a thrill, what joy, what a miracle we found in our backyard with patience and persistence. More lessons in life, free for the taking when you stop and look around and listen...especially to the hummingbirds!

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