Even more exciting for me than the flowering is the return of the hummingbirds, my Garden Fairies. Yesterday, I spotted my first male Ruby-throated Hummingbird at one of my feeders. And, as every year’s first glance, I stared in shock and wide-eyed wonder at the tiny sparkler hovering about the gardens. Beautiful!
In the peak of their season here, our yard swarms with hummers, which I love more than can be described in words. They are magical to me, fantastic glimpses of impossibility overcome with beauty. I won’t go on and on – check out http://www.hummingbirds.net/ for migration routes, photographs of the different breeds, and every other hummingbird fact you could conjure into question. One amazement to me, as with the amazing migration of the Monarch butterflies, is the Ruby-throated Hummingbird’s migration—most of them apparently migrate to and from Central America by leaving at dusk and taking a nonstop five-hundred mile flight across the Gulf of Mexico. Incredible considering each hummer weighs less than five ounces! So, to these flitting miracles, I look forward to being dive-bombed while out in the yard in the early hours—won’t be long.
To set up your own hummingbird feeder, find one easy to take apart and clean, and with bee-guards at the ports. Mixing nectar is simple, and needs to be done about once a week: 4 parts water with 1 part sugar, heat water and stir in sugar, cool and add to feeder. Depending on the outdoor temperature, feeders need to be maintained regularly by cleaning (don’t use soap on the feeder), and replenishing the nectar.
‘Tis the season to enjoy the everyday miracles outdoors! Enjoy … JK