Humdinger

Flowers come into their glory this month, adored by the bees, the butterflies, and the hummingbirds.

The skies in which they soar turn azure, opal, and amethyst by turn.

And in the alcove of our front doorway, a hummingbird nested.

It was a marvelous little egg cup, woven of spider silk and fairy threads, a bit of lichen and delicate downy dryer lint.

nest 1

She was quite industrious, pressing and shaping her aerie with her wings and breast and feet, until it was exactly right for her family.

She didn’t know I was watching.

hum 1

Once she began leaving the nest again, my attempts to photograph the contents were tricky. The nest was too deep to see eggs, but eventually, dark elbows and chins began to wiggle.

ugly spuds

Mama flew constantly, feeding the babies. I could clearly see two sets of beaks open wide.

feeding 1

Eventually, the twins grew large enough to peek over the side of their bed.

beaky up

And then they could sit up and see properly.

twin butts

 

As they sprouted feathers and stretched their shared bedroom to capacity, mama no longer needed to sit on top of them. They kept each other warm and sat perfectly still as our spring break multitudes passed by, coming and going through our front door.

Although the wee birds watched them closely, very few of our visiting revelers knew about the tiny sentinels at our front door.

The little ones grew to the size of your thumb. Their bedroom began looking like any teenagers’. Mama sat off to one side and scolded me when I tried to take a photo. I don’t blame her.

messy room

Some things don’t need to be shared in blogs.

But her pretty babies started getting their color.
And then they began to perch on the edge of the nest and vibrate their wings.

twin colors

And one fine day, baby number one took off, never to be seen again.
We don’t know where he went, but we’re sure mama followed to find out.

Because two days after, baby number two jumped.

He didn’t go further than one branch over. But he seemed pleased as punch about it.

pleased

Over the next week or so, he levitated from twig to twig, mama following him anxiously and filling him up with nectar. He preened his budding wings and stayed sheltered in our doorway, eyeing us now as family members and posing for the camera.

preen 1

Once in a while, he managed to land back in his battered nest, but the well-worn refuge never felt quite as comfortable again.

trashed

Which is why, when Hubby opened the door to get a pair of shoes yesterday, the little hummer flew right into the house to take a tour.

I’m pretty sure trading up was his thought, and if I hadn’t seen what he did to his old home, I might have been delighted with the prospect.

As it was, his mama and I were yelling at him from both sides of the open front door, and in the confusion, he went straight up into the skylight, sidestepping our discipline.

I couldn’t watch.

Hubby got the pool net extended as high as he could reach, and when the baby finally wore his poor little self out and landed on it, Hubby gently set him back on the front porch.

Baby Hummer was covered in cobwebs. He let Hubby pull the worst of it from his trembling back, then we closed the door so his mama could do the job thoroughly.

Today, mama has moved him off to the big trees. I can hear them chattering away and see a flash of emerald between the boughs now and then as they enjoy the golden spring sunshine… now flowing through a thoroughly cleaned skylight.

last fam shot

Cheeky bugger.

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