Sunday night, my husband and I sat on the deck for awhile before dark (which is coming way to early already). It’s been a real joy to sit out there in the evenings this summer; for the previous three or four years, we have been overrun with hoards of mosquitoes.
This evening, hummingbirds kept us thoroughly entertained. It seemed to be a family with several small ones, all moving too fast to get a definite count. They appeared to be having a tactical training session going, with birds trying to get to the feeder, others chasing them from it, over and over and over again. They were flying into a nearby apple tree, trying to sneak to the feeder; others would be sitting in another tree a few feet away, and flew at them, intercepting just before the landing. Many swooped in a big arc, feigning a stop at the feeder, keeping others on their alert. There were many other flight maneuvers, too: quick direction changes, straight up, ducking away in an instant. Two or three times, one female flew within three feet of me, noticing my shiny glass of water on the deck railing, and a couple times it looked like she might take sips from my glass when she paused close to it. Magical!
The juvenile hummingbird antics were almost impossible to photograph; I didn’t even try that first night, partly because I didn’t want to distract them. But last night, they were acting the same and I managed to get two shots (see one, above) that are somewhat clear of one of these divers before a rain shower chased us inside.
Sometimes entertainment is all natural, close to home, and inexpensive to enjoy. That’s the best!